Zendaya will play Mary Jane in the new 'Spider-Man,' and it's a big deal.

Representation matters.

For the first time in Hollywood history, Spider-Man's love interest will be played by a black actress.

And she's none other than 19-year-old Zendaya — a former Disney star whose acting, modeling, and business career has taken off in recent years.

Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Essence.


The rumor mill began churning earlier this year after Zendaya was first cast, with many speculating she'd play Peter Parker's friend Michelle.

But according to an inside scoop from The Wrap, Zendaya landed the coveted role of Mary Jane Watson in "Spider-Man: Homecoming" — a character we're used to seeing with red locks and white skin.

As you can imagine, the news is certainly making waves.

Reactions from around the web began pouring in with excitement and praise, proving that casting makes a difference.

Just the thought of the new Mary Jane is brightening people's day.

In an industry that tends to exclude certain groups from the big screen, this is big.

And who knows how many little girls are celebrating the casting decision this very moment?

Of course, not all reactions were of approval. Some are arguing that a black actress would break the mold of Mary Jane's original comic book look (and they clearly aren't happy about it).

But I suggest we take a step back and give this news a little context first.

For every person of color who's portrayed a character originally written as white, there are about a million examples of the opposite.

I mean, just take a peek at this list.

Not only is Hollywood hesitant to create films directed by and starring people of color, but it also has a nasty habit of whitewashing — giving roles that should be played by actors of color to white people (think, Emma Stone playing Allison Ng in "Aloha" or Rooney Mara playing Tiger Lily — a character who's decidedly Native American — in "Pan").

These systemic problems have meant certain groups are dramatically underrepresented on the big screen.

Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images.

So instead of getting our feathers ruffled over the modernizing of a comic book series, shouldn't we be celebrating an evolving, more-inclusive film industry?

After all, diversity isn't just cool for the sake of diversity — representation matters.

Everyone deserves to see themselves in the heroes that capture our hearts on-screen.

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In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

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Little did he know that she would successfully become all three: an award-winning biomedical and mechanical engineer who performs cutting-edge medical research and has started multiple companies.

Bhatia holds an M.D. from Harvard University, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in biomedical engineering from MIT. Bhatia, a Wilson professor of engineering at MIT, is currently serving as director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, where she's working on nanotechnology targeting enzymes in cancer cells. This would allow cancer screenings to be done with a simple urine test.

Bhatia owes much of her impressive career to her family. Her parents were refugees who met in graduate school in India; in fact, she says her mom was the first woman to earn an MBA in the country. The couple immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s, started a family, and worked hard to give their two daughters the best opportunities.

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I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

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The first day of school can be both exciting and scary at the same time — especially if it's your first day ever, as was the case for a nervous four-year-old in Wisconsin. But with a little help from a kind bus driver, he was able to get over his fear.

Axel was "super excited" waiting for the bus in Augusta with his mom, Amy Johnson, until it came time to actually get on.

"He was all smiles when he saw me around the corner and I started to slow down and that's when you could see his face start to change," his bus driver, Isabel "Izzy" Lane, told WEAU.

The scared boy wouldn't get on the bus without help from his mom, so she picked him up and carried him aboard, trying to give him a pep talk.

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