American Girl, Thank You For Finally Representing All Girls Everywhere, Including Ones With Hearing Aids

American Girl, Thank You For Finally Representing All Girls Everywhere, Including Ones With Hearing Aids

Every disability deserves to be seen and accepted.

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American Girl Dolls have always been one of the most sought-after toys for children. They allow children to express themselves through the doll and basically make the doll more of a friend than just a toy.

In 2016, American Girl Doll released one of the best and most progressive pieces a toy like these could have - a hearing aid. So now, not only can children dress their doll up like them, but also make their doll-like them in every way - including the hearing aid.

This is life-changing for the kiddos who have hearing aids. A toy that is like them shows those kids how accepted they are despite their disability. Regardless of how they look, these children can see that something like a hearing aid can be seen as beautiful.

Something like this may look simple to some people or even some families, but when I see how progressive and accepting American Girl Doll is I think of how my nieces are growing up playing with dolls that teach them to love regardless of disability and regardless of whatever "extra" accessories someone has to have. I think of how precious it is to see families with a child who has a hearing impairment walking around with a doll "like" them.

Extra things, like hearing aids for toys, change everything. It changes how society looks at disabilities. It changes how society accepts disabilities. It makes disabilities seen in a society that treats disabilities like a curse.

The truth is, disabilities are real and they affect so many families and children, but these families don't see disabilities as a curse. While it may take a while for something like a hearing impairment to be seen as a blessing, little victories are always sweet victories. When a child with a hearing impairment responds to their name for the first time or when they hear people clapping when they succeed.

American Girl Doll is allowing families to see how precious a hearing impairment can be. It is allowing children to see their own impairment as beautiful rather than how most of society sees their impairment.

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To High School Seniors In Their Last Semester

Senior year moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
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Dammit, you made it. The final semester of your senior year. You’re at the top of the food chain of high school, and it feels so good. You’re probably praying this last semester flies by, that you get out of town as soon as possible.

At this point, you’re calling teachers by their first names, the entire staff knows you by name, and you’re walking around school standing tall, owning those hallways. You’re convinced you’re ready to leave and move on to the next chapter in your life.

You’ve already experienced your last football game, standing in the cold in the front row of the student section all season long, decked out in your school colors and cheering loud and proud. That is, until they lost, and you realized you will never have that experience again. Never again.

SEE ALSO: What I Wish I Knew As A Second-Semester High School Senior

You already had your last winter break. Preparing and celebrating the holidays with your family, ice skating and sledding with your best friends. Those quiet nights alone in your room watching Netflix, taking for granted your loved ones just a few rooms away. Never again.

If you’re an athlete, you may have already played in your last game or ran your last race. The crowd cheering, proudly wearing your school’s name across your chest, giving it your all. For some, it may be the end of your athletic career. Before you knew it, you were standing in an empty gym, staring up at the banners and thinking about the mark you left on your school, wondering where on earth the time went. Never again.

I’m telling you right now, you’re going to miss it all. Everything you’ve ever known. Those early mornings when you debate going to first hour because you really need those McDonald’s hash browns. The late nights driving home from practice, stopping for ice cream of course, ready for a late night of homework. Getting food on a whim with your friends. Endless fights with your siblings. Your favorite chips in the pantry. A fridge full of food. Coming home to and getting tackled by your dog. Driving around your hometown, passing the same sights you’ve seen every day for as long as you can remember. Hugs from your mom after a long day. Laughs with your dad. And that best friend of yours? You’re going to miss them more than anything. I’m telling you right now, nothing will ever be the same. Never again.

SEE ALSO: I'm The Girl That Enjoyed High School

Before you start packing your bags, slow down, take a deep breath, and look around. You’ve got it pretty good here. The end of your senior year can be the time of your life; it’s truly amazing. So go to the winter dance, go to Prom, spend Senior Skip Day with your classmates, go to every sporting event you can, while you still can. College is pretty great, but it’s the little things you’re gonna miss the most. Don’t take it for granted because soon, you’ll be standing in a packed gym in your cap and gown, wondering where the heck the time went. You’ve got a long, beautiful life ahead of you, full of joy but also full of challenges. You’re going to meet so many wonderful people, people who will treat you right and people who won’t.


So, take it all in. Be excited for the future and look forward to it, but be mindful of the present. You’ve got this.
Cover Image Credit: Hartford Courant

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Your Body Positivity May Be Someone Elses Body Negativity So Don't Define Your Worth With Your Curves

It's time for women to focus on being strong rather than promoting being over-weight.

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Nothing bothers me more than scrolling through my Instagram feed and coming across a photo that is hashtagged '#Fatkini' or '#TheBiggerTheBetter' or '#LoveMyCurves'.

Don't get me wrong, I love that people that lack the picture perfect body shape are comfortable with their bodies or are they?

Does it ever cross your mind that maybe these people are posting these photos because they aren't comfortable with their bodies and because they are looking for the approval they need? They are just waiting behind their screen for someone to comment, "I love this!" or "you go girl!" just so they can look in the mirror later and not feel quite as bad about what they see.

The truth is, underneath the makeup they are wearing and the clothes they are promoting, their face is broken out because they aren't healthy, their knees hurt from the extra weight, they haven't been to the gym in 2 years, they can't keep up with their kids, and their curves are screaming from the laced-up corset underneath their shirt. Maybe these people are comfortable with the skin they are in, and I hope for their sake that they are, but chances are they aren't.

Let's look at it from another point of view.

Imagine you are battling an eating disorder. You are struggling to eat, you can't gain weight, you're pale, your hair is falling out, and people are starting to notice. How would you feel if you constantly saw people promoting having the weight that you just can't seem to find? You don't see these people posting on Instagram with #SkinnyIsInny or #SkinnierIsPrettier and you shouldn't be posting about your curves either.

Don't get me wrong. I'm tall, athletic, thick thighed (thanks dad), and decently curvy buy you will never find me promoting my size or my weight and you will never ever see me bragging about my body type. Sure, I'll post a picture in a bikini or laying by the pool with friends but talking about my size is not something you will find in the caption.

It's time for women to focus on being strong rather than promoting being over-weight. Wouldn't you much rather have someone comment on your amazing quads and rounded glutes than congratulating you for snapping a picture of your cellulite?

There are plenty of ways to be comfortable with your body without talking about it in the public's eye. Wear your most flattering jeans to a restaurant, strut your stuff in your cheeky bathing suit bottoms at the pool, wear tight leggings to the gym, but never promote your size, simply because you don't know what battles the people that are seeing your #Fatkini photo are fighting.

So, remember ladies: Curvy is in, promoting it isn't. Cellulite is natural, posting pictures of it isn't. Stretch marks are proof that your body has grown and changed or maybe even supported another life but talking about them will not make the stretch marks fade. Just keep in mind that your cry for a confidence boost may be someone else's breaking point. Don't be the reason they break.

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