Photos & videos by @instagram
“Being an accessibility detective wasn’t a job I wanted to have,” says Maayan Ziv ( maayanziv_), a photographer who was born with muscular dystrophy. “But I got so frustrated with spending hours calling ahead and researching to find out if the places I wanted to go were wheelchair accessible. I just wanted to get out and do the things I want, like anyone else.” Maayan’s solution was to start Access Now ( accessnowapp), an app that crowdsources information about the accessibility of places to people with disabilities worldwide. She was inspired by the open spirit of her home of Toronto: “Wherever I go, there are conversations about creating equal opportunity for all, no matter your background, gender, religion, ability or ethnicity,” she says. “Many people think accessibility is only something for people with disabilities. But people aren’t disabled; it’s our environments that are disabling. The truth is that we all benefit from accessible, inclusive spaces.” This story is part of 🇨🇦❤️, a new series celebrating people all across Canada. Photo by maayanziv_
Like millions of others around the world, Taryn Knight ( taryndraws) first discovered the magical world of Harry Potter when she was a young girl, and hasn’t stopped loving it since. “I just kept reading them over and over,” she says of author J.K. Rowling’s book series. “Something just clicked. I was immediately obsessed.” It wasn’t until Taryn, a Colorado-based freelance illustrator, was older that her love for all things witchcraft and wizardry began to manifest itself in her drawings. “I didn’t do a lot of art when I was first reading the books,” she says. “But once I started drawing regularly, my passion for Harry Potter began to creep in.” Taryn, a self-proclaimed Hufflepuff, is excited about the celebration surrounding HarryPotter20, the 20-year anniversary of the UK release of the first book in the series, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” “It seems to be reigniting everyone’s love for the Potter world,” she says. “It feels a bit like that old familiar buzz of a new book release.” ⚡️ Illustration by taryndraws
For Javanese photographer Mast Irham ( mastirham), Indonesia can feel both intimate and colossal — a land of limitless possibilities. “Indonesian people have lived together with many differences for a very long time,” says Mast. “I think that’s why Indonesians are friendly with people they’ve just met and with foreigners. For a photographer, that attitude is definitely an advantage. People in the countryside like to have their pictures taken. We just need to spend some time with them, and it becomes comfortable for us to shoot.” During Islamic holidays like Eid al-Fitr, a three-day holiday marking the end of Ramadan, the islands of the largest Muslim-majority country in the world especially come to life. “People leave Jakarta and other big cities to go back to their hometowns to visit family,” says Mast. “Taking pictures feels different, too. We see more people during prayer time, and during Eid people often pray outside instead of inside the mosques.” Watch our Instagram story now to learn about Eid al-Fitr traditions in Indonesia. Photo by mastirham
While having a visit in her mother’s garden in Austria, Nina Streit ( dreamingofmidsummer) spotted Moonie, her mom’s cat, crawling out of an abandoned birdhouse after a catnap. “I love the cat’s expression — so serious and self-assured,” says Nina. TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by dreamingofmidsummer
“Once upon a time I ran barefoot on these roads,” says St. Petersburg, Russia-based photographer Ivan Pavlukhin ( ivan_pavlukhin), who recently returned to his childhood home near Pskov. “Now I have grown, but these smells of fields, grass and flowers are still the same. It’s interesting to suddenly realize the difference between that barefoot child and an unshaven guy on a motorcycle. To be honest, I miss him.” TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by ivan_pavlukhin
James Kuan ( ohsnapjames) followed the sound of horns while visiting Kampenwand mountain in Germany and found these traditional Bavarian musicians. “One of my favorite styles in photography is blending different perspectives or genres together to create a unique fusion,” says James, who’s a student in Munich. “The inspiration for this was a blend of street photography and outdoor-landscape photography.” TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by ohsnapjames
During a celebration of Iceland’s National Day, photographer Annie Ling ( annielingphoto) captures the crowning of a select “Fjallkona,” or Lady of the Mountain — the female incarnation of Iceland. “Here in Iceland, women are naturally perceived as powerful and independent,” says Annie. TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by annielingphoto
Weekend Hashtag Project: WHP🌈 In many countries around the world, June is Pride Month. So, for the third year in a row, we’re celebrating with WHP🌈. The goal this weekend is to make photos and videos of people celebrating diversity, love and the LGBTQ community. Here’s how to get started: The rainbow is a symbol of LGBTQ pride and social movements. Seek out rainbows or create your own. Look for opportunities to make a Boomerang or a video at a pride parade or celebration. Whether you’re hanging out with friends or making new ones, ask them about what pride means to them and share their response in a caption to their portrait. PROJECT RULES: Please add the WHP🌈 hashtag only to photos and videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own visuals to the project. If you include music in your video submissions, please only use music to which you own the rights. Any tagged photo or video taken over the weekend is eligible to be featured next week. Featured photo by thealex_turner
Hello, world! It’s time to meet today’s WeeklyFluff: Timothy ( timothy_the_mini_pig), a house-trained piggy with an adorably squishy nose. 🐽 When he’s not eating, sleeping or playing with his human mama, Timothy likes learning new tricks — as long as they result in a treat, of course. Follow timothy_the_mini_pig to never miss a day in Timothy’s life.
Annie Flanagan’s ( annieflanagan) portraits are so intimate, so full of private moments and bared emotion, that you’re almost compelled to avert your gaze — but don’t. “Such a large part of the hate, confusion and judgement, gender-based or otherwise, stems from a lack of understanding,” says Annie, a New Orleans-based gender-neutral photographer and filmmaker. Currently, Annie’s working on a documentary project that introduces the genderqueer community to rural communities. “The more people can get to know each other, and the situations that are threatening or unfamiliar to them, the more they can identify with each other,” Annie says. “We all have so much to learn. Creating this intimate work can, in whatever small way, open up spaces for conversations and healing.” It’s June, and in many countries that means it’s time to celebrate Pride2017. All month long, we’ll be sharing stories from diverse LGBTQ community members from around the world, like Annie. Photo by annieflanagan
“I’ve been looking forward to this moment since I was a kid,” says Malik Monk ( ahmad_monk), a 19-year-old former shooting guard on the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team, who’s heading into today’s NBA draft as one of the most sought-after picks. Though he only spent a year at Kentucky, Malik helped his team advance well into the NCAA tournament — “I’m proud of how we made it to the Elite Eight with such a young team” — and is ready for the next level of challenges he’ll come up against in the NBA. “I’m really looking forward to the competition,” he says. “I’m going to be playing against the best players in the world.” 🏀 Head to ahmad_monk to follow along with Malik for the NBADraft. Photo by ahmad_monk
Some 13 year olds ask for bikes, later curfews or larger allowances; Brooklyn and Bailey McKnight ( brooklynandbailey) asked for their own online video channel. “We grew up on our mom’s channel,” say the Texas-based twins, who gained their ease in front of the camera by acting as hair models for their mother’s own hairstyle-focused video channel. “Viewers were asking about us all the time, so we really hoped for our channel to showcase our personalities and the more personal aspects of our lives.” Four years later, Brooklyn and Bailey post new videos every week, which is dedicated to “all things fun” — anything from beauty trend trial and errors to comedy sketches and songs. “We try to showcase the normal, day-to-day aspects of being teenagers,” they say, which includes thinking about college. What will become of the dynamic duo’s channel once they strike out on their own? “We still plan to film videos while at college. We’re both excited for those adventures, but nervous to be away from home for the first time!” This week, Brooklyn and Bailey are headed to VidCon, an annual celebration of videos and video creators. Photo by brooklynandbailey
Before she identifies as Canadian, photographer Nadya Kwandibens ( _anishinaabekwe) identifies as Anishinaabe. “I’m an Anishinaabe woman and an Anishinaabe artist,” she says. “In Canada, native people belong to different nations that are indigenous to this continent, which is known as Turtle Island. The Anishinaabe — which translates to ‘the people’ in our language — are just one of the many indigenous nations here.” Nadya lives on Anishinaabe land in northwestern Ontario, and her ancestors have called what is now Canada home for over 10,000 years. Nadya started Red Works Photography ( _redworks) to empower herself and other First Nations people through portraits, event photography and workshops. “By focusing on the strength and vibrancy that our people have, we’re changing that way that society sees indigenous people,” she says. “It’s important that my artistic practice shed light on the fact that indigenous stories have been largely silenced during most of Canada’s colonial history. But there is more willingness to make room for dialogue and collective understanding. I’m hopeful about our future.” NationalAboriginalDay Watch our Instagram story now to learn about First Nations culture and art with Nadya. This story is part of 🇨🇦❤️ , a new series celebrating people all across Canada. Photo by _redworks
“I love making people laugh,” says Ashley Helbert ( tiny_chikn). “I bought this hanging basket plant a few weeks ago at a local Tennessee nursery, and I instantly thought it looked like some kind of floating plant monster. I finally took it upon myself to give it googly eyes.” 👀 WHPstandout Photo by tiny_chikn
In the heat of the summer, “Cloudy sleeps closest to the AC,” says Chandan Bhola ( chandanbhola), who took this picture of his furry friend at home in Gurugram, India. Follow along to see more of our favorites from last weekend’s hashtag project, WHPstandout. Photo by chandanbhola
Three — that’s how many trainers Isabela Moner ( isabelamoner) had in the six weeks leading up to filming the transformersmovie, when the 15-year-old actress was getting in shape for her role as the independent Izabella. “I was doing cardio, boxing and resistance training,” says Isabela. “I had to build up stamina and endurance for the long days that little old me would be running alongside Mark Wahlberg.” Tough workouts and extraterrestrial bad guys aren’t even Isabela’s biggest challenges these days — it’s balancing school and acting. “My mom said I couldn’t continue acting if I didn’t keep my grades up,” says Isabela, who calls Cleveland home. “I usually fit in as much school as I can on set, but it’s hard to switch gears. You go from quadratic formulas to dramatic death scenes. It’s complicated, but also rewarding — I have such a sense of accomplishment in juggling both my career and my education.” Photo of isabelamoner by adamchristopherphoto
It was only six years ago that Sebastián Villalobos ( sebbbbas) first borrowed his mom’s camera to create his own videos and post them online. “Growing up, we didn’t have a computer at home,” he says, “so I had to go to a cybercafé and pay to go online!” At 21 years old, Sebastián is now one of the most popular video creators in his home country of Colombia, with millions of fans who follow his channel of comedy sketches and music videos. “I believe that part of the success is because I’m not unreachable,” he says. “I’m just a normal guy with a bunch of dreams.” This week, Sebastián is headed to VidCon, an annual celebration of video and video creators. Photo by sebbbbas
Starting today, we’re introducing the option to share a replay of your live video to Instagram Stories. Now, more of your friends and followers can catch up on what they missed. When your broadcast has ended, you’ll be able to tap “Share” at the bottom of the screen to add your replay to Instagram Stories for 24 hours. You can also tap the toggle and choose “Discard,” and your live video will disappear from the app as usual. When someone you follow shares a replay, you’ll see a play button under their profile photo in the stories bar. Tap it to watch the video and see comments and likes from the original broadcast. Since introducing live video in November, millions of people have used it to connect with friends and followers in an authentic way. Now, you can share these experiences with even more people. To learn more about today’s updates, check out help.instagram.com. These updates are available as part of Instagram version 10.26 for iOS in the Apple App Store and for Android in Google Play.
“Photography allows me to stay on the move, much like I did throughout my childhood and young adult years,” recounts photojournalist Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi ( dianazeynebalhindawi), who was born in Romania to an Iraqi father and Romanian mother. “Our family faced repeated harassment under the communist regime, but returning to Iraq was not an option for my father,” she says. “He would have been killed.” The family moved to Syria, then back to Romania, where they applied for asylum in Germany, but were rejected. “We ended up living in a refugee camp in former Yugoslavia, and were accepted for resettlement in Canada just before my 8th birthday,” says Diana. We were the perfect refugee family — my mother and father had professional degrees, and my brother and I were young enough to easily integrate into a new society and national identity.” Diana now divides her time between Brooklyn, New York, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “I started working in humanitarian aid because I wanted to help people in the types of situations my family went through,” she says. Four years ago, she decided to turn to a career in photography. “It lets me immerse myself in the lives of others, and to continue working with those experiencing some of the world’s harshest realities.” WhereIComeFrom June 20th marks WorldRefugeeDay, a day to honor the men, women and children who must flee their homes under threat of persecution and violence. Photo by dianazeynebalhindawi
When Rosanna Pansino ( rosannapansino) first moved to Los Angeles from her hometown of Seattle, she decided to start making online videos to get more comfortable in front of the camera. “One of my first videos was me making a Mario-themed cake,” she says. “After posting that, I began to get requests to make more themed treats.” And so, Nerdy Nummies, Rosanna’s weekly online baking show, was born. Baking has long held a special place in Rosanna’s heart — her grandmother taught her the art of mixing, pouring and measuring when she was growing up, and continued to be a family activity during holidays and special occasions. Even today, Rosanna’s family is behind the scenes of Nerdy Nummies. “My mom, dad and sister all moved to LA to help run the show,” she says. This year, Rosanna is heading back to VidCon, an annual celebration of video and video creators. “There are always two best parts of VidCon,” says Rosanna, “catching up with my friends and meeting my awesome viewers.” Photo by rosannapansino
“I wanted to be a singer since I was a child, but the hunger and drive for it escalated when I saw Lady Gaga perform on her Monster Ball Tour,” says 18-year-old artist Trevor Moran ( trevormoran), who has since gone on to record two EPs and garner a following of loyal online fans. “The proudest moments of my career are when my fans tell me I inspire them to be their authentic selves,” says Trevor, who believes KindComments are all about love, respect and, of course, kindness. “The most memorable kind comments I’ve ever received were the ones I got the day I came out online,” says Trevor. “People all over the world were showing me great acceptance. It brought tears to my eyes.” It’s June, and in many countries that means it’s time to celebrate Pride2017. Join the celebration by adding your own KindComments that uplift you and others in the LGBTQ community.
Playing the inclusive, supportive character of Mae Valentine on Nickelodeon’s “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn” isn’t much of a stretch for 13-year-old actress Kyla-Drew Simmons ( kyladrewatla). “I try to congratulate, acknowledge and praise as many people as possible,” she says. “My favorite emoji is two high-fives!” Growing up in Atlanta, Kyla-Drew relocated to Los Angeles to pursue acting at age 8. “Every day, I remind myself to stay focused and keep a positive attitude. That’s the only way to keep moving forward.” Watch our Instagram story now to hear more KindComments — empowering comments that uplift you and others in the community.
Actor Corey Fogelmanis ( coreyfogelmanis) has been performing since he was 6 years old, but it was around age 10 that it all really clicked. “I knew then that I wanted acting to be more than just a hobby,” says the 17-year-old California native, who’s spent the past decade performing onstage and on TV. Each setting brings its own set of rewards and challenges, but after working on a sitcom for the last three years, Corey is excited to take his acting chops back to the theater. “I love the intimacy of it, and that the audience and cast alike can experience something together that’s unique to a moment in time,” he says. “When it’s over, it’s over; it can only live on in our memories.” As someone who’s spent much of his life in the spotlight, Corey is no stranger to the power of KindComments. “To me, it’s about people going out of their way to spread positivity and build others up,” he says. Join in by sharing your KindComments — empowering comments that uplift you and others in the community.
The only mystery behind the popularity of Mike Chau’s ( foodbabyny) pictures is why no one came up with the simple equation — food + babies — sooner. So, what inspired Mike to pose his son, Matt, and his daughter, Samantha, with delicious-looking foods around New York City? Mike’s answer is simple: boredom. “Right after Matt was born, we didn’t go out very often,” says Mike. “We ordered a lot of takeout and ate at home. I was taking pictures, but it was getting boring. Same photos of Matt, same foods. Then I thought it would be fun to combine them. I figured if there was a shot of food with a cute kid behind it, it might be more interesting.” Judging by the response — Mike and his family are often recognized on the street by well-wishers — he was right. But the best part? The family time. “It’s just great that we can do this together, as a family, because we all love it.” Watch our Instagram story now to eat some tasty treats with Mike and his family this FathersDay. Photo by foodbabyny
Lucie the sheepdog gets far too hot in the Midwestern summers, so her human, Amy Powell ( amy.lynn.powell), brought home a kiddie pool for her to cool down in. “Lucie went ballistic with excitement, jumping and biting at the water,” says Amy. “Then she ruined my flower beds by rolling around in them. I had to give her a bath after that.” TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by amy.lynn.powell
In Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world, the June nights are long. “The moon shines double the time of the sun,” says Gisela Gomila ( giselagc_), who lives at the foot of the Andes Mountains with her husband and two children. “Some call Ushuaia the end of the world, but it’s the beginning of everything.” TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by giselagc_
As the dad of four children ranging in age from 15 to 5, photographer Rob Yaskovic ( robyaskovic) enjoys untold opportunities for capturing informal family portraits — with “enjoys” being the operative word. “Every day, I’m taking photos,” Rob says. “Every day, I’m thinking about photos, and my children end up in my pictures because I’m around them so often. When you have four kids with crazy schedules, that’s your life. Fortunately for me, it also happens to be pretty exciting.” At 38 years old, Rob has been a working photographer — five years at a New Jersey newspaper, then freelancing for magazines, shooting weddings and other gigs — for almost half his life. Explaining his passion for the craft of picture-taking, Rob cites another longtime pastime that has given him pleasure through the years: fly fishing. “It’s about the decisive moment. When you’re trout fishing, drifting a dry fly, you hold your breath, waiting for the strike. It’s like that with photography, too. It’s about eternal hope. You’re always hoping something amazing is going to happen on the river, or in front of your camera. And sometimes, if you’re lucky, it does.” Photos by robyaskovic
The clashing colors, patterns and fabrics you see in Alexander Hernández’s ( hernalex_art) work are no accident — they represent the patchwork of the artist himself. “I like to mix different things together because that’s kind of my identity,” says the San Francisco-based textile artist and social worker. “I’m Mexican, but I also grew up with American pop culture. So, I’ve always been interested in edgy patchworks, in mixing patterns that shouldn’t work together, but do.” The metaphor extends to how Alexander hopes Pride celebrations continue to grow in acceptance of everyone’s patterns of identity. “We might not all see eye to eye,” says Alexander, “but being aware and supportive of each other is a start.” It’s June, and in many countries that means it’s time to celebrate Pride2017. All month long, we’ll be sharing stories from diverse LGBTQ community members from around the world, like Alexander. Watch our Instagram story now for a look inside Alexander’s studio. Photo by hernalex_art
Nastaran Farjadpezeshk ( nastaran__fp) is inspired by the simplicity of life outside of the city of Mashhad, Iran. “Whenever I get tired of the city, I take refuge in the suburbs,” she says. “It’s a new and different form of life.” TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by nastaran__fp
We’re sliding into the weekend with this BoomerangOfTheWeek by Christa Milster ( christamilster), captured at her family’s cabin in northern Michigan. “We used to play on this slide all the time when I was a little girl,” says Christa. “I had completely forgotten about it and then one day, I was in the barn and saw it collecting dust in the corner. I thought we should bring it down to the beach to see if it was still as fun as an adult. And it was!” Add BoomerangOfTheWeek to your next Boomerang’s caption — yours might show up here on instagram. Boomerang by christamilster
Weekend Hashtag Project: WHPstandout This weekend, the goal is to create photos and videos that capture one or several surprising elements — like this image by Ali Kate Cherkis ( cherkis). Here are some tips to get you started: Look for unexpected additions to a scene. Is there a child’s face peeking out from behind the couch during a family photo shoot? An animal standing in an urban setting where there typically isn’t one? Let your mantra be, “One of these things is not like the others.” Glance at your surroundings. What immediately catches your eye? Let yourself be drawn naturally to colors, shapes and movements, and then work those into your photos, videos or Boomerangs. Think of someone in your life whose personality stands out from the crowd. How can you capture that spirit or ethos in a photograph? PROJECT RULES: Please add the WHPstandout hashtag only to photos and videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own visuals to the project. If you include music in your video submissions, please only use music to which you own the rights. Any tagged photo or video taken over the weekend is eligible to be featured next week. Featured photo by cherkis
There’s no rule that kids’ birthday parties have to be splashed with cartoon characters, primary-colored balloons and superheroes, say business partners and mom-friends Gabriella Toscan and Dorothée Monestier. In fact, they prefer a more sophisticated, design-forward aesthetic, which is why the owners of Paris-based My Little Day ( mylittleday) offer party supplies and decorations with both children and grownups in mind. “This is a different way of considering kids,” says Gabriella. “It’s more about bringing them into the parents’ lives with things that are cool and fun.” Gabriella and Dorothée began forming this philosophy before they became parents themselves. During college, the two dressed up as princesses and pirates to entertain at children’s parties, and before long drew up plans for activities, decorations and themes that were chic and a hit with the little ones. Nowadays, My Little Day has enough party designs and themes to fill up several childhoods, while the mission has remained the same. “The first idea we had — which was to help other moms entertain — is still there,” says Gabriella. Watch our Instagram story now to learn how to throw the perfect summer party with My Little Day. Photo by mylittleday
There are two things 19-year-old trans model Ariel Moura ( mourariel) doesn’t leave home without: authenticity and self-love. “We learn something new every day, but a lesson that I take with me wherever I go is to be myself,” she says. Born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Ariel believes that cultivating high self-esteem and maintaining the right friendships were two key factors during her earlier teen years. “I have always been very sure of myself, and the self-confidence that I exuded worked as a shield. I also always had friends, who are still my friends today, who made that awful high school period very enjoyable.” With a routine of castings, photo essays and catwalks, Ariel sets aside a few minutes each day to take photos of her looks and styles. “I would define my style as high-low. I love mixing vintage pieces that I pick out at thrift stores with modern finds from fast-fashion stores.” It’s June, and in many countries that means it’s time to celebrate Pride2017. All month long, we’ll be sharing stories from diverse LGBTQ community members from around the world, like Ariel. Discover more stories from Brazil on instagrambrasil. Photo by mourariel
It worked out that 17-year-old fashion designer Shami Oshun ( bluexheeta) didn’t decide to go to prom until the week before — after all, she only needed one night to hand-sew her own gown. “I’m kind of a last-minute person. That’s where all my best ideas come from,” says the Hayward, California, native, who’s been sewing since she was 8 and now runs her own clothing line, shamioshun. Shami credits her design success with letting her ideas flow, so that’s just what she did. The day before prom, she bought a few yards of purple tulle, grabbed some pins and her dress form, and got to work, putting the finishing touches on just before her friends came over to get ready. While Shami had no expectations that her dress would be as much of a hit as it was, she hopes young designers will follow her lead and make events like prom their own fashion runway. “If I make a fancy dress, what am I going to do with it? Just take pictures?” says Shami. “Take advantage of nights like prom — do what you love and show off your skills.” Photo by bluexheeta
Though she turned her own tassel last year, college graduate Kim Haskins ( kimscustomcaps) has been looking forward to the 2017 graduation season. Since high school, the California native has been helping friends add creative flare to their graduation caps, and now, Kim accepts orders from across the country. “I like talking to graduates and getting their vision of what they want on their caps, because they tend to go for designs that represent who they are or their struggle,” she says. Requests run the gamut from beloved childhood symbols to over-the-top trends like beaded curtains and flower crowns, but Kim feels a special connection with first-generation graduates. “When I sat in front of my cap and actually started thinking about what I wanted on it, I was like, I have to thank my parents. They worked their whole lives to send my brother and me to college. People who are dreaming big, they’ve dreamt of this since they were little, so they want to reflect that on their cap.” Photo of kimscustomcaps by bianca_orozco
Photographer Annie Tritt ( transcendingself) has her EyesOn the journey of transgender youth around the world. “The project started with an idea of authenticity, of what it means to be yourself,” says the New York-based photographer, who takes portraits of transgender children for her series titled “Transcending Self.” “The dynamics that young people experience vary a lot depending on where they live and who their parents are. The only commonality is that the kids who are happy are the ones who are embraced for fully being themselves.” Now three years in the making, Annie didn’t originally intend to dedicate so much time and effort to the project, but the outpouring of support convinced her to continue. “I get messages every time I post something about how ‘Transcending Self’ has changed someone’s life,” says Annie, “from the young trans man who did not see himself reflected in the media, to a 28-year-old who did not think his life was worth living anymore, to a mom who reconnected with her trans child. It’s a project that saves lives. Now that I know that, I can’t stop.” It’s June, and in many countries that means it’s time to celebrate Pride2017. All month long, we’ll be sharing stories from diverse LGBTQ community members from around the world. Photo by trittscamera
Hello, world! It’s time to meet today’s WeeklyFluff: Malt ( apy.m), a big-eyed, sleek-haired Singapura cat who lives in Japan. Malt enjoys head scratches, ear cleanings and carrying a stuffed rabbit toy from room to room. Follow apy.m to keep up with Malt’s day-to-day adventures at home.
“Every day I have to ask myself, ‘Am I ready to get harassed today?’” says Alok Vaid-Menon ( alokvmenon), a gender-nonconforming writer and performance artist based in New York City. “When I’m walking down the street, everyone knows I’m queer. I visibly defy what it means to be a man or a woman.” Raised in a conservative town in Texas, Alok soon realized that a refusal to choose one category to fit into meant being ostracized not only by mainstream society, but also from within the LGBTQ community. “I’ve had so many people tell me, ‘Maybe if you just took hormones or tried to look more like a woman, you wouldn’t experience so much violence,’” says Alok. “But I shouldn’t have to change what I look like to be safe.” Traveling the world as an educator and poet, Alok remains playful and upbeat, indulging in a love for fashion by taking selfies stripped down to sports bras or dolled up in frilly gowns. “I could try to disappear, to dress like a boy or a girl,” says Alok, “but this is about creating a world where when people are different, we say, ‘That’s awesome. Thank you for showing me a different way of living.’” It’s June, and in many countries that means it’s time to celebrate Pride2017. All month long, we’ll be sharing stories from diverse LGBTQ community members from around the world, like Alok. Watch our Instagram story now to join Alok for a day leading up to a performance. Photo of alokvmenon by elif___kucuk
Summer break is in full swing for Sakura (the human) and MoMo (the French bulldog), whose mother Kyoko Mumm ( mummslove) took a picture of them one morning while they watched TV. “They can be the worst enemies — and the best friends,” she says. WHPfriendship Photo by mummslove
Diving in the blue waters off the coast of Spain’s Balearic Islands, Andrés Navarro Blanco ( andresnb77) spotted a pair of swimming friends. “These two fish always stayed together,” he says. “I saw them and I instantly thought about friendship.” WHPfriendship Photo by andresnb77
Two young friends hug goodbye during their last playdate before a move. “I expected some tears,” says Mel Karlberg ( melkarlbergphotography), one the girls’ mother. “But they were smiling and laughing the entire time — just enjoying the friendship, living in that moment and not focusing on any sadness.” Follow along to see more of our favorites from last weekend’s hashtag project, WHPfriendship. Photo by melkarlbergphotography
The rainbow hues favored by Canadian photographer Laurence Philomène ( laurencephilomene) are vibrant — think lipstick-red, banana-yellow and bubblegum-pink — but the most radiant part of the photographs isn’t the colors. It’s the models themselves, who are Laurence’s friends, biggest inspirations and fellow gender nonconformists. “People who are unapologetic about who they are and who are willing to put themselves out there inspire me, because that’s really scary to me,” says Laurence, a 24-year-old Montreal native. Gender nonconformists, who don’t behave and appear in their expected gender roles, can receive stares. In Laurence’s photos, they stare right back — boldly, playfully, joyfully. “A lot of my work is about showing people as they are,” says Laurence. “I’m not interested in trying to create an illusion of some perfect beauty. I just want to make people happy and make them feel validated. Doing that work makes me feel validated, too.” It’s June, and in many countries that means it’s time to celebrate Pride2017. All month long, we’ll be sharing stories from diverse LGBTQ community members from around the world, like Laurence. Photo by laurencephilomene
While dreaming up designs for their brightly colored, sporty-chic clothing line Maison Château Rouge ( maisonchateaurouge), co-founders Mehdi Bathily and Youssouf Fofana don’t have to look far for ideas. “Our inspiration is our moms, aunts and women in our families who used to wear African prints — and the modern Parisian woman with sport-style clothes,” says Mehdi, who started the Parisian brand that, after exploding in popularity online, has since expanded into a storefront in Paris’ 18th arrondissement. Growing up in France, they both had African-born parents who went to great lengths to preserve their heritage. Now, Mehdi, 29, and Youssouf, 28, blend their African and French cultures, integrating bright colors and bold, chunky motifs into the classic, elegant silhouettes Parisian fashion has long been known for. “For a long time, the trend was classic black and white with a basic cut,” says Mehdi. “Now, people want to buy happy, bright colors.” Watch our Instagram story now to explore the Parisian neighborhood that inspires Maison Château Rouge’s styles. Photo of maisonchateaurouge by ojoz
Today we’re introducing Archive, a new feature that lets you move posts you’ve previously shared into a space that’s visible only to you. Your profile is a representation of who you are and evolves with you over time. With Archive, you now have more flexibility to shape your profile while still preserving moments that matter. To archive a post you’ve already shared, tap “...” at the top of the post and choose “Archive.” You’ll still be able to see it when you tap the Archive icon in the top right corner of your profile. That way, you can always return to these posts and see previous likes and comments from friends. If you change your mind about a post you’ve archived, tap “Show on Profile” at any time and it’ll show up in its original spot. With this update, you now have a space just for you, where you can revisit moments without having to keep them all on your profile. To learn more about Archive, check out help.instagram.com. These updates are available as part of Instagram version 10.21 and above for iOS in the Apple App Store and for Android in Google Play. Video by yelldesign