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“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
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As seen through a puddle, cobblestones and nearby apartments became #WHPstandout material to Alek Malachowski (@hashtagalek). “I like how the reflection of the building disturbs the structure of the pavement,” says Alek. Photo by @hashtagalek
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
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
“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
A burst of bright yellow shines from Hong Kong’s monochromatic skyline. Follow along to see more of our favorites from last weekend’s hashtag project, #WHPstandout. Photo by @ryanmamba
“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.
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.
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_
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
In the lush greenery of Taiwan’s Yangmingshan National Park, Vivian Huang (@vivianhaung) stops to smell the hydrangeas. “The light coming down from between the clouds made these flowers even more dazzling,” she says. #TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by @vivianhaung
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
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