Creators Challenging the Status Quo

August 11, 2021

After a year that challenged everything we thought was normal and possible, a new campaign from Instagram denounces “going back to normal” because normal was never good enough. It’s a rallying cry of progress, optimism, and reinvention as we look back on this past year, empowering people with the message that “Who We Become is Yours to Make”.

Photographer @Bella_Newman shot culture-defining creators for a collection of portraits inspired by their own stories. Instagram will unveil these portraits in culturally and contextually relevant locations, sparking conversation across the country to inspire the next generation to explore for themselves and decide who they will be.

Featured Creators:

High school students:

A collective of fresh graduates that represent the next wave of students, artists and citizens will be displayed at Madison Square Garden in New York City and LA Live in Downtown Los Angeles.

High school students sitting on staircase

@Celestial_Investments, (Emily Barker, they/them)

Emily is fighting for a world that is livable and inclusive for people with disabilities. Her declaration about social justice will be displayed across from government buildings in Washington, DC, where policy is shaped.

@QueerBrownVegan, (Isaias Hernandez, he/they)

Isaias is an Environmental Educator, who is urging that collective efforts can lead to a larger impact for a sustainable world. His movement is displayed at Downtown San Francisco’s 4th/King Train Station, a major transportation hub for the San Francisco Bay Area.

@FatsDaBarber, (Aaron Turk, he/him)

Aaron is an internet personality and comedian barber who is sharing his relatable humor on the historic Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles.

@Nadirah.P, (Nadirah Pierre, she/her)

Nadirah is a Muslim comedian that represents a new generation of comedians. Her distinctive comedy is displayed in Kansas City, a city with a growing population of Muslims.

@Virghoe_xoxo, (Amanda Quach, she/her)

Amanda is a body-positive creator. See her distinctive, stylish flare in one of the biggest shopping areas in the country, Fifth Avenue in New York City.

@DeeAlvarado, (Diana Yesenia Alvarado, she/her)

Diana is an artist whose one-of-a-kind sculpture work is injected with childhood memories of growing up in a LatinX neighborhood. Her display is seen in Downtown Chicago, an area with a large Hispanic population.

@BlackSand.Surf, (Gage M. Crismond, Tre'lan Michael, Brick - all he/him)

Black Sand Surf is changing the world’s perception of what a surfer should look like by fostering a community that is inclusive of all humans. See them displayed at the epicenter of surf culture in Huntington Beach, CA, near Los Angeles.

@Alpha.Trans, (Mack Beggs, he/him)

Mack, a prominent trans-wrestler, is using his platform to be an ally and celebrate all people. He will take over billboards throughout downtown Atlanta, home to some of the most important conversations around trans athletes rights.

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