+

Linda Hansen got her start doing commercial photography in Denmark. But she knew she wanted to use her camera for more than just selling products.

After experimenting with a few different projects (she once traveled the country photographing and interviewing other women named Linda Hansen!), it was a conversation with an old friend that sparked what would become her most important work to date.

Hansen's friend, a woman she had known since childhood, had a unique and distinctive birthmark on her face (called nevus flammeus nuchae or sometimes a "port wine stain"). They'd often talk about how people reacted seeing her on the street and some of the strange (and mean) comments she'd get.


"I got the idea that I have to take photos. I have to meet and talk with these people," Hansen says.

Hansen began searching for more people like her friend for a series of portraits. Surprisingly, they were incredibly easy to find.

A casual casting call on Facebook got shared hundreds of times. Hansen started noticing people on the street who might fit the bill. Friends and acquaintances connected her with potential models.

Seemingly everyone knew someone with a birthmark they'd be proud to contribute to her project. (According to WebMD, about 1 in 300 babies are born with some form of the condition).

All photos by Linda Hansen, used with permission.

In her portraits, Hansen aims to challenge how we all see and treat each other. And ourselves.

One of the models, a man, was extremely nervous. He had only let people photograph him from his "good side" for as long as he could remember. And only in black and white.

A head-on, color portrait filled him with dread. But he pushed through.

"I was really surprised what people can say to each other. [The models] get a lot of rude comments," Hansen says. "Sauce face, pizza face." And that's not the worst of it.

She says doesn't understand how we can celebrate the beautiful uniqueness of, say, tattoos but look away from nature's own marks.

In her photos, Hansen challenges us to not look away. To not stare or sneak a glance. But to truly see and eventually see past the things that make us different.

"When we know each other well, the way we look isn't important anymore," she says. "So much worry about how we look, for who? For people we don't know."

She says society tells us we all need to be alike. Photoshopped models and celebrities convey the message "No wrinkles, no scars, no spots, no nothing," Hansen says.

"We all have our small differences, and that's what makes us human and unique."

All in all, Hansen took 32 portraits and compiled them into a book, called "Naevus Flammeus."

She's hoping the portraits, along with notes on the history of birthmarks and discussion of how (and, more importantly if) they should be treated, will make us all more aware of what makes us different; whether it's a birthmark, a scar, a set of wrinkles, or even something unseen by the naked eye altogether.

Because what makes us different is ultimately what makes us human.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

Keep ReadingShow less

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

Keep ReadingShow less