+

Miranda Barnes didn't have to look far to find the inspiration for her heartwarming photography project.

In her collection, "Doubles," the 22-year-old photographer from Brooklyn captures the indelible sisterhood of black female twins, glowing with joy and affection for one another.

Photo by Miranda Barnes, used with permission.


Her grandmother was a twin and passed away in 2009. The family only has a few photos of the twins together, so Barnes pursued this project as a way to reconnect with her family history and celebrate the kinship among black women — sisters by blood or shared experience.

"When we talk about black women being celebrated for being caring and loving, it's always in a mothering way but never in a sisterhood way," she says.

Barnes' grandmother, Joyce, (left) with her twin, Jean, in 1978.

But finding black twins to photograph wasn't easy.

When the project began, she didn't know any sets of black girl twins. She met her first pair of twins through a mutual friend and a few more through chance encounters that can only be described as fate. Once, Barnes saw a mom and her twin daughters on the subway.

"She was a tired mom with two kids, and I was like, 'This is going to sound so weird,'" Barnes says with a laugh. "But she let me into her home, and we've remained friends. ... It's funny to see how I met a lot of these people."

Photo by Miranda Barnes, used with permission.

Now, with the project generating so much buzz, twins are approaching her, making the scouting process easier. She even considered expanding the project to include male twins, but after a few shoots, she just wasn't feeing the same connection to her work. For now, she's focusing her attention on women and girls.

Photo by Miranda Barnes, used with permission.

Barnes hopes her series exudes the joy and warmth she sees in black women each day.

Too often, the media represents black women with stereotypes and tired tropes of the angry black woman or the mamie-like matriarch. Shows like "Living Single" and "Girlfriends" have long been cancelled. Reality programs like "Real Housewives of Atlanta" and "Love and Hip-Hop" focus more on backstabbing and fights than genuine relationships.

Photo by Miranda Barnes, used with permission.

Undoing generations of stereotypes to celebrate black womanhood, friendship, and sisterhood is no easy task, but it's vital work.

"I don't think my photos can change that, but I do like to show a different side of black women that deserves to be shown," Barnes says.

Photo by Miranda Barnes, used with permission.

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