With only seven months of modeling experience, Vivian Eyo-Ephraim has the internet buzzing. As part of a campaign to help promote ASOS 2018 swimwear collection for plus-sized girls, the 20 year old University of East London student posed in a bright yellow bikini for the advertisement

What happened next was nothing short of a dream as social media users from all over the world praised ASOS and Ephraim for positively representing plus-sized women. “I had no idea it would go viral,” she told Refinery29. “But I’m so grateful and excited that so many people all over the world are supporting me.” At 5 feet and 9 inches tall and wearing a size 14 (18 in the UK), Ephraim is living proof that beauty is not determined by size. The outburst of praise she’s received for her brown eyes, black skin, Nigerian accent, 37 inch waist and 49 inch hips is proof that representation matters. Within a matter of months, plus-sized model, actress and everyday woman Vivian Eyo-Ephraim is changing the face of beauty.

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At only 34 years old, comedian, actor, writer and producer Trevor Noah has changed the face of comedy. A native of Johannesburg, South Africa and born to a black Xhosa mother and a German-Swiss white father during 1984, the height of the apartheid, his childhood was no laughing matter. Ironically, that’s exactly what he jokes about. Noah’s biracial identity combined with growing up in an illegal family allows him to cross racial, cultural, political and social lines with real life experience.

“I inherited my sense of humor from my mom,” he told Time Magazine, “the ability to laugh in the face of danger, to mock it.” Nevertheless, his mockery, though funny, leaves his fans with lingering thoughts and questions about why issues like racial division and social equality even exist. Intertwining his comedy with social justice commentary, Noah’s humor keeps the world laughing while exposing their convictions as well.  Whether he’s joking about his own upbringing, colonization, siri or speaking in German, Noah uses humor to talk about some of the world’s most destructive wrongs.

Despite growing up in an environment that valued censorship more than humor, Noah’s observant nature and sarcastic comments helped build the foundation for his career in comedy. “I was in first grade, [and] I remember making a joke about the principal at the time and the manner in which he administered corporal punishment,” he told The San Diego Union Tribune.“There was something funny about the way he did it. I said something and the rest of the class laughed very hard,” he concluded, admitting the situation made him feel like a comic genius. But it wasn’t until his mid to late twenties that his comedy career really took off after his friends dared him to share some of his jokes on stage. In fact, it wasn’t until he met English comedian Eddie Izzard in a comedy club that Noah really began to hone his craft.

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Located just minutes from some of Atlanta’s hottest tourist spots, Atlanta Breakfast Club (“ABC”) is a perfect pit stop. The restaurant, designed like an urban diner, smells of home cooked Southern comfort food as soon as you walk through the front door. The letters “ABC,” an acronym of the restaurant’s actual name, sitting atop an old brown piano feels like a homage to Michael Jackson’s Motown hit. It doesn’t take long to realize that this is a place to sit back, relax and enjoy good company and of course, good food.

Co-owners Anthony Sanders, who is also the chef, and O. Osiris Ballard, the business manager, bring the concept to life.

“I’m good food and he’s company,” Sanders told Atlanta Magazine and with more than 20 years of restaurant experience, you can expect for your taste buds to be amazed. Ballard keeps the business part of Atlanta Breakfast Club together. Combining their work experience and love for food, they’ve worked to make ABC the premier breakfast and brunch spot in downtown Atlanta. “We wanted to be in a diverse enough area where we see all types of people” Sanders continued. Nestled in between the World of Coca Cola, the Georgia Aquarium, the Children’s Museum of Atlanta and the Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta Breakfast Club attracts everyone from those born and raised in the city, to metro-Atlanta residents to tourists. But the location isn’t the only thing that keeps ABC thriving. The real showstopper is the food.

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Thirty-five years after having his shop closed for illegal use of luxury brand materials, Daniel Day better known as ‘Dapper Dan,’ Harlem’s hip-hop tailor, has partnered with Gucci and opened Harlem’s first luxury brand boutique.

“[It’s] a sign of the times,” he tweeted as he went on to explain that his new shop will feature made-to-order garments specifically designed for his clients’ unique tastes. But the new shop is more than a sign of the times - it’s a sign of evolution for ‘Dapper Dan,’ as Day is affectionately called— and for Gucci. It’s a shift from traditional expectations of luxury brands and a shift from the man Dapper Dan used to be. But one thing has remained the same: stylist and fashion designer Dapper Dan - then and now - has always been about bringing luxury to the streets.

Born and raised in Harlem, Day’s “eye for style” has always been influenced by a mix of of street life and a love of classic, wealthy attire. Despite being drawn to hustling, shoplifting and gambling as a teenager, Day’s love for a pair of sophisticated shoes from a local Goodwill, helped plant the seed of style in his heart.

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Weeks before graduating with a masters in painting from Maryland Institute College of Art, Amy Sherald was told her heart was only functioning at 18%. But cardiomyopathy (a rare heart disease) didn’t stop her from painting. So she carried on, painting day and night while she waited tables five days a week to pay for treatment. That is, until a routine stop at Rite Aid for art supplies almost turned deadly. What seemed like an ordinary heart flutter caused Sherald to blackout in the aisle only to wake up in a pool of blood underneath her head. But even as she was rushed to John Hopkins Hospital in an ambulance, she held on to her dream. “I’m not going to be afraid, it’s all going to be okay,” she told herself. Even as her heart dropped to 5% functionality, she wanted to paint. But overcoming the heart transplant wasn’t so easy. Due to physical ailments and the depressing side-effects of the medication, she could not paint for a year. “I told my friends, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore.’ It felt stupid and selfish,” she explained in an interview with the Baltimore Sun. But as the effect of the anti-rejection heart transplant meds lessened, Sherald reconnected herself with her six-year old inner child that dreamed of becoming a painter.

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Decades before he was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, he was just  another working-class British Pakistani man. Years before he became the first male actor of South Asian and Muslim descent to win an Emmy, he was just another brown face in the entertainment industry. Weeks before he won the SAG award for best male actor in a miniseries, his father told him it wasn’t too late to become an investment banker. But time and time again Rizwan “Riz” Ahmed, has exceeded expectations. He’s no longer the frightful teenager that had knives held at his throat because of the color of his skin. Today, he’s a cultural icon, influencing the world for the better. In fact, when he’s not in front of the camera breaking through Hollywood’s not-so-diverse glass ceiling, he’s either rapping about social justice issues or encouraging activism and philanthropy. One thing is certain. Regardless of the stereotypes he’s been subjected to Wembley, London born actor, rapper and activist Riz Ahmed has the Midas Touch.

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