When Miki Agrawal and her husband climbed to the top of a mountain in Santa Barbara in early 2020 – just at the beginning of quarantine – both of them stood in awe at the mile-long power lines stretched across the rolling mountains. Agrawal found herself saying, “Man, humans are fucking awesome,” as she marvelled at the height and magnitude of the telecommunication towers and the tremendous capabilities of human beings.
This realisation prompted Agrawal to start @humansarefuckinawesome (HAFA), an Instagram account that recognises “awesome humans” and their many incredible achievements.
Miki Agrawal, social entrepreneur
You may recognise Agrawal as the founder of farm-to-table pizzeria, WILD, menstruation game-changing underwear, THINX, and her latest venture, TUSHY, which markets bidets to the millennial crowd. A social entrepreneur who’s constantly challenging the status quo, Agrawal’s latest project, HAFA, aims to spread positive energy at a time when people need it most.
During COVID-19, when everyone was so isolated and scared of each other, it was just nice to have this practice of thinking about how awesome humans are.
So who qualifies as a ‘f*cking awesome human’? Basically, everyday people from all walks of life. It could be a yoga instructor who teaches female athletes how to take care of their bodies, an environmentally-aware entrepreneur who’s channelled her love for nature to her company philosophy, a podcaster who focuses on mental health and wellness, or simply a person that inspires others to live life to the fullest.
Besides posting awesome humans on their Instagram feed, HAFA also produces a weekly video series called ‘Good F*cking News’, which includes short and sweet feel-good news from around the world.
HAFA also plays a big part in supporting social movements. During the George Floyd protest movement, HAFA diverged from its usual content to demonstrate the team’s solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement. And following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the account also dedicated a special post to commemorate the life-long legacy of the late Supreme Court justice.
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HAFA is currently run by a team of around 12 volunteers from all over the world. Earlier this year, “I just posted an Instagram story saying that I had an idea for this art project about spreading awesomeness not germs, and asked if anyone wanted to join?” says Agrawal. Forty people responded to her call to action.
Today, the team works together in collecting inspirational stories and designing the colourful collages. Made in bright shades of red, blue, green and yellow, each collage features a retro font and colourful design to contrast against the black-and-white photos of the awesome humans.
Since its conception in May, HAFA has already gained more than 2,500 followers. But popularity was never its priority; right now, the team is focusing on everyday stories as the backbone of the account while also spreading its influence organically. The art project is not for profit, with the simple mission of bringing joy.
Sometimes it’s just nice to create something because it’s nice to create.
“HAFA is not just about celebrating fucking awesome people,” said Alexandra Zenner, a member of the HAFA team. “It’s also about celebrating people’s struggles and how people got through it, and trying to inspire people to do their best every day. ”
Nominate an awesome human
HAFA welcomes nominations for “awesome humans” from anywhere in the world. Know someone who fits the bill? Why not nominate someone today?