We Went to Instagram’s First-Ever Prom & It Had the Best Theme: Kindness
Bullying isn’t rare; it’s something that many, including your favorite celebrities, have been forced to endure. And it’s not something that’s purely physical or necessarily needs to happen in person — nowadays, seemingly more often than not, bullies attack from behind a screen, whether it’s via their phones or computers. Stars such as Selena Gomez and Kylie Jenner know that all too well.
Thankfully, there’s at least one social media platform that does NOT tolerate bullying: Instagram. So much so, the photo- and video-sharing service recently launched a new filter to hide such attacks on its platform. “Starting today, Instagram will filter bullying comments intended to harass or upset people in our community,” CEO & Co-Founder of Instagram Kevin Systrom said in a statement on May 1. “To be clear: we don’t tolerate bullying on Instagram. Our Community Guidelines have always prohibited bullying on our platform, and I’m proud to announce this next step in our ongoing commitment to keeping Instagram an inclusive, supportive place for all voices.”
“We also believe in promoting kindness — encouraging our community to support one another both on and off Instagram,” he continued. “On Saturday we will host a Kindness Prom to celebrate people on our platform who are spreading positivity. These young leaders are inspiring their peers by helping kindness, acceptance and support grow on Instagram and in the world.”
And Kevin kept to his word. On Saturday, May 5, Instagram hosted its first-ever prom, and the theme was, indeed, kindness. The platform teamed up with Kindness.org to deliver an event like no other. (We should know — we were there for all of the action!)
No matter which way you looked — on the walls, at the mirrors, etc. — positivity was spread throughout the Los Angeles venue:
There was even an archway of balloons dubbed a Bully-Free Zone:
So, who had the privilege of attending this prom exactly? Oh, about 250 of the COOLEST TEENS EVER. Many of ’em were some of the biggest influencers on social media, like Loren Gray and Zach Clayton, while others are famous TV stars from networks such as Nickelodeon and Disney Channel. But there were a whole bunch of other awesome teens who were invited because they proved themselves to be kind. How amazing is that?!
“24 hrs in LA for @instagram #KindnessProm was unforgettable ?,” wrote Haile Thomas, the 17-year-old founder of The HAPPY Organization, which empowers youth to enjoy fruits & veggies through fun nutrition/culinary education. “I am so happy I got to celebrate kindness and IG’s new safety/anti-bullying features while dancing and having the best time with my friends ? Thank you @instagram for having us & for truly caring about the experience young people have on this platform & taking action to ensure it is a positive one!”
As you can tell, there were a lot of perks… but we think one of our favorites has to be when Charlie Puth arrived for a surprise performance of “Attention” and his newest track, “The Way I Am.”
I just pulled up to a prom and played The Way I Am and Attn. ??
— Charlie Puth (@charlieputh) May 6, 2018
Okay, enough about OUR experience at the event, let’s take a look at some of your favorites who were actually in attendance. Some of ’em experienced prom for the first time, some of ’em experienced it for the last. Whatever the case, they all looked like they had the time of their lives: