Protests, penthouses and pandemic life – these are Insider’s best photos of 2021

A scene from a demonstration at Netflix, a portrait of Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, and a portrait of activist Tianna Arata.Elizabeth Viggiano for Insider; Crystal Cox / Insider; Bethany Mollenkof for Insider

  • In 2021, the world has entered uncharted waters politically, economically and socially.

  • Insider has captured events across the globe and brought amazing and challenging stories to light.

  • Check out some of the best photographs we’ve captured and commissioned that show the ups and downs of 2021.


The revelers returned to a queer club after 15 months of confinement.

Colorful dancers partying at the Q in New York City

The Q in New York.Minu Han for insider

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Photos have revealed how New Yorkers kept the romance alive until the first Valentine’s Day pandemic.

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A couple taking a selfie on Valentine’s Day in New York City.Crystal Cox / Insider

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We spoke with 21 young majority Americans in 2021.

Tianna Arata stands in the sun with a blossoming tree behind her.

Tianna Arata was arrested during a protest she organized on July 21, 2020 and released the same night. Less than a month later, it gained national attention.Bethany Mollenkof for Insider

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Inside Hawaii’s Big Gamble on Remote Work.

Empty beach in Waikiki

A surfer on a beach in Honolulu, Hawaii.Mike Vidales for Insider

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Albert Bourla ushered in a new era at Pfizer after leading a historic triumph with a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.Crystal Cox / Insider

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Americans have turned to melatonin to ease the stress of the pandemic. Experts fear that high demand, little federal oversight, and insufficient data are leaving the industry ripe for scams.

Melatonin sleeping nap

Industry analysts expect the melatonin market to continue to grow, but a lack of federal supplement oversight and sparse research into the long-term effects of melatonin can harm consumers.Hollis Johnson / Insider

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Mississippi has banned most abortions to be “the safest state” for unborn children. Meanwhile, one in three Mississippi children live in poverty.


Drusilla Hicks, a single mother from Mississippi, with her two youngest children.Rory Doyle for Insider

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An environmentalist revealed how to align passion and purpose to create a fulfilling life.

Environmentalist Charles Post wears a gray button-down shirt as he sits in an office decorated with plants and bird photos.

Environmentalist Charles Post found his passion after his career took several turns.Janie Osborne for Insider

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One reader wrote to our “Doing it Right” column for advice: “I find penetrative sex super pleasurable, but I can’t have an orgasm.”

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Crystal Cox / Insider

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Another reader asked “my ex left me and then got abusive. How can I continue when my best friend is still talking to him?”

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Crystal Cox / Insider; Samantha Lee / Insider

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We revealed how to build a strong, toned back with simple bodyweight exercises.

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A bodybuilder showing off his back muscles.Crystal Cox / Insider

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We went to a flirting class with a dating expert and she taught us her 4 sure-fire dating techniques.

Two women are seated at the end of a table and face each other, talking.

Amy Nobile works one-on-one with singles to teach them how to flirt on dating apps, secure quality matches, and find meaningful relationships.Crystal Cox / Insider

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We photographed the protesters who showed up at the Justice for J6 rally in Washington DC.

A man in a raccoon fur hat holding an American flag in front of the United States Capitol.

A participant in the Justice for J6 rally.Alan Chin for Insider

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An Insider investigation found that officials helped sell access to California public schools to the Chinese elite.

A building of the University of California at Irvine, with the school logo on the front.

The University of California at Irvine.Christopher Vu for Insider

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We attended the Netflix trans employee protest, and it was filled with heated speeches and tense moments.

Netflix Trans Rally 2021

Pictured left: Trans activist and rally organizer Ashlee Marie Preston at a protest against Netflix.Elizabeth Viggiano for Insider

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Former Young Life members have said they experienced sexual misconduct while at the mega-ministry.

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Brie Boatman at her home in Dallas, Texas. Boatman left Young Life after saying the department mismanaged his allegations of sexual misconduct.Zerb Mellish for Insider

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Thano Fatsis’ beloved New York restaurant is about to close, simply because it’s on the wrong side of the street.


Thano Fatsis, the 41-year-old owner of the Triple Crown Diner in Bellerose, Queens, hasn’t been able to serve customers inside for months, unlike restaurants across the street which are technically located in Long Island.Matthew Cronin for Insider

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We followed two star MMA fighters as they continued their training in the middle of the summer, even as the Taliban approached Kabul.

A man is seen, from a distance, shadowboxing near a mausoleum.

Wahid Nazhand trains at the mausoleum of Ahmad Shah Masoud in Panjsher.Edris Lutfi for Insider

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6 of the most memorable things to do in Dublin that most tourists miss.

A view of the Howth Cliff Trail in Dublin, Ireland.

Dublin offers spectacular scenery and activities.AF Webb for insiders

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Your list of must-do activities for a trip to Richmond, Virginia.

Pedestrians walking over a bridge in Richmond, Virginia

In a destination known as River City, it’s no surprise that there are many beautiful places to take a stroll along the water’s edge.Carlos Bernate for Insider

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Insiders who worked with mega Instagram influencer Danielle Bernstein say she scams fashion designers and gets away with it.

Danielle Bernstein / Are You Am I, the puffy bandeau tops

Influencer Danielle Bernstein sells her designer clothes at stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom. Some designers claim his retail empire is partly built on copied designs.Hollis Johnson / Insider

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New York’s top broker, Ryan Serhant, gave us a private tour of America’s most expensive house for sale: a $ 169 million Saudi mogul’s lair, 96 floors above Manhattan.

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Ryan Serhant overlooking Manhattan from the penthouse at 432 Park Avenue.Crystal Cox / Business Insider

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Amazon and Petco both invested in a $ 150 internet-connected cat feeder – one day it just stopped working.

A cat on a white table walks over a pile of food that has spilled from a black feeder.

Dewey used to be fed automatically by the PetNet SmartFeeder. Then in 2020, the company went bankrupt.Crystal Cox / Insider

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We visited Deutsche Bank’s brand new New York office, which features trading rooms overlooking Central Park and green walls.


A conference table on the 10th floor of the Deutsche Bank office.Crystal Cox / Insider

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We spoke with the billionaire who is still rebuilding the World Trade Center, but who may not live to see it finished.

Larry Silverstein standing in his office in front of a picture window overlooking Lower Manhattan

Real estate developer Larry Silverstein goes almost every day to an office overlooking his life’s work of the past 20 years: the World Trade Center site.Crystal Cox / Insider

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We got a sneak peek at the makeover of the iconic Waldorf Astoria, which is so luxurious that its model alone cost almost a million dollars.

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Detail inside a part of the Waldorf model.Crystal Cox / Insider

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