When I first started on my self-love and body positive journey, I was actually clueless that there were so many positive influences on social media. Usually, I saw airbrushed, falsified “perfection” of the ideal body type. I knew of a few very famous woman who were advocates for all sizes, but I had no clue that there were so many woman who wanted to spread the awareness, support, and realness like I try to do.
I was beyond excited to find some inspiration on social media, because social media can also perpetuate negative feelings about ourselves. I mean, I used to hate-like model pictures and think, “ah, why in the hell don’t I look like that,” but that is the absolute worst type of attitude to have about yourself.
Once I changed my mindset and began thinking differently, I wanted my social media to be filled with inspiration and woman who make me feel good about myself. I wanted to see other woman celebrate different sizes, colors, stretch marks, cellulite, disabilities and just everything that isn’t seen as stereotypical “perfection.”
Social Media Inspo
Don’t get me wrong, Twitter is lovely. It used to be my favorite social platform, but I did notice a lot of trolls and clique behavior lately. I’ve always heard people, mainly bloggers, complain that Instagram is difficult to break into as a blogger. I didn’t want to crack some algorithm though. I wanted to have a social space filled with inspiration and support. I knew that Instagram wasn’t really known for showing authenticity, but surely there were some people who wanted to be transparent.
I was right. I stumbled onto an amazing community of body positive woman. I won’t lie, I was a bit discouraged at first. I kept getting messages from fitness coaches and people asking if I wanted to lose weight, but once I started searching the right hashtags, I found the inspiration I needed.
There are so many amazing people out there showing that bodies are imperfect, and that’s what makes them beautiful. I also fell in love with #allbodiesarebeautiful movement and all of the blogs and influencers that support that idea. Now, I can scroll and feel inspired and beautiful just as I am.
Cut Out the Negative
Why scroll through your social media accounts and continually feel worse about yourself? First, stop with the comparisons. Secondly, follow some inspirational people. Follow people who are authentic and unapologetically themselves.
I try to not follow any accounts that could make me feel bad about myself. I also have started to unfollow a lot of woman who message me to see if I want to “lose weight and gain happiness.” Accounts like those are ones you should lose. Lately, it feels like they have spidey-senses and can tell I’ve been having a few off days.
I believe we should stop equating skinny with healthy and weight loss with happiness. I’m not blaming those people or trying to drag them down, but that’s not an attitude I can support. If that is their journey, good for them, but don’t try to capitalize on the insecurities I’m learning to overcome.
Let’s be ourselves. Let’s love our stretch marks and cellulite. Let’s love all sizes instead of pitting them against each other the way that diet culture has done for years. It’s time that we should aim to be size happy instead of an arbitrary number on a scale.
Following accounts that will make you happy are good for you. It’s not healthy to sit and scroll and wish you were this or that. When, I was little and would watch The Fairly Odd-Parents on Nickelodeon, I would think about what I’d wish for if I had fairy God-Parents.
The sad thing is, I would wish for a completely different body. I would think of a few women I thought were perfect and would wish to have their features. I’d want this one’s flat belly, that one’s lips, and so on. It was unhealthy, and I was only in junior high. Now that there are platforms and places for women to spread body acceptance and self-love, I’m so thrilled. Body positive accounts can truly benefit so many people.
My Favorite Instagram Accounts to Follow
I have a handful of Instagram accounts that always make my day when I’m feeling blah- yes, blah. I want to share some of the women who have brought a smile to my face, and who’ve helped me appreciate myself.
@livinglife_nat -She makes me smile, and I love how she also engages with others. She is authentic, honest, and so relatable. She really is one of the best influencers to follow.
@eloquent_body -Her pictures are gorgeous and always add positive vibes to my feed. She’s thrifty, and her outfits are incredible.
@bodyposipanda -I’m not usually one to tag major accounts, because with millions of followers, engagement with them is extremely minimal. However, I completely understand that they lead busy lives. This woman is marvelous for everything she has contributed to the body positive community, and it doesn’t go unnoticed.
@littlebitoflisaa -She’s a plus size model that advocates for body positivity and mental health. I love when others bring awareness and support to mental health. Her Instagram is also beyond gorgeous!
@bodypositivepear -This woman is fabulous. She is a fellow ED survivor, and she is very inspirational. Her pictures and messages are wonderful, and I love everything that she does.
@samaraterese -I adore her, and she’s also a body and sex positive woman like me. Her pictures are stunning and her messages are inspiring. Her smile is so infectious, and you need to follow her.
@bodyposinikki -This wonderful lady is a mental health counselor and intern at NEDA, and her pictures and body positive memes will make you feel magical.
@becoming.ginger -She’s a self-proclaimed “thick and quirky Dutchie,” and her Instagram lights up my day with her positivity. I love her sass and style so much.
@_my_sweet_curves._ -This is another full figured model that brightens my feed with her amazing pictures and body confidence. She’s also a fighter of depression and anxiety, and again, I love supporting mental health advocates.
@mrs.allisonflagg -She’s a body positive activist with #fuckdietculture right in her Instagram bio, so that had me hooked. Her pictures are also very breathtaking. She’s someone you should definitely check out too.
Blue Check Verified or Not
I’m not one to focus on that little blue check mark. Honestly, I love to show my support to those who probably don’t have a ton of big name sponsors, because they are most likely baring their bodies, souls, and experiences to help others while on their journey as well. That is beyond any blue check mark. That is inspirational.
I’m a bit of a sucker for an underdog too. Don’t get me wrong, I love people like Ashley Graham who pave the way for the media to accept marginalized bodies, but I have to give props to the woman who don’t have a platform but still choose to speak up.
Sharing stories and pictures of real life struggles and scars can help so many people who are in similar situations. When I was in the worst part of my bulimia and too exhausted to keep going, I know that seeing some of these woman would have given me more hope.
I’m very fortunate to have pulled myself out of that struggle, so that’s why I decided to share my story and be so open. I believe that one voice, no matter the size, can make a difference for at least one person. That, to me, is magic. That’s also why I wanted to share the Instagram accounts that pick my spirits up when I’m struggling with my body image. These are the women to follow.
I’d love to know who you all follow for positivity and inspiration. Also, check out my Instagram if you haven’t yet.
Have a great week, and remember, you’re incredibly beautiful just as you are.
-With Love, Jenni