Social media can be incredibly daunting. The pressures to fit in seem to be never-ending. However, through these issues comes the light at the end of a dark tunnel. Body positive Instagrams are on the rise. These Instagrammers document their journeys to self-acceptance and normalize what society calls “flaws.” Thanks to them, the online community is beginning to accept different body types.
Sophomore Aiden Keenan stated, “It is super important that we talk about body positivity, especially with all the other stressors going on in the world today. We need to be able to have these sorts of conversations so that we can all try to live our best lives and work toward being our best, unapologetic selves.” So, in order to start the journey to self acceptance, here are five body-positive Instagrams that you might want to be following right now.
Gina Susanna is a clinical mental health graduate student who runs the account @nourishandeat. She talks about recovering from an eating disorder, which led her to advocate for body acceptance. She stresses that in recovery and life, not everything is perfect. On a recent Instagram post, she talked about the fifth anniversary of her recovery. She stated, “Of course that doesn’t mean that in those five years I haven’t struggled, or relapsed, or wondered what I was doing it all for. No recovery is perfect. But I’m still fighting. Five years later.” She also helped bring awareness to the toxicity of diet teas and diet culture online. Now, Instagram is restricting posts that promote weight loss products, according to The Independent in Sept. of 2019. She continues to be an inspiration for her 126,000 followers.
Stephanie Yeboah is a public speaker and freelance writer from London who advocates for “fat acceptance.” According to her website, stepahnieyeboah.com, she has written for publications such as Stylist Magazine, Elle Magazine, Cosmopolitan and more. She has also been featured on BBC Radio, “Good Morning Britain,” MTV and other media. She stays confident on Instagram for her 42,000 followers and posts photos normalizing all body types. She writes in one of her latest posts, “All bodies can be iconic bodies, not just socially acceptable ones.”
One of the most successful plus-sized models in the industry according to Forbes, Ashley Graham works to inspire her 9.2 million followers with her lovable personality and promotion of all types of beauty. Her Instagram pictures include all the quirks in her body, including body rolls, stretch marks and all the other things that people tend to hide. In addition, she started the hashtag #beautybeyondsize to advocate for self love. Graham also hosts a podcast called Pretty Big Deal where she talks about these issues with other prominent women, including Serena Williams, Lilly Singh and Lindsey Vonn. Now pregnant, she continues to model with her baby bump to show off all the joys of motherhood.
In today’s modeling industry, plus-size men continue to be under-represented, just as women do, according to Huffington Post. Another successful plus-sizde model, Zach Miko, advocates for body acceptance in men. He is the first plus-sized model in his agency, IMG Models, according to Refinery29, and encourages his 87,000 followers to love themselves, especially the “big and tall” men, as Miko says. He wrote in an Instagram post, “I used to be afraid to take up space. Now I take up the whole damn frame.” He was nominated as 2018-2019 Model of the Year for the Full Figured Industry Awards. In an interview with Larry King, he said that he is working on normalizing bigger sizes for all brands, especially high-end brands like Gucci.
Karina Irby, an Australian blogger and designer, runs two Instagram accounts: her main one, @karinairby, and her second account, @karinairby_raw. Both accounts show off her unphotoshopped body, but on karinairby_raw she gets more personal with her followers. Although more comedic, her second account allows her to be open about all her insecurities, such as her eczema and cellulite, while also being able to talk about overcoming them. Irby doesn’t take herself too seriously though. She posts tons of comedic instagram stories and content, some of which show off her after dinner bloating, or what she calls her “food baby.” She is definitely a person to follow if you want some fun on your Instagram feed.