When was the last time you scrolled through Instagram and actually felt good about yourself? It’s nice to escape reality for a while and keep up with the Kardashians, but it’s important to remember that a lot of the things we see on Instagram are not real.
That’s why we’re campaigning to make changes to the platform, in order to help protect young and vulnerable people who are exposed to images of cosmetic procedures posted by influencers and celebrities. Whilst there’s a lot of this around, there’s also a huge number of influencers who have made it their mission to spread the message of self-love and body acceptance.
We’ve rounded up some of our favourite influencers to follow below:
With over two million followers, self-love activist Danae is working hard to normalise lumps, bumps, cellulite, bloated stomachs, stretch marks and more. The former Women’s Health editor regularly shares ‘Instagram vs reality’ style posts, highlighting the tricks that people often use to make their bodies look perfect on social media.
Having spent years struggling with an eating disorder and unhealthy relationships with food, Chessie is now completely confident in her own skin and has made it her mission to help others feel the same. She’s even written a book about it – Be Your Own Best Friend is dedicated to celebrating the glorious, delightfully complex truths of Femalehood, and an uncensored guide to becoming your own best friend.
Queen of body positivity and plus-sized model Nyome Nicholas-Williams is challenging the narrative surrounding black, plus-sized bodies. After posting a series of tasteful, nude images to her feed, Instagram immediately took them down, marking the photos as unsuitable for viewing, due to ‘nudity or sexual activity’. Noting that the same images of thin, white women exist with no objection from the platform, she made it her mission to change its nudity policy, and succeeded.
Online women’s health coach, Hayley, uses her platform to share workouts, knowledge and self-love. Often posting harshly lit versions of her own pictures, she shows followers just how much of a difference a filter, flattering lighting and good angle can make.
Writer, fashion blogger, and body positivity advocate Stephanie hopes that her social media channels can serve as an inspiration to her followers, helping to teach them to be happy and confident, wear whatever they want and live their best lives. Having written for the likes of Stylist, Elle and GQ, she often speaks on important topics including fat acceptance, race and intersectionality in feminism.
Self-love champion and celebrity spray tanner Jules has spent his life making people feel better about the way they look. He shouts about body diversity, sharing unedited images and fun videos of his body to remind followers that we come in all shapes and sizes.
Karina is no stranger to online trolls, often targeted for her raw images celebrating cellulite and eczema. Head over to the swimwear designer’s page to see countless photos of her posing confidently in bright bikinis and encouraging followers to do the same, no matter what their body looks like.
It’s great to see the self-love movement taking off, with plenty more influencers sharing their own stories - if you want to see more, give these hashtags a follow: #BodyPosi, #EffYourBeautyStandards, #AllBodiesAreBeautiful, #MentalHealthAwareness and #BodyConfidence.