Make Your Instagram Feel-Good

For years, I refused to get Instagram. I was utterly convinced that a site full of photos of beautiful people would do no good. However, I eventually succumbed and signed up. At first, it seems as though my fears may have been well-founded. Instagram is full of perfectly photoshopped celebrities, and ‘influencers’ promoting various diets, gummy vitamins, and laxative ‘detox’ teas. All was not lost, though. I managed to finely tune my Instagram, swerving my way around the body-shaming nonsense, and seeking out accounts that made me feel genuinely feel good about myself. It’s important to cultivate your confidence both in real life, and online.

My number one rule for Instagram accounts is to unfollow anything that has before and afters. Even when they’re on well-intentioned fitness pages, no good can come of shaming the body you used to have just to praise the one you have now. As someone who has had rough patches with body image in the past (and now), I cut out anything that makes me feel bad. That means no scales in the house and definitely no shamey Instagram accounts. If you wouldn’t hang out with that person in real life, remove them from your digital space. You are in total control of your feed, use it to your advantage.

I can not express enough love for Chidera Eggerue. I loved her book, and follow her on every social media possible. Her #saggyboobsmatter campaign was monumental in me accepting my small boob life, and stopping wearing super uncomfortable push-up bras in an attempt to fake cleavage. I let go of feeling ashamed or embarrassed and embraced super cute lace bralettes. Chidera (known online as The Slumflower) is a huge advocate of protecting your aura. Although I’m good at keeping negative people out of my life, I would still fall into the trap of getting into debates with people who were more interested in baiting me than actually listening and learning. It is a waste of your time, your energy, and your sanity to be trying to educate people who don’t want to learn. You don’t have to fight every battle, you have to put your own headspace first. Chidera’s Insta stories are full of confidence boosting tweets, promoting other body-positive voices, and brutally honest reminders to stop your self-destructive behaviours. In 2019 we stop giving ourselves to people who aren’t worthy of our attention, and The Slumflower is here to help you.

Jameela Jamil is best known for her role as Tahani in ‘The Good Place’, but she’s so much more than that. Jameela has been one of the loudest voices in taking a stand against scammy unsafe weight loss products like diet teas or appetite suppressant lollies (we’re looking at you, Kardashians). She also tries to reveal the truth behind photoshop and doesn’t airbrush her own photos. Jameela has faced criticism for promoting body-positivity, with some saying she’s too think and too pretty to be taking a stand on the issue. Not only does this completely ignore her own body insecurities (and history of eating disorders) it also misses the fact that Jameela constantly reiterates that she knows she doesn’t face the brunt of body shaming. She provides a platform for plus-size women to state their experiences and opinions and reminds people that it’s important to listen to the victims of an issue, not shout over them. Jameela Jamil is also responsible for the amazing Instagram account “I Weigh” which focused more on body neutrality than body positivity. The account highlights the things that people have to offer aside from their appearance; whether it be their relationships with others, the struggles they’ve overcome, or the hobbies they enjoy and excel at.

Florence Given’s account was recommended to me by a colleague when we were discussing positive Instagram ‘influencers’. Florence is a feminist artist, who produces some truly awesome tote bags and prints. A self-described “dramatic blonde woman”, she spends most mornings dancing on her Insta stories, flipping her waist length hair. Her mantra is “dump him”, and her flawless skin is mostly attributed to “single glow”. It’s the same philosophy as Chidera; if someone is bringing you nothing but negativity, get rid. Immediately. Florence Given has the sort of ‘cool girl’ vibes that make you wish you were mates, and her account has a strong ‘big sister giving you advice’ energy.

Sinéad Burke is one of my more recent follows after I saw her account featured on The Slumflower’s story. Sinéad has achondroplasia and is an advocate for greater diversity in the fashion industry. She’s a contributing editor at British Vogue, and her Instagram is full of fashion inspo as well as positivity. Sinéad has a truly awesome selection of slogan tees, with my personal faves being “Use your power to empower” and the slightly lengthy “Do not touch, tap, pat, stroke, prod, pinch, poke, grope or grab me”. Her Instagram stories often feature her public speaking work, which only adds to the ‘successful business boss’ vibes.

This post would get pretty dull if I described every one of my positive Instagram follows, so here’s a list of other people who have my support.

  • Alexandria Ocasio Cortez — incredibly strong US politician. I love her Instagram stories of tending to her allotment.
  • Emmy Combs — a talented MUA with Alopecia Universalis. Her makeup looks are super colourful and artistic.
  • Indya Moore — a gorgeous model who often speaks out on issues such as police racism, or homophobia. (Pronouns they/them).
  • Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary — it’s an account full of sweet old dogs, need I explain further?

Originally published at https://assortedramblingsblog.wordpress.com on May 20, 2019.

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Feminist, mental health advocate, Netflix obsessed.

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Olivia Hope

Olivia Hope

Feminist, mental health advocate, Netflix obsessed.

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