When was the last time you scrolled through your Instagram feed and honestly felt good about yourself? Don’t get me wrong, I love ogling Bella Hadid’s bikini pics as much as the next person, but let’s be honest – the way she looks is pretty unattainable for those of us who are quite partial to a Krispy Kreme or two (or five, or six…).
Upon discovering that I was averaging a shocking five hours and twelve minutes (I KNOW?!) a day scrolling through the addictive app, I decided it was time to cultivate a more realistic feed. If I was going to spend that long staring at other people, why not make sure they were making me feel good? Of course, I’m still admiring Emily Ratajkowski and Hailey Bieber’s chiselled abs from afar, but I’m quick to remind myself that there are millions of others whose thighs are just as squishy as mine. So, here are some of my favourite people to follow for a much-needed, daily dose of self-love:
Dubai-based Danae is helping to normalise dimples, rolls, stretchmarks, jiggly bits and all the other things that make our bodies unique. With over one million followers, she’s become well-known for posting ‘Insta vs. reality’ pics, exposing the secrets that many influencers use to get that perfect, booty popping shot and debunking myths about our bodies. Head over to her page for inspiring content that will make you feel so much better about your very normal bod.
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. I can confirm she does just that. Having written for the likes of Stylist, Elle and GQ, she often speaks on important topics including fat acceptance, race and intersectionality in feminism. Follow Stephanie to feel empowered, informed, and very jealous of her wardrobe.
Hilarious Chessie spent years struggling with eating disorders and unhealthy relationships with food, but is now unapologetically best friends with her bod. 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. If I’m lucky enough to have a daughter one day, I know I’ll be giving her this book to read. Chessie’s page is crammed with gorgeous videos showcasing her body doing exactly what bodies do – jiggling and wobbling. Oh, and she also has a VERY cute pup named Hugo.
Going by the handle ‘@marriedmomandmantras’, Jasmine is a personal trainer and mum who is celebrating her post-baby belly with the hashtag #BirthBelliesAreBadass. Her page features a heavy dose of uplifting self-love with a helping of family (another VERY cute baby). In the past, she’s spoken about when she was at her ‘fittest’ with a six pack, she wasn’t really that healthy at all, and through her pictures, normalises body hang-ups like stretch marks, adult acne and loose skin.
Beauty blogger and mummy to the adorable Esmé, Megan is refreshingly open about her body image struggles and eating disorder recovery. In a recent post, she writes: “every minute you spend obsessing over another woman’s body is another minute spent disrespecting and neglecting your own”. After spending years only posting photos of her best angles and FaceTuning her waist, she’s using her feed to spread positivity and motivation, with unedited pics and tons of mental health advice. Her daily videos of Esmé are also certain to boost anyone’s mood.
Online women’s health coach Hayley spent years competing in fitness competitions, obsessing over her physical appearance and depriving herself of treats in a mission to be as lean as possible. Now just as fit but much happier, she uses her platform to share workouts, knowledge and self-love. Hayley often posts harshly lit versions of her pics, to show just how much of a difference a filter, flattering lighting and good angle can make. Next time you’re feeling rubbish after the Topshop fitting room mirrors do you dirty, get over to Hayley’s page to remind yourself that we all have a few dimples.
Remember ladies, always be your own cheerleader. Oh, and if all else fails, don’t forget to follow lots of puppy pages.
Puppies = happiness.