Since we’ve been born, all of the media around us has pushed one body type on us – able bodied, white, low body fat. It’s impossible to avoid. I’ve spoken before about how representation matters and that’s one of the great things about social media. We now have the opportunity to fill our social feeds with body types that were previously not shown in mainstream media.
The more you see different body types, and indeed, bodies like your own, in a positive light, then the more you will learn to love your own body. It’s so much easier to see the positive on someone else’s body, and harder to see it in yourself. If you see someone your size loving their body and owning their look and their life, then the more you can start to see that for yourself. And I can’t remember who said it (but they were so right), in a world that tries to constantly tell you how you should be better (usually so a bunch of old white men can sell you the solution), truly loving yourself is one of the most radical acts of defiance you can take.
So today, as part of my ongoing body confidence series, I’m bringing you 15 body positive Instagram accounts that I think you should be following:
Body Posi Panda is absolutely top of my list and is a daily inspiration to me. Her book (affiliate link) is excellent. She writes intelligently but is accessible. I wish I had her wisdom when I was her age, hell I wish I did now. She has battled eating disorders and nearly died and now loves her body and has rejected diet culture in a really inspiring way. Her feed is unicorn colourful. Her don’t hate the shake videos where she rocks out in her underwear and celebrates any jiggles, gives me life. If you aren’t following her already then I feel sorry for you. Get on it.
Last week I asked you all to tell me how body positivity has changed your life, and your answers filled my heart up. I wanted to tell you what body positivity has done for me, and I’ll try my best to find the words. For a long time I truly believed I was the only recovered anorexic turned chubby girl in the world. The one who nearly died for thin and now couldn’t even stick to a diet. It seemed as if all life would ever be was cycles of starvation and disgust with myself when I couldn’t keep it up. For a long time I truly believed I wasn’t worth saving, I wasn’t worth a thing. Body positivity is the only thing that ever allowed me to let that girl go. That sad, hollow girl who still followed me around, reminding me of everything I wasn’t. She was never who I was supposed to be. I know now that it wasn’t her fault, I know now that through her hunger I slowly became who I am today. I know now that I was always worth saving. I know now that we all are. And I promise, I will fight for this until my last breath. I will fight for her, for me, for us. Thank you for fighting with me. ?????
Another young woman who is wise beyond her years is Chidera from the Slum Flower who is fiercely empowered and leads the worthwhile movement ‘saggy boobs matter’.
By force, we will all learn that the only way to normalise something is to see it repeatedly. So if you have an issue with saggy boobs, block me or better still, ask your mum why her boobs that she most likely fed you on, are saggy. For the women who look like me, your saggy boobs matter and from now until you die, what’s going to matter ultimately, is your character. People behave either out of love or fear. Sometimes people are scared of what they haven’t been taught to accept. Still exist loudly though. #SAGGYBOOBSMATTER
Taynee from Grrl Gang Art makes the most beautiful body positive and feminist art. I own a couple of her pieces and am always after more.
A billion hours ago (maybe last week?) I did a poll in my stories about how to finish this drawing, every time I looked the winning option had changed ?? so I just painted it. ? I’m not saying it’s a self portrait exactly, but there’s a lot of me in there. Ramone gets pretty upset right now if I dare feed her with only one boob out, not entirely sure how that’s going to work away from home… ? She’s cute though, has to stop every now and then to say ‘numnumnumnum’ and push them both together and hug them and pull away with the biggest eyes closed four tooth smile ? . . . #grrlgangart #illustration #ukartist #womenofillustration #femaleartist #watercolorpainting #gouachepainting #effyourbeautystandards #bopo #takeupspace #losehatenotweight #postpartumbody #vbo #saggyboobs #motherhood #bodyacceptance #redhead #breastfeeding #breastfeedingart #botanicaltattoo #fourthtrimester #normalizebreastfeeding #liquidgold #goldenboobies #babywearing #punkymoms #plussizemom #lifteachotherup #sisterhood #feministart
Body positivity is celebrating your body in its natural form, loving yourself as you are. A big part of that for me personally is not conforming to societal ideals of hair removal purely because you’ve been conditioned by it to find your natural body hair gross. Pit Angels shows off hairy pitted babes and seeing all these beautiful pit kittens helps me to find my hairiness beautiful too.
Likewise, Happy and Hairy is a breath of fresh air. We really need to take some time to look at her and accept that hair isn’t gross on women and attractive on men, that it’s truly ok for men or women to own their natural hair. Hairier women shouldn’t essentially have to be taxed (emotional, time, money and pain) for being more hairy than the beauty myth wants them to be.
fat and hairy women can rock bikinis too! ? the last time i was in hawaii was in 2012, when i wore a one-piece swimsuit for the first time in my adult life (i was 27 years old). i had developed a lot of confidence about my fat body, but not my hairiness. back then i loved the idea of wearing a bikini, but truly felt it wasn’t for me. my perspective has changed in those six years, and here i am in my fat and hairy glory! ? i am beautiful and i deserve to wear whatever the hell i want to. and you do too ❤️ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ • #bodyhairdontcare #bodyhair #bodyhairlove #hairywoman #hairywomen #hirsutism #hirsute #bodyhairisbeautiful #hairy #bodyhairloveaffair #normalizebodyhair #notyourfetish #notyournovelty #effyourbeautystandards #pcos #pcossupportandpositivity #bodyhairpositive #bodyhairpositivity #bodylove #bodyacceptance #bodyhairacceptance #bodyconfidence #fatkini #torridswim #eloquii #XOQ
Saggy Sara is a 21 year old Finnish woman. She has a more slim body but I love her Instagram versus reality shots.
Instagram vs reality ?? I used to always lay in specific way to avoid looking “bigger”. Years ago I thought that if I had abs my tummy would be flat all the time. But that’s not true at all, in reality we all have tummy fat. Our tummies bunch together, make rolls, our skin bends. We all have different bodies. Don’t let the way you feel about your body stop you from enjoying yourself. Don’t let your insecurities stop you from making memories. Cause in a few years you want to think back and remember all the fun you had with your friends and not think about the fact that you left early because you didn’t feel good about yourself or because someone took a “bad” photo of you. Next time you feel this way remember that you are your own worst critic. Our bodies look different in different positions. Neither is worse than the other just because one isn’t glorified on media. Your body is normal. Your body is worthy. You do not need to change yourself. You are absolutely amazing the way you are ?☀️ —————————————— . . . #embracethesquish #youareworthy #bodypositive #stopcomparing #bikinibodies #effyourbeautystandards #bodyimage #loveyourbody #bodyacceptance
Following seeing a post in the media outlining what each Kardashian weighed, actress Jameela Jamil set up the account ‘I weigh’ to celebrate women’s achievements other than what the scales say.
Erika Hart is a cancer survivor and sex educator who proudly shows off her mastectomy scars. She’s a fierce knowledgeable intersectional feminist and I learn a lot from listening to her perspectives.
An example of knowing how to light and edit #melanin highlighting its natural #glow| ⛓ in bio to full interview Thank you @cosmopolitan ? by @rubcha MUA by @bellisima81 #cancerwarrior #checkyourboobs #blacklivesmatter #queer #piercings #headwraps #scars #boobs #freedom #itme #qpoc #femme #allthepithair #iambeautiful #blackisbeautiful
Nourish and Eat promotes body acceptance with wise quotes, memes and advice that rejects diet culture.
You know how when you’re cold, you start shivering? That’s your body’s way of trying to get warm. Sensors in your skin tell your brain HAY WE’RE COLD and your brain says OKAY and tells your muscles to tighten and loosen (at incredible rates!) to generate heat. That’s what shivering is. The same thing happens in our bodies when we try to force it into a weight that isn’t comfortable for us. Our bodies, whether we want them to be or not, AREN’T SIMPLE CALCULATORS – and they adapt and change and work behind the scenes to maintain themselves at the place where they are most happy: our set-point range. We are genetically predisposed to weigh within a certain range. Everyone has one (about 5-15 lbs but it can vary), and just like how you can’t choose your eye color, or how tall you are, your set point range is unique to you. Someone else at your same height may have an entirely different SPR! When we try to force our bodies below this range, just like shivering, our bodies try to fix it. Our metabolism will slow and our appetite will increase; our bodies will go into starvation mode and try to prioritize the few calories it’s receiving; we’ll feel lethargic and sleepy and our body temperature will drop, because our bodies are trying to to conserve energy; if we lose even more weight, as women our reproductive functioning will stop because our bodies cannot sustain a pregnancy. The more we refuse our bodies food, the more it will BEG us for it in order to operate properly. It’s why diets don’t work. It’s why BMI is a load of bullshit. It’s why trying to force 100% of the population to look like what only 5% actually do is not only ridiculous but harmful. Listen to your body. Treat it with respect. Give it the food it needs, packed with vitamins and proteins and all that healthy goodness, and also let it LIVE LIFE with desserts and comfort foods. Don’t punish it for not being what you think it needs to be. (And to all those out there whose bodies are a constant battle, with illness or disability or scrutiny from society or loved ones, or wherever you’re struggling to find peace, I don’t claim to understand your journey but know that I stand with you. I see you ❤️)
Nat from Style Me Sunday is gorgeous, stylish and shows off parts of her body that the mainstream media might not but the rest of us can clearly see the beauty. Her Friday Finger posts are feisty and fun too. Dreamy feed, fab attitude.
I’m well aware that some people will find this image gross – feel free to unfollow peeps. ?? Before @instagram postnatal bodies were mainly hidden – behind copious amounts of black bin bag clothing, behind babies, and mixed up with a bucket load of hormones – far away from any sort of media or publication. However clearly there’s still a lot of work to do on IG, if you search the hashtag postnatal bodies it’s full of diet crap and transformation pics. There is shame attached to not having the ‘perfect’ body. Even more if you don’t give that much of a shit. I don’t know about you but I was totally unprepared for how my body might change. Well fuck me it’s changed, and you know what, who bloody cares? I still think I’m hot, although I’m sure some of you will disagree. I personally LOVE seeing post baby bods out there especially if that stops us hating the image that stares back at us in the mirror. Check out @candicebrathwaite and @clemmie_telford for beautiful body pics after the baby leaves it’s temporary home. And @love_disfigure and @the_feeding_of_the_fox for bodies that don’t fit in with ideal beauty standards. Please do tag any accounts that are showing different types of bodies and rocking it – I want see more. Follow and join in with my hashtag #diversifymyfeed so we can all find new feeds outside our circle. #postnatalbody #StyleMeSunday #allbodiesaregoodbodies
Love Disfigure is a child burn survivor and showcases ‘non-conforming’ bodies, especially those with scarring and skin conditions.
Say hi to our Beautiful LD model Ahila who I’m sure you’ll agree looks Fabulous in this @swimwear365 bikini. Ahila has Psoriasis and lives a healthy happy life. On the day of our Photoshoot she continued to smile which rubbed off on us all. So listen up fashion industry and brands!! Do you think we aren’t good enough for your clothes…well guess what Don’t call yourself Inclusive & Diverse if you feel unable to show people with skin, health conditions & scars. @naturallyhealpsoriasis photos by @sophiemayanne #supermodel #beautiful #psoriasis #skin #lovelife #positivity #mindset #confidence #rolemodel #strength #support #campaign #photooftheday ❤️ @voguemagazine @elleuk @elleusa @vanityfairuk
The Feeding of the Fox is an inspiring disabled woman’s journey through weight-loss, eating disorders into radical body politics and non judgmental compassion.
Imagine every time you turned up to an event, there was a step you couldn’t get over. A toilet you couldn’t pee in. Imagine you couldn’t get to the event to know those things because the busses aren’t letting people like you on and the person who was paid to support you dressing showed up late. Imagine that being you trying to get to work, you trying to be social, you trying to get to medical appointments or you best friends wedding. It’s never ending. For disabled people the fight starts when you wake up. Its the moment you open your eyes. It’s not knowing if you’ll get breakfast, or lunch, or dinner. It’s being unsure if you’ll have the support or ability to manage your needs that day, never mind the day after. When you ask me what’s wrong with me and I snap at you, I’m not snapping because you’ve asked me the rudest question ever, I’m snapping because you’ve missed the fucking point. You’ve negated all of my struggles and hardships and you’ve made it about MY body being faulty. When I find somewhere I want to meet with my friends and there isn’t an accessible toilet, I’m not crying because I can’t have lunch there, I’m crying because I’m exhausted. I’m crying because yet again I am denied access. I am angry. I used to feel ashamed of that, I used to edit my posts to soften them. But you have to understand why disabled people are screaming at you. You need to start fighting with us. We are fighting so hard in our day to day that without allies and your genuine political understanding, we won’t ever see equality.
Dana from the Do the Hotpants has a feed full of diversity and body acceptance. It’s a great feed to just go to and learn.
If any picture says a thousand words, it’s this image from @nunude_official campaign ? • With privilege comes responsibility. And specifically with thin privilege, it’s not just about supporting fat and curvy women by having their backs online… It’s about discussing fatphobia with friends who are body shaming someone when they’re not in the room. It’s about calling in family members making comments about someone’s body at the dinner table. It’s about asking why there’s no plus sizes at your favorite clothing store. It’s about telling your gym to remove fatphobic signage next to your favorite machine. It’s about speaking to HR when the host of your company’s annual weight loss competition asks you to sign up. It’s about using your privilege to speak up in spaces and situations that aren’t safe for certain bodies. • I know a lot of my followers have social anxiety or are very deep in their eating disorders and talking to people in person can feel terrifying. But there are non confrontational ways to stand up against the systemic oppression of fat people too! Does a tv show only cast thin people? Tweet at the producers! Does an app you use only feature stock photos of thin bodies? Email the developers! Does your subway system allow body shaming ads on the trains? Start an online signature campaign to fight it! Do you have extra income? Support the Pareons of those doing the work, or donate to causes and non profits working hard to make safe spaces for all bodies. • Let’s make it so we put the ideas we preach online into practice in the real world. Let’s make it so that women in all bodies know that those with the privileges they don’t have, are actually standing up for them once they leave the room. Let’s ACTUALLY have other women’s backs. Because you can follow all the accounts in the world, and it will help you to personally accept and see more marginalized bodies as beautiful, but to make systemic change, we must also go out into the real world and question the status quo.
Anti diet riot club is a relatively new account all about rejecting diet culture and they are holding what look to be some kick ass events in London. Also their logo is goals.
Last but certainly not least is Watch Shay Slay who describes herself as ‘One Whole Lot of Trans-Fat’.
All that’s missing is a tablespoon of societal oppression… ? . ?: @rubcha for @cosmopolitan . #plussizemodel #plussize #transgender #transmodel #fat #bodydiversity #bodyconfidence #trans #diversity #inclusive #confidence #models #activist #changethenarrative #mybody #letstalkaboutsex #sex #sexuality #lgbtqia #women
Please go follow these wonderful women and fill your feeds full of diverse bodies of all colours, shapes and sizes. I’m always on the look out for new ‘bopo’ accounts so please leave your favourites in the comments for me to go follow. I had another 30 for this post but it was getting too long so if you gals like this post then let me know and I’ll do another in the future.
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