Wrinkles, cellulite, and tummy rolls: women are not perfect. Smiles, passion, and motivation: women are beautiful. Still, to society that is not enough. Self-esteem lowers while expectations raise. We demand a lot of ourselves and, when we don’t meet those unrealistic standards, we blame ourselves.
Here are 10 Instagram accounts to follow. Follow them to stop blaming yourself and to believe in who you are -wrinkles and cellulite included.
Self Love Liv
Liv promotes body positivity through her social media and through her apparel and accessories collections. Her t-shirts and tote bags send the right message: “SELF LOVE, don’t let anyone dim your sparkle.” Liv shares her personal experience on her YouTube channel, saying that once, she was very concerned about people’s opinion. When she was a teenager, she was a Goth, dressing with heavy makeup and with long, black hair. Based on her looks, people thought she was mean and scary.
“Worrying about what other people think, will it improve your life?” Liv asks.
The Plus Sized Prep
Glamorous, proud, and Chicagoan: Charlotte Williams is a must for this list. Growing up in a sheltered suburb of Chicago, Williams didn’t see herself represented. She wasn’t the popular kid nor a cool one. She didn’t have a gym membership nor was she a size two or four. Her outlook started changing when she got to college and she realized that fat girls can be stylish too. Williams is open about her body and her feelings.
“We can always fail after we succeed, but to keep going after failures is the most important. Will I binge eat this week? Maybe, maybe not. The important part is that I keep going,” Williams writes on her blog.
Yeboah is as a Black plus-sized woman, who has faced racism and prejudice. She was bullied for the way she looked, for her body and her skin color. She battled stereotypes, loneliness, and low self-esteem. Her journey towards self-acceptance and love has been long, but successful. Successful role model and writer. Yeboah’s book Fattily Ever After was just released. Yeboah reclaimed the word “fat.”
“Fat is a noun. Fat is an adjective. Fat is not an insult, and it’s time for society and culture to stop doing harm to fat people by treating their body type like it’s a bad word,” Yeboah writes.
A mixed-race American, size 16 woman, Ocran uses her blog The Noteworthy to spread body positivity and acceptance. It’s more than size, shape, and weight: Ocran talks about her Afro hair and her struggles. She gives tips on how to style patterns, colors, and outfits to always look glamorous. Ocran even has a podcast, the Mixed Up podcast, where she and her colleagues talk about race, pop culture, and identity.
“When it comes to body positivity, when it comes to fat acceptance, I am an ally in this space. It’s my place to shut up and listen while doing the most active work to make sure their voices and their stories get told before mine,” Ocran writes.
Peaches is not afraid of her identity. She is complex, confident, and plus sized: so what? So, she celebrates it, on her Instagram feed. On her profile, she shares her pride of Black woman and survivor. She also shares her struggles with anxiety and grief. She believes in being open and honest, even when society prefers to look away.
“Don’t be so hard on yourself, this is a journey so just enjoy the ride. Tell that body part that you are struggling to love it but you’re trying,” she writes.
Alex’s account is more than a personal journey towards self-acceptance. Her profile is filled with images of everyday women, who have different shapes and bodies and who are all worthy. She uses celebrities such as Rebel Wilson and Renee Zellweger to send messages that tear down stereotypes. Fat tummies are normal, every woman has cellulite, and Bodies change overtime: everything is ok. And normal. What’s not normal? The glorification of weight loss. Why?
“It perpetuates the idea that women are defined by their appearance and their thinness. That the best thing we can achieve is thinness, that what society expects of us is a small waistline and we are praised for toeing the line,” Alex writes.
Liz Raney is a woman with belly rolls, she is a wife who exercises to feel confident, and a mother. She is not afraid to show the signs that motherhood left on her body, which too often society ignores. She exercises not to lose weight but to raise her self-esteem. She refused to be on any diet, as she preferred to change her lifestyle. In one year, she lost 100 lbs. Not for society, but for herself.
“Not for the beach, but for my mind.
Not for a competition, for the competition i have created for myself, by myself, to become a better version of myself,” says Raney.
Bailey Peyton’s body changed over the years and she is not afraid to show it. Peyton is a model, who proudly wears bikinis of every color and shape, and she sparkles in all of them. Her Instagram page is a mix and match of fashion, body positivity, and lifestyle. Peyton shows her followers that life can smile at you, no matter what size you wear or how much you weigh.
“Everyday I make a choice. I no longer look down on myself, I face my journey head on and when I see those thighs gracing their bumps & bruises in a photo and in a mirror, I smile and think ‘dang girl, look how far you’ve come,” writes Peyton.
In her blog Jaimmy Koroma, the art director from Texas has no filters. Koroma talks about fitness, style, and food. She talks about butter and about swimsuits for everybody. Nothing is off limits to a plus-sized body, not if you believe in it.
“Speak kindly to your body. My number one love language is words of affirmations so it makes sense that it‘s my first way in how I show my body love,” says Koroma.
Tiffany Ima does more than posting pictures and quotes. She has a free guide, The 5 Mindset Shifts You Need To Boost Your Body Confidence. She is an example of body positivity but also a coach. Through her personal experience, she helps women through their journeys. She acknowledges that society pushes women towards perfection, diets, and unrealistic standards. Ima is the one who says no. Not anymore.
“ You are enough. Exactly how you are. Without changing yourself in any way. You are not too emotional. You are not too much. You don’t take up too much space,” Ima writes.