Everyone knows that social media has a huge impact on the way we see ourselves. But nobody said such impact has to be negative. We can choose to follow people who tell us to hate ourselves and do crazy dangerous diets. Or we can choose to follow ones who inspire us to feel comfortable in our own bodies. It’s up to us.
This is a great time to think about that, as it’s the 2018 National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. So I decided to go on Instagram looking for inspiring women who could teach us something about loving our bodies and ourselves. And OMG, there’s so many of them!
All you have to do is search for hashtags such as #bodypositivity and #everybodyisbeautiful and you’re going to see lots of beautiful, confident women spreading the message of self-love.
I had a hard time choosing only a few of them to include in this article. But I decided to pick only 10, or this piece would end up becoming an e-book. A very long one.
Without further ado, here are our body positivity rock stars, in no particular order:
1. Megan Jane Crabbe (@bodyposipanda)
What did you do this morning Megan? Oh nm just walked into traffic in the middle of Oxford Street in my undercrackers holding signs for more plus representation in the fashion industry ? And I couldn’t have asked for more babely jaywalking partners than @calliethorpe and @sonnyturner___ ? thank you to @simplybeuk for asking me to take part (they also paid me for my time & to post about it so issa #ad but you know I would’ve posted this anyway bc it was SO much fun). KEEP STOPPING TRAFFIC FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN BABES. But maybe wear more suitable footwear for running back onto the pavement than I did. ????? #WeAreCurves #RulesRewritten @nbrownpress
Megan has struggled with anorexia in the past, but no more! She has now recovered and has written the book on body positivity — literally. With well over 900K followers on IG, she’s always up to answer questions on her advice column and to help others feel happier in their own skin. I want her for president!
2. Christie Begnell (@meandmyed.art)
Christie is an illustrator who decided to turn her recovery journey into art. She makes great drawings about how it feels like to live with an eating disorder. Some of them are funny, others are educational, and others are uplifting. My favorite ones are all that at the same time! She also shares information and great resources on her website, Me And My ED.
3. Michelle Elman (@scarrednotscared)
WHAT TO SAY WHEN A KID CALLS YOU FAT For those of you who don’t know, I used to work with kids a lot. I’ve worked in mainstream schools, autistic swimming programmes and even a child development school within a hospital, and kids can be harsh. Here’s how I’ve dealt with comments I’ve received over my work. “You are fat” – Yes I am fat. I smiled and walked away. Fat is not an insult. It is a descriptor and the child was accurate “Why are you fat?” – Because everyone is made differently and it would be really confusing if we all looked the same. How would we tell each other apart? “Your tummy is so big. It’s gross” – I asked him why he thought fat was bad. He responded that it was ugly. I then said “well, I am fat and beautiful so that can’t be true”. He continued on “You aren’t beautiful!” so I simply went “oh I am! You just haven’t realised it yet!”, I laughed and then I walked away. It was over a week later he came up to me and said “i don’t know if you are beautiful but you are nice so it doesn’t really matter” Regardless of how the conversation turns out, it’s good for them to see an example of a fat confident woman. I believe it’s one of those memories that will come to mind in their older years, perhaps when they are having teenage wobbles. How about if you are with your child when they call someone else fat? Yes, of course it can be embarrassing because you don’t want to offend the other person. But you can simply go “and aren’t they gorgeous?”. Remember that fat-phobia is learnt. The solution to these conversations is not to tell a child that calling someone fat is rude or to ban the word “fat” and start calling it the “F word”. The solution is to open up the conversation and use it as an opportunity for body positivity. When a child talks, they are rarely trying to be cruel, but instead just repeating what they have been taught. #ScarredNotScared • ?: @curvykate
Michelle is a body positivity coach and TEDx speaker. Her IG feed is a gorgeous combination of inspiring messages with colorful backgrounds and pictures of her stunning, confident self. Oh, and you won’t want to miss her captions!
I can’t forget to mention her hilarious body positivity memes account. If you want to learn how to be more body positive and have a laugh while at it, you definitely should follow it (@bodypositivememes).
4. Silvana Denker (@silvanadenker)
Silvana defines herself in her bio as a “Curvy Model”. She is also a photographer and initiated a campaign called ‘BodyLove’ to celebrate body positivity within the fashion industry. She’s very talented and her pictures are awesome!
5. Kylie Mitchell (@immaeatthat)
Another very talented lady, Kylie makes cute and funny watercolors to help spread awareness of the importance of eating well. That’s also a form of therapy for her, as she herself is recovering from an eating disorder. She shares very inspiring pictures of her journey. You’re going to love her!
6. Clare (@becomingbodypositive)
Clare is a sweet girl in her twenties who’s doing a great job at recovery from an eating disorder. She likes to have inspiring conversations with her followers about all things body acceptance. Some of her posts are very funny and she’s absolutely lovely!
7. Kenzie Brenna (@omgkenzieee)
Kenzie’s IG account is all about self-love. She shares many important reflections about mental health and self-esteem. And a lot of beautiful pictures of herself, too. You go, girl!
8. Connie (@my_life_without_ana)
Connie absolutely ROCKS a pixie haircut after looking through her IG feed, I strongly believe she’s an actual fairy. Not only she has the most beautiful smile, she’s also funny and sweet. Her posts are definitely going to make you happy. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is! Let her inspire you with her strength and her fight against anorexia!
9. Gina Susanna (@nourishandeat)
Gina is a body acceptance advocate. She has recovered from anorexia and two other associated eating disorders. She still lives with another mental illness, social anxiety, but she rocks at fighting it. She’s basically my definition of a hero.
Check out her website for more of her story and some amazing recovery resources.
10. Dana “Hotpants” Suchow (@dothehotpants)
Dana is awesome. She’s the co-founder of The Ripple, a non-profit that aims to create a collective of women to empower other women. Girl power much?
Dana wanted to be a famous fashion blogger. But after she learned more about fashion industry’s ridiculous standards and noticed they were fueling her eating disorder, she changed her dreams. Now, she made it her mission to educate, encourage, and inspire other victims of aesthetics pressure to love themselves.
Social media is what we make it.
You don’t need to keep on following people who make you feel bad. If they don’t inspire you, if they don’t bring you joy, then smash that unfollow button. As we’ve seen here, the internet is full of better options.
You deserve peace of mind. You deserve to love yourself and love life. If someone or something is weighing you down, let them go. Enjoy a simple, lighter life. You deserve it. Always