You’ve probably heard the news that social media can cause depression. Or maybe you’ve just felt it—that sinking feeling of seeing beautiful, filtered bodies in places you didn’t even know existed wearing clothes you’ll never afford looking effortlessly perfect. You can certainly keep living that way if you want, OR you can curate a feed that boosts your happiness.
What does that look like? Diversity! Representation! People who look and act like, you know, real people with wrinkles, flab and foibles! No matter what your hobbies or interests are, there are people out there to follow on Instagram who will show you the world as it is, as they live it, without making you feel bad about your complicated, messy life. Since Lemonada has a total fashion icon in our midst with Sinéad Burke, this list will focus on some beauty and fashion influencers that we love.
Megan Jayne Crabbe is known for her unicorn-colored hair and love of dancing in her bedroom. But more than that, this British body-positivity activist and writer is a one-stop-shop of joy, inspiration and honesty about her past struggles with disordered eating. She uses her megaphone to teach us how to care for others’ struggles.
Amy Pence-Brown is an activist who lives in Idaho and hosts a radical fat camp every summer, where women gather to be fully themselves. She’s also known for wearing a bikini and a blindfold in downtown Boise and letting people draw and write on her body. A mother of three, she’s the shot in the arm you might need to figure out how you can inspire others.
Jameela Jamil is one of the realest, coolest women in Hollywood. The Good Place actress calls out double standards, champions diversity, and uses her considerable reach to preach “radical inclusivity” with her side-Instagram I WEIGH.
Jonathan Van Ness, the hair guy from Queer Eye, is probably the best person ever to Instagram? It’s not just hair flips and skincare recommendations, JVN is a triumph of the human spirit. Watching him learn how to ice skate, practice gymnastics, twerk every morning while feeding his cats — it’s all a master-class in seizing the day, always learning and challenging yourself. The fact that his hair and skin look great while he’s doing it is a bonus that we honestly don’t even deserve.
In addition to people, a great way to use Instagram is to follow hashtags like #bodypositivity, #accessibility, #fatacceptance. Doing so allows you to see a wide world of gorgeousness of all shapes, sizes, colors and abilities.
The thing about this very, very intro list of radical Insta-celebrities is that they do a wonderful job of highlighting other people you should know and follow. Pretty soon, you’re going to find that your Instagram feed is full of people who actually make you feel GOOD when you’re scrolling through in line at the grocery store, and might even inspire you to try some new things with your makeup, your clothes, your hobbies, or your entire life.
Lemonada will be discussing beauty and joy in all its diverse forms on As Me with Sinéad, coming this fall.