Your body is a temple, and with the influence of negative social media trends, we often forget that we are beautiful exactly the way we are. Not ten pounds lighter, not a shade tanner, and not with that extra bit of makeup. We are beautiful the way that we are now, at this moment, reading this article. Don’t believe me? That’s okay. I didn’t believe I was beautiful for a long time.
Part of the reason for this was because I was constantly seeing someone who I believed was skinnier, prettier, tanner and more popular over social media. The constant bombardment of flat-tummy tea influencers or keto-diet weight loss champions took a serious toll on my mental health. Ironically, the best way to stop feeling so imperfect is to go on a cleanse of your own – a social media cleanse that is.
Hit the unfollow button. It’s not healthy to stare at a supermodel’s picture, zooming in to find the photoshop flaws. It’s also not healthy to compare yourself to anyone else, especially when it comes to weight. So hit that unfollow button and cleanse your timeline of the negativity.
Instead, here are ten body positivity influencers that you should take a look at.
Sarah Nicole Landry, @thebirdspapaya
Sarah Nicole Landry brings everything to the table on her Instagram: her kids, her ups, her downs, her failures and accomplishments. She brings the reality of the world to prevalence. We are not perfect; we have scars and stretchmarks. And we need to embrace them. For Landry, her stretch marks are a reminder that she brought four wonderful children into the world. Her pictures hold a wonderful aesthetic while also highlighting the truth of the everyday “mom” bodies.
Ashley Graham, @ashleygraham
A plus-size model now pregnant with her first child, Ashley Graham has killed the social media and runway game for years now. She, like most body positivity advocates, embraces her stretch marks and cellulite. But more than that, her fashion sense is the shining star of her Instagram platform. Graham dares to be bold in bright colors, patterns, and fabrics that are commonly reserved for a certain body “type.” And the best part is, she doesn’t try to overemphasize her status as a plus-size model, she simply lives her life to the fullest.
Iskra Lawrence, @iskra
AerieReal campaign frontrunner and model, Iskra Lawrence is a shining light in a world full of size 00s. She has opened up about her previous experience as a photoshopped size 00 model and her journey from unhealthiness to a well-balanced healthy lifestyle as a plus-size model. She is also a combatant for the negative psychological and mental health toll social media takes on young women and often posts uplifting messages to remind them that many pictures are photoshopped and reality is much sweeter.
Hunter McGrady, @huntermcgrady
A “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Rookie,” Hunter McGrady embraces her femininity and all that her body has to offer. One of her messages to all women is that everyone is beach-body ready RIGHT NOW. McGrady’s message “don’t be afraid to take up space ladies” is prevalent in all aspects of life, especially in a world in which discrimination can occur in the workplace, in friend groups, schools, and in government. McGrady wants her followers to be loud and be proud of who they are and all that they’ve accomplished.
Jameela Jamil, @jameelajamilofficial
Witty and full of memes, Jameela Jamil’s Instagram is as much a body-positivity page as it is Jamil making fun of herself. She is an open, optimistic woman who isn’t afraid of a daring makeup look or wild outfit. She loves simply being herself and she knows at the end of the day, no one can take away her happiness but herself.
Not only is Lizzo leading the top charts in modern music, but she is also out there advocating for body positivity and the normalization of all bodies. Funny and full of self-joy, Lizzo’s content will inspire and brighten any day. And if her content isn’t enough to remind you of your worth, try listening to any of her top-charts music.
Colette Sierra, @colettesierra
Self-defined “theology nerd” and self-care superstar, this AerieReal model focusing on living her best life on a day-to-day basis. Embracing her natural hair and beautiful skin, Colette Sierra regularly posts updates on her life and her journey to loving her body. She fully embraces her African American heritage, especially her stunning hair for which she quotes Marcus Garvey (in a recent post) saying, “Don’t remove the kinks from your hair. Remove them from your brain.”
Em Ford, @mypaleskinblog
Em Ford’s goal is to “#redefinepretty.” This movement is an attempt to include women of all shapes, colors, sizes, and skin conditions. For Em Ford, who possesses a skin condition, she is all about loving the girl in the mirror in the morning, and the girl in full-faced makeup who goes out at night. She believes being happy means looking past the imperfections and to the root of a person. Beauty is not skin-deep.
Arielle Estoria, @arielleestoria
Her bio reads “#beautifullymadewithintention” and she carries this message throughout her Instagram. Full of life and joy, Arielle Estoria regularly posts uplifting messages covering a wide range of topics such as shame, the beauty in growth, and our personal freedoms. She regularly features other women who love themselves and their bodies, sharing the love from coast to coast.
Barbie Ferreira, @barbieferreira
While she is not an outright body positivity advocate, the Euphoria star is a role model both on the show and in actuality for those who are uncomfortable in their skin. In the HBO show, Euphoria, Ferreira’s character, Kat, finds freedom in expressing herself through her clothing choices and makeup styles. The actress herself embodies this on social media, repeatedly showing off new trends, fabulous makeup styles, and diversity in one’s look that should be embraced.