For many people, scrolling through Instagram can feel like an onslaught of negative emotion and discouragement. Beautiful people, amazing houses, and #jetset tags abound and look NOTHING like your life, your beloved friends, or your office cubicle, or your sad lunch.
In college, I started seeing women that were curvier, of different ethnic backgrounds, less “toned” and less “perfect” in the media and in print. While my sorority house roommates were taping up pictures of Victoria Secret models around our home with “GTL GOALS” scrawled across the page in Sharpie, I was taking them down and replacing them with torn out pages with pictures of some of the first plus-sized supermodels of the day. Denise Bidot and Crystal Renn were some of the first to grace the pages of glossies like Glamour and Marie Claire and became part of my decor.Seeing these women in my space every day inspired me and made me take a look at myself and my body and see it as glamorous and beautiful and worthy and reframe my personal conversations with myself.
Now, my feed features a majority of women (and men, and non-binary folks too!) who do not fit the “fantasy” aesthetic that we’ve been hearing about from Victoria Secret for most of our lives. The same me that tore down those magazine pages from my college sorority house is the same woman that now goes out of her way to diversify the ideal of beauty to include everyone. Because Instagram is only one side of each of our stories. Today I thought I’d start with Part 1 of 4. I hope this inspires you to make your Instagram more inclusive every day and to change your dialogue with yourself and those around you.
Step 1: Look locally
The great thing about Instagram is that it allows you to talk to real people…that’s the power of social media that we forget. Getting to actually meet and then KNOW the womxn in your Insta feeds has been a real joy in my life and has also served to make my Instagram feed both more inclusive AND more inspirational. These are a few of the women that I run into in my blogging spheres who are all living their incredibly real and complex lives while also blogging and sharing my passion for fashion. Following their feeds has allowed me to find out about local happenings, and keep a finger on the pulse of the region.
Alison is a great blogger to follow for women of all ages, but she is especially empowering to women over 40, whom she maintains a group for and continues to create content that is both super real as well as really really inspiring. Also, I’m loving her new rock n’ roll haircut.
Dani has one of the most glam feeds I have EVER seen. Her DC area content makes the city look GOOOOOD henny! Also, she’s a total sweetheart that is never above being there for her fans. Come for the body positive outfit inspo, stay for the nail and beauty inspo! Were!
This gorgeous, sparkly, curly-haired beauty is a real gem. Catherine has such an easy and accessible elegance about her and a truly fun personality. Her colorful getups and fun event coverage are one of my favorites to follow. I have the pleasure to actually hang out with Catherine weekly, and she’s not only a total pro, but also a wonderful person. *Peep some of my amateur photography on Catherine’s blog*
Tiffany is a force of nature. Not only are her outfits serving up fierceness and body positivity, she also shares great career advice and fun event coverage in DC. It’s always a pleasure to see Tiffany at DC events. Also she’s a Michigan girl!!
Oh la la! Sylvia is a breath of Paris in DC. Her outfits are always cutting edge and her Instagram and blog are impossibly chic. Sylvia isn’t another 20-something instagirl, she has years of experience and is a total inspiration for the elegant and on trend career woman. *Seriously living for this Lauduree picture*
JOY! Oh man! I’ve never met a woman who lives up to to her name so completely! Joy is so radiant and it shows through her beautiful outfits and energy-filled shots. Joy is living her BEST life and blogs about fashion as well as community events and empowerment!
There are SOOOO many more!! By including a diverse range of Instagrammers, my feed now makes me happy and inspired instead of making me feel like I will never measure up. I hope that my Instagram inspires you to try new things and live your life stylishly and authentically. If you ever have a doubt that MY life is completely imperfect, please refer to my roommates who see me on the couch every day with greasy hair and the same teddybear sweatshirt and holey leggings. I’m sitting here writing this in the aforementioned outfit…and you know what, I’m STILL a fashion blogger. Love you all. You’re beautiful, you’re worthy, you’re AWESOME!