But, with everyone on the gram being facetuned to perfection, it can be a little tricky to really love the skin we’re in.
Scrolling through our feeds or flicking through the latest copy of our fave magazine, we’re bombarded with an idealised vision of beauty that only reflects a small portion of real people.
The journey to self love can be a hard one. We’re all fighting our own demons and dealing with years of built up body-hate. It’s so easy to focus on our flaws to the point where they become the only thing we see when we look in the mirror. But, more often than not, other people don’t even notice whatever it is we’re desperately trying to cover up with clothes or concealer.
So, what steps can we take to start breaking down those walls we’ve put up to hide our true selves?
First of all, unfollow anyone on Instagram who makes you feel bad about the way you look. Why put yourself through that kind of torture on a daily basis? Instead, in the words of Marie Kondo, fill your feed with people who really spark joy.
To help you on the way, we’ve put together a few of our fave accounts that inspire us to feel good about ourselves, both on the inside and out.
Stephanie Yeboah is a plus size lifestyle and fashion blogger who's paving the way for curvy girl positivity. “Something that really helped me on my journey to self love was seeing other fat women (especially black and POC women) in various states of undress online” she says. “It empowered me, and made me feel normal. Seeing other women in their bikinis and underwear with their rolls, cellulite, stretch marks, hyperpigmentation and bellies on show normalised fat bodies for me and taught me not to feel ashamed in my own skin. I
The body positivity movement isn’t just all about women either, which self-confessed “baby-face bopo warrior” Stevie tackles head on with his blog. “Men are expected to be strong, to be masculine, to have broad shoulders, 6 pack abs and a jawline longer than my life expectancy. But what if you don’t fit into that definition that society so unhelpfully sets out for us?” he says.
Libby’s an 18-year-old artist making some big waves in the scene with the ambition to “create honest, body positive, sex positive, human positive art, celebrating what it is to be alive - warts and all.” She’s “determined to prove to everybody that they are worthy of being turned into art, and that beauty and softness and wonder exists in every perceived ‘flaw’.”
Jess is part of the @coppafeelpeople team that's all about raising awareness for checking your boobs and pecks regularly. She uses her platform to remind us that our “body is not a billboard”. “You shouldn’t feel expected to sell the perfect fantasy” she says, “stop getting bent out of shape about what average as fuck boys think of your powerful body.”
Blogging, healing, motivational speaking, podcasting - you name it, Grace does it. This woman is a serious force to be reckoned with. On the gram Grace shares what it means to be real, the ups, the downs and everything in between. She’s all about body positivity, but also about accepting the days when you don’t love the skin you’re in, and how to work through the traumas that have caused this. In one recent post, Grace got real about the struggles of self-love, “if I’m honest, I’ve felt ugly all week,” she says. “I couldn’t pull myself out of it, no matter what I did and how hard I tried. But, this morning I woke up and said ‘no more Grace, you need to remember that your are THAT biiiittccchhhh’.”
If you’ve spent any time on the gram in the last couple of months then there’s no doubt you will have a seen a post or too from this account. Jameela Jamil is the powerhouse behind the movement that aims to make us “feel valuable and see how amazing we are beyond the flesh on our bones.” iWeigh is all about reclaiming our bodies from the media and redefining what it means to be beautiful. “I like myself in spite of everything I’ve been taught by the media to hate about myself” she says.
Sara is doing the god’s work when it comes to breaking down the barriers built up by the perfectly photoshopped lives we see on Instagram. She uses her account to show how slight tricks of the camera or the way we pose for a photo can drastically alter our perception of how we look. “It’s crazy how the smallest movements and positioning of our bodies can make us feel so different about how we see ourselves”she says. “Challenge yourself to let go and realise it does not matter as much as you think, and that you can and are able to accept yourself as you are now.”
Beyonce who? Queen of our hearts is our “thick thighs save lives” sis Thickleeyonce. “There’s something special about being around women that look just like you,” she says, “you’re able to see your own beauty through them, this is why representation is important.” “We are constantly exposed to the same kind of beauty, day after day, and it’s disheartening when you can’t even relate to it because you look nothing like the girls that the world glorifies.”
Taking the crown for providing all the laughs when it comes to the #bopo movement is Celeste. Celeste removes the filter from those perfectly “candid” celebrity shots we see all over the gram and shows us that these are anything but real life. If you’re looking for a little pick-me-up, then this gal has got you covered.
People aren’t perfect, and neither are our bodies. There’s a real lack of disability visibility in the media, and all too often these bodies are overlooked when it comes to promoting the beauty in our bodies. Sylvia Mac is a child burn survivor and campaigner who’s using her beautifully wholesome platform to promote body positivity for every body.
Em Ford uses her gram to remind us that “being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” She’s part of the #redefinepretty movement that’s storming the web rn and taking back the power to decide what beauty means. “You don’t have to be ‘perfect’ to be happy” she says. “You don’t need to have ‘flawless skin’ to be successful, and you certainly don’t have to change who you are to be ‘liked’.”
Most importantly, remember that anyone who’s going to judge you for the way you look, or the way you don't look, isn't the kind of person you want in your life anyway. When it comes to the way you look, the only person whose opinion matters, is you.