When I log into Instagram I am bombarded by the sleek, promising packaging of weight loss shakes and teas. When I hit my explore page, I see nothing but “flat tummy” workouts and transformation pictures with perfectly posed fitness influencers. When I decided to go into recovery for an eating disorder, I knew that the weight loss and fitness accounts I worshipped on Instagram would be my biggest obstacle. Representation in the media is important and without it, people may feel alone and alienated regarding their race, gender, weight and abilities. So, I compiled a list of diverse Instagram accounts that have inspired and empowered me through my own journey, as I hope they do for yours.
1.) Aaron Philip
Aaron Phillip is a disabled trans WOC, who was signed to Elite this September. She is carving the way in the industry and fighting for not only diversity but also accessibility within the modelling and fashion industries. Her career kicked off with a tweet, and ever since, she has been growing her platform on Instagram. Personally, I believe Aaron Philip will be the most influential femme of our time and will hopefully increase the visibility of trans and disabled people on the runway.
2.) Megan Jayne Crabbe
Megan Jayne Crabbe is a blogger and eating disorder survivor who uses her social media platform to teach people about body positivity. She models, dances and writes her way into our hearts! Her first book, Body Positive Power, can be found on Penguin Books UK and Amazon. It explores where the idea of the “ideal body” came from and what can happen when we succumb into diet culture.
3.) Kelvin Davis
Kelvin Davis is a style icon for plus-size men. His blogs contain intriguing, body positive style guides and they make up the premise for his book, How to Be A Modern Gentleman with Manners, Style and Body Confidence. You can find the style guides and book on his website.
Knix Wear is a Canadian apparel brand that represents models of all sizes, ethnicities and abilities in their advertising. The brand rose to recognition with their “Leak Proof Underwear” but have now branched off into bras and other intimates. You can check out their website here.
5.) Steve Blaine
Steve Blaine is a queer, disabled activist who has gone viral and inspired men to embrace body positivity. He has been featured in The Daily Mail and The Sharon Osbourne Show. As well, he has his own Youtube channel which you can find here.
6.) Charli Howard
Charli Howard is a model and activist who is currently modelling for Muse Curve. She went viral after calling out her (ex) modelling agency, whose representatives told her she was fat and encouraged her to lose weight even though she was a size 6. With her new agency, she sits at a happy size 10. It may seem ludicrous to us that she is considered a plus-size model, but it is a fact that in the modelling industry plus-size models start at a size 8. Howard has not embraced this label and instead has been fighting to increase inclusion of the “in-between” sizes who often are told they are too big to be regular models even though they are not plus size.
These are just six of the many models and Instagram activists who are fighting for increased representation in the media. We have a long way to go, but we are slowly and surely making our way there!
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