By Jess Bolton
In October I shared some of my body positivity journey with you. Since then I’ve heard lots of people say that the first step on their journey was the same as the first step on mine – sorting out their Instagram feed.
Since the arrival of Instagram airbrushing isn’t just for magazine covers any more. This fantastic photo series by Chompoo Baritone shows how unrealistic the bulk of the photos we look at are.
Constantly scrolling through photos of things that we can’t achieve is bad for us, so if you’re fed up of being surrounded by images of airbrushed bodies that look nothing like yours, I have something to share with you: it doesn’t have to be like this! There are hundreds of accounts out there filled with glorious bodies of all shapes and sizes, colours and abilities and I’ve picked some of my favourites to share with you.
Paola AKA _chubbybabe
Paula is a photography student who takes beautiful photos of her own body and shares them on instagram. Her photos show that sensuality isn’t only for thin people, and that everyone can look like a bombshell in fancy underwear.
"When putting these pictures together I asked myself if I was really going to post my untoned tummy, dimpled thighs and stretch marks in a world that is fixed on telling me I'm not allowed to. Naturally, I doubted it for a while but soon my fear was overshadowed by joy and conviction. Heck yes, I was going to post them! Problem areas are nothing more than another societal construction to reduce us to flawed objects that need to be fixed. So here's my lumpy, bumpy, cellulite, back roll loving unedited imperfection in all it's astonishing glory. Here's to reality and hoping that we start to see more of it. ♥️✨"
Jessamyn AKA mynameisjessamyn
If you’re a yoga fanatic, this is the Instagram account for you. You might also want to pick up Jessamyn’s book, Every Body Yoga. Her beautiful photos radiate femininity and strength and they’ll make you want to get out your own yoga mat and strike a pose.
"There are no words to express what it means to have y’all share your love with me. It’s overwhelming at times, especially since I’m such an introvert. But if I could ask for anything in this world, I’d ask that everyone who has ever said something nice to/about me would look in the mirror and say those exact same words to themselves."
Megan Jayne Crabbe AKA bodyposipanda
Megan Jayne Crabbe is the body positivity queen. An anorexia sufferer for many years, Megan found the body positivity movement two years ago and it has changed her life. I dare you not to fall in love with her colourful posts and beautiful smile.
The caption to this pic says "TO ANYONE CURRENTLY FEELING GUILTY ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF FOOD IN THEIR STOMACH: it's okay. Tummies are supposed to grow and expand and let us experience all kinds of delicious moments. You are no less beautiful, valuable, or loveable whether you are full or empty. Treat your food baby nicely, don't pull or grab yourself, don't be rough. Be gentle, touch yourself kindly, appreciate the softness. And when the guilt creeps up, tell yourself that everything is okay, and that what you've eaten today doesn't determine one single bit of how wonderful you are."
Sophie Mayanne AKA behindthescars_
Sophie Mayanne is a photographer who takes intimate photographs of peoples’ scarring and tells their stories. Her Instagram proves that every body is beautiful, and that we all have a story to share.
Sophie includes quotes from her subjects. Mercy, pictured opposite, says "my scars are from a fire related to domestic abuse. I got burnt at the age of 29, and it's been a difficult journey coming to terms with it. The comfort I take from my scars is they make me who I am today. I call them the most precious, and expensive piece of jewellery I own. I have survived and if having my picture taken and exposing my scars can help anyone else then that's good for me!"
Dani aka chooselifewarrior
@chooselifewarrior knows exactly what I'm on about in this blog post. In one of her image captions she says “following a range of body types, particularly body types that look like me, normalised difference. Normalised love and understanding. Diluted the strict rules of beauty standards our society makes us adhere to.” So get on it and follow her account!
Are you following a great Body Positive account that isn’t in this list? Let us know in the comments.