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10 Body Positive Instagram Accounts to Follow this Summer

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As summer approaches, you may find it difficult to own your confidence in your body. If you feel uncomfortable in your own skin, you are not alone. Everyone deserves to feel empowered. Body positivity belongs not to one group of people but to everyone, it is an all-encompassing movement to conquer life with confidence.

Finding confidence doesn’t happen overnight — and despite reports that Instagram can be harmful to your mental health — following the right accounts and using strategies mindful of your mental health can make your feed a source of positivity. Here are 10 Instagram accounts to follow for body positive inspiration.

1. Loey Lane

Every year on my birthday my dad would call to play me a song on his trumpet. This is the first year I woke up and didn’t hear him saying “Happy birthday punkin!” Every year on my birthday I like to get myself something small as an act of self love. A manicure, a new phone case, a comfy pair of PJs. This year, all I wanted was that phone call. Instead, I had my closest friends by my side as I picked out this cutie from @buildabear, he’s a Star Trek (my dad’s favorite show) bear and he’s wearing a Minnesota Vikings (his favorite team) hoodie. He also plays the Star Trek theme, which I would pitter patter downstairs in the middle of the night to when I had a nightmare and just wanted to be near my dad. I am happy that in so many ways I can keep my dad with me and remember those things I love so much about him. I love you forever and always Daddy. Love, your Lolu ❤

A post shared by Loey Lane (@loeybug) on

Loey Lane is a body-positive YouTuber who maintains a strong presence on other social media platforms, especially Instagram. She openly discusses her own mental health, including her experience of grief after losing her father. Lane consistently encourages others to love themselves.

Follow Loey Lane.

2. Nourish and Eat

A few years ago, I never would have tried on these dresses. I would have seen them on the rack and loved them from afar, but never brought them into the dressing room with me. ❌ Bright patterns scared me. They drew attention. Made people look. And that was the last thing I wanted. ???? For those of you who followed along with me on my stories (which is why this photo only has the captions on it, whooops), I went out of my comfort zone shopping for a dress for an upcoming event. A FANCY event. Where people would not only be looking at me, but I’d also be making connections and TALKING to people. (Hello anxiety, my old friend.) And when I saw these dresses, with their gorgeous bright and attention-grabbing patterns, my first thought was “beautiful, but not for me.” BUT TO HELL WITH THAT. Why shouldn’t I try something on? Why can’t I wear something I love? ✨ Our bodies are made out of stardust. They’re actual, literal miracles. The fact that we’re here, right now, trying our best and just EXISTING is a beautiful thing. The world is so much greater than worrying about the shape of our arms in a sleeveless dress, or the number on the tag, or what other people think of us when we walk in a room. ✨✨✨ YOU ARE MAGIC no matter what you put on your body. Regardless of if the clothes fit or don’t fit. Plain or brightly colored. Covered or exposed. You are a miracle of the universe. ???? (PS – the dress I ended up choosing? is BRIGHT RED. No hiding this time for me. ????????) #youaremagic #dressingroomwarrior #wearwhatyouwant

A post shared by G I N A ✨S U S A N N A (@nourishandeat) on

Gina Susanna uses her account to promote body positivity and recovery from eating disorders. Susanna has been featured in Teen Vogue for dealing with weight gain and encourages her Instagram followers to “embrace the squish.” Susanna is often featured, as well as friends and uplifting text images.

Follow Nourish and Eat

3. Positivity Poppa

**MINDSET*** ~ So here’s a little before and after photo of me. There’s probably only about 2-3 years difference. ~ On the left, I’d just finished a circuit from Insanity. I took the photo in the most flattering way possible – best lighting, I was drenched in sweat so I felt it accentuated my muscles etc. It was perhaps the time I was closest to having an ‘aesthetic body’. I felt like having a ripped body would make me happiest and that I’d keep doing insanity until I looked ‘perfect’. ~ HOW SILLY OF ME! ???? ~ On the right is a picture of me now, taken this morning. I’ve got a bit more of a gut, I’m not trying to focus on lighting (only to make the picture more visible, not to make me look ‘better’) and I’m not posing in any way…but I’m happier in myself! Why? Because I know that my body fat and definition don’t affect my worth as a person. ~ I still exercise and my fitness levels are pretty much the same in both pictures, but my mindset is completely different. Don’t bank your happiness on looking like the models you see in magazines. You’ll spend your entire life trying to achieve a body that might not even be possible! Love yourself and think about all the wonderful things you bring to the world! ???? ~ Love you all ????????????????

A post shared by Rishi Bhaskara (@positivitypoppa) on

Rishi Bhaskara advocates for male body positivity, mental and physical health and feminism. He also fundraises for organizations during the half and full marathons he runs. His most recent marathon was run for Beat, an eating disorder charity in the U.K.

Follow Positivity Poppa.

4. Gutless and Glamorous

 Gaylyn Henderson uses her social media presence to fight Crohn’s disease stigmas as well as provide education, empowerment, and awareness for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). “People may stare, that’s OK.  I’ve learned people are either genuinely curious or genuinely inspired,” Henderson told The Mighty. “Curious of what may have caused the scars I have. Inspired because I have the courage to be all that I am regardless of what others may think.”

Follow Gutless and Glamorous.

5. Chronically Carmel

Day 27 ????What you hate most about Lyme ????herxing ????A Herxheimer reaction or Herx for short ????is something that happens when you treat Lyme Disease ????it can be a sign that treatment is working ????????when the bacteria dies off it realises toxins into the body and it really hurts!! ????it causes the Lyme patient to enter a debilitating physical and mental state ????????it can last from a couple hours to a couple weeks ????if it’s not handled properly it can cause a fair bit of damage or even death if it’s really severe ????detoxing is something that really helps ????I have to do it regularly because I have MTHFR as well ????????(a gene mutation to impairs the body’s ability to detox) ????????when I start treatment in a couple weeks there’s gonna some intense herxing ????and I’m pretty nervous ???? but ready ✅and ready to share the journey with you all ????????photo: went to the movies today, we saw Dead Men Tell No Tales ???? ☠????

A post shared by chronic illness realness ???????? (@chronically_carmel) on

Carmel lives with IBS, fibromyalgia, migraines and Lyme disease. She is open and honest about her experiences and acknowledges how difficult it can be to love your body when you have a chronic illness. Nevertheless, she takes the time to explain and educate, all while maintaining a positive attitude.

Follow Chronically Carmel.

6. Marcela Ilustra

Yesterday I posted about sensitivity and my outburst inspired me to make this illustration. For some time now I’ve identified myself as an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), but I realized that I never talked about it. It is basically a condition where a person has a hyper-sensitive nervous system, processes things in a deeper and more detailed way, and has a deep empathy for others. In my experience, being an HSP is being seen as a fragile person almost all the time. I have always cried very easily and have shown negative and positive feelings in a very intense and spontaneous way. If something hurt me I could not hold back tears no matter where and with whom I was. I also always found that having lots of things at the same time made me a bit stressed and surrounded by people for a long time too. Above all I have always worried and felt the emotions of the people around me. I can always tell when someone is not in a good mood or sad and that affects me deeply. A subtle change in the way a person treats me may be capable of causing me an immense anguish and making me wonder about a thousand different possibilities. All this has always made me a very insecure person because many times I’ve heard that I was not normal, that I was making drama or that I was very difficult to deal with.Some people have already used this as a justification for not having sex with me and it hurt. It still hurts when it happens. But today I know I have a positive side in my condition and despite all the suffering, I’m proud of it. I care. I care to help, to understand, to listen and if I were not that way, my job would not be this. I’ve done wonderful things for being HSP. I know my sensitivity may be too much for some and even for me at times, but my empathy is something I would not change. Sensitive and wonderful people, we are not alone. Fight to be proud of who you are and use that in a positive way. We can, you can ❤ #mentalhealth #mentalillness #mentalhealthawareness #highlysensitiveperson #hsp #illustration #art #arte #artistsofinstagram #artist #draw #drawing #desenho #dibujo

A post shared by Marcela Sabiá ???? (@marcelailustra) on

 Marcela Sabiá is a Brazilian illustrator who advocates for mental health, self-love and body positivity. Her drawings range from loving your own smile to remembering it’s OK not to be OK.

Follow Marcela Ilustra.

7. Madeline’s Modelling

Happy World Down Syndrome day from Mexico #BreakingTheMouldTour #downsyndrome #inclusion #holiday

A post shared by Madeline Stuart (@madelinesmodelling_) on

Madeline Stuart is a young woman with Down syndrome who has modeled for magazines, fashion shows and news networks. From a young age, Stuart was determined to be a model and make the fashion industry a place of empowerment and inclusiveness for all. “Maddy just likes to show people that if they believe in themselves they are capable of anything,” Madeline’s mother, Roseann Stuart, opreviously told The Mighty. “To never give up or doubt yourself.”

Follow Madeline’s Modelling.

8. Winnie Harlow

Dreams of being a Bond girl… ???????????? #007

A post shared by ♔Winnie Harlow♔ (@winnieharlow) on

Winnie Harlow is a model who made her fame on “America’s Next Top Model” in 2014. Harlow lives with vitiligo, a chronic skin condition characterized by depigmentation of portions of the skin. After being bullied due to her condition, she struggled with mental illness and contemplated suicide. However, she strove for success and is now a world-renowned model.

Follow Winnie Harlow.

9. Mama Caxx

Mama Caxx is a Haitian-American blogger and is an amputee, advocate and motivational speaker. She uses her social media platforms to talk about body positivity and dismantle notions of what people with disabilities “ought” to look or act like. In September 2016, she was invited to the White House to walk in the first ever White House Fashion Show, celebrating inclusive design.

Follow Mama Caxx.

10. Invisible Body Disabilities

Sapevo che Salvatore, come me, soffre di colite ulcerosa, così decisi di contattarlo per fargli conoscere il mio progetto e conoscere la sua storia. Da quel giorno di qualche mese fa iniziò una lunga conversazione, che ancora oggi prosegue e racconta le nostre battaglie quotidiane e le limitazioni della malattia. Quest’estate ho avuto l’onore di conoscerlo di persona, ascoltando la sua storia e scattando alcune foto (ringrazio A.M.I.C.I. – Associazione Malattie Infiammatorie Croniche dell’Intestino per avermi concesso lo spazio dove ho poi montato la mia attrezzatura). Salvatore mi ha raccontato che prima di Dicembre del 2009 non conosceva la malattia, aveva solamente 19 anni. In un primo momento aveva pensato che il suo malessere fosse legato alla cattiva alimentazione o allo stress dello spostamento a Milano dalla Sicilia per studiare all’università. Solo in un secondo momento (in ospedale), ha scoperto l’esistenza della colite ulcerosa. Fino a due anni fa Salvatore stava abbastanza, viaggiava moltissimo e teneva diversi convegni, poi la ricaduta, il ricovero e varie terapie a seguito. Anche una passeggiata di pochi metri lo sfiniva e il dover uscire fuori di casa gli creava panico misto ad ansia ed agitazione. Adesso, invece, va molto meglio ed ha ripreso a viaggiare, a uscire con più serenità e a tenere più controllata la malattia, e spesso finiamo per raccontarci di cibo e viaggi, tralasciando completamente la malattia! La consapevolezza aiuta a prevenire le ricadute, conoscendo già il tipo dolore, e lascia affrontare in maniera più positiva le battaglie di ogni giorno. Full interview: #raiseawareness #invisiblebodydisabilitiesproject #ibd #ulcerativecolitis #coliteulcerosa #crohnsandcolitisawareness #salvatorearanzulla #web #informatica #internet

A post shared by invisiblebodydisabilities (@invisiblebodydisabilities) on

The work of Chiara DeMarchi, this account proudly dubs itself as a collection of encouraging stories and images of people living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Individuals are often featured as well as families — demonstrating support, validation and love. While this account is published in Italian, these powerful pictures speak for themselves.

Follow Invisible Body Disabilities.

Have a body positive account you love? Let us know in the comments below. 

Originally published: June 5, 2017
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