Models photoshopped to perfection, endless seas of selfies, and unattainable beauty standards...it’s no wonder that Instagram is ranked at #1 on the list of most psychologically damaging social platform. Equipped with numerous filters that falsify reality, the social platform is causing damage to young people’s mental health, especially women.
In the age of normalized addiction to social approval and status, it’s important for us to stay grounded and be able to recognize what’s real and what’s not. That’s why we want to point out these women-centric accounts slaying on Instagram, promoting real emotions, feminism, and a whole lotta self-love. They aren’t afraid to share the parts of life that no one likes to talk about.
Whether it’s through empowering artwork or unfiltered selfies, these are a few of our favorite accounts making Instagram a more transparent and wholesome place:
Founded by activist and model Adwoa Aboah (you should follow her too @adwoaaboah), this account is a safe online space for women to engage in discussions about issues they’re passionate about. The feed is full of artwork, poems, photographs, and more, all promoting self love with a little backstory in the caption.
This account is chock full of reflective illustrations done by...you guessed it, an artist named Nicole. Her illustrations revolve around women’s lives and range from sassy to serious. Above all, the drawings are totally relatable and a surefire way to brighten your day.
This account is a community created by Refinery 29 to celebrate the culture, voices, and art of black women. On Instagram, you’ll find inspirational quotes, news blurbs, portraits, and spotlights, all focusing on the beauty and strength among black women.
This account is managed by Sonia Guiñansaca, a queer migrant poet and activist from Ecuador. Her work is internationally renowned and she’s a leader within the migrant artist community. On her feed, she shares photo essays, artwork from various artists, quotes, and selfies with other super inspiring people.
Artist Alison Rachel runs this extremely aesthetically pleasing and empowering Instagram account. Every photo on the feed features illustrations with diverse women and simple quotes that bluntly hit the nail on the head on topics we’re taught to hide like mental health and sexuality.
Photojournalist and filmmaker Alice Aedy runs this account that focuses primarily on promoting the beauty in people of all ages, all around the world. As a humanitarian, there’s a strong emphasis on migrants and refugees in her work. Follow her account to learn the stories behind her raw portraits.
Follow film photographer, filmmaker, and fellow zine-lover Chloe Sheppard for stunning vintage photos promoting unphotoshopped, real women. The intimate portraits celebrating vulnerability evoke feelings of nostalgia and feature a mix of real, trailblazing women, as well as “it” girls like Charli XCX and Erika Bowes.
Cleo Wade is an influential poet, artist, and author. On her instagram account, she shares snippets of notes and poems from her best-selling book, “Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life.” Her aim is to encourage women to harness their strength and resilience through her poems about life, love, and healing.
This account is a part of the MAKERS brand, whose mission is to highlight women doing amazing things around the country in hopes of inspiring the next generation of women. The Instagram account is full of vibrant infographics, interview excerpts, and quotes from inspirational women.
Mari Andrew is a writer and illustrator that turned to art after experiencing the loss of her father in 2015. She writes poetic bits of advice and reflection that anyone can relate to. She’s very observant, and has a unique personal philosophy on pain, happiness, and success. Plus, she writes fun astrological sign mantras.
By Cara Hutto