Right. Let’s talk about Instagram.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a sucker for a good boomerang story, and bully my friends into taking cute ‘candids’ of me (sorry, Ella). I have, however, had a love-hate relationship with Instagram for a while now. As a teenager with negative body image and low self-esteem, Instagram frequently became a pretty negative place to be, and still can be if I’m not careful (despite the twelve pug accounts I follow).
I used to measure my self-worth on the number of likes my pictures got, comparing the numbers to those of my friends’ selfies. Unfortunately for me, a high percentage of my friends are drop-dead gorgeous (no, you can’t have their phone numbers), and being faced with their stunning bikini picswhen I had been crying on the bathroom floor for twenty minutes over how ‘fat’ I was…didn’t really help.
On New Year’s Eve of 2019, my resolution became ‘stop posting on Instagram’. Instead of being obsessed with trying to get the ‘perfect’ picture, I would wait until I had a really lovely photo that I actually wanted to share with my friends. In 2018, I posted 55 pictures (not including ones since deleted because I thought I looked ugly). Last year, I posted 11. I even braved a no makeup selfie for International Women’s Day (#activism). It helped me to unlearn toxic Instagram behaviours, even though I still catch myself refreshing my recent posts to watch the number of likes rise (I can’t lie to you guys).
Another thing that helped me better my relationship with Instagram was finding some people to follow who made my feed more empowering! I unfollowed a bunch of people that, quite frankly, made me feel like crap, and replaced them with accounts that turned my frown upside down.
To celebrate the launch of A Spoonful of Hannah’s shiny new Instagram account (this is a shameless plug: Go Follow Me!), I asked my followers who made their feeds more empowering, and this is what they said:
Megan Jayne Crabbe, @bodyposipanda
Hannah says: I have followed this account for a few years now, and her posts never fail to put a smile on my face when they pop up on my feed. A champion of body positivity, @bodyposipanda uses her platform to talk candidly about body image and nutrition, posts unfiltered photos of bodies of all shapes, colours, and ability, and speaks up about important issues such as Black Lives Matter and the COVID-19 pandemic (in case you’d forgotten about it). She’s a fabulous (and informative) role model, and I think everyone should see her rainbow hair at least once a day.
Expect to see: Activism, Affirmations, and a whole lot of love
The Female Lead, @the_female_lead
Hannah says: The Female Lead defines themselves as ‘Showing How Women Shape The World’, and they do a wonderful job of it. 1/3 an AOC stan account (I’m not mad), 1/3 feminist affirmations, 1/3 pictures of beautiful bodies, the female lead should 100% be on your ‘Follow Now’ list (see what I did there?). Their foremost job is being an educational charity, helping schools set up female leadership programmes, with modules including ‘Portrayal of women in media’, ‘Women in science’ and ‘Building resilience’ (Who runs the world?).
Expect to see: Brilliant women, empowering quotes, and the patriarchy being dismantled before your very eyes
Danae Mercer, @danaemercer
Hannah says: Danae Mercer’s Instagram bio consists of a number of her achievements (you’ll have to follow her to find out) but I’d like to add one more: Literal Angel™. Her candid posts on everything from stretch marks and cellulite, the pressures of everyday life, to actually posing like a supermodel (I will definitely be utilising that last one) make sure that her account does exactly what it says on the tin: ‘Helping folks feel normal’ (oops! Spoilers…)!
Expect to see: Stretch marks, tummy rolls, and a daily reminder that even the girls on Instagram don’t look like the girls on Instagram…
Peggy Gou, @peggygou_
(Warning! I haven’t followed Peggy for very long, and so a lot of this info is ripped straight from Google! Sorry…)
Hannah says: Peggy Gou has done it all. The first Korean woman to DJ at the notoriously exclusive Berghain, Gou has launched her own record label, designed a (very cool) fashion line (anyone wanna lend me £200 for a sweater?) and still manages to perform more than one hundred gigs a year. Oh, and she’s not even 30. Did someone say Girl Power?
Expect to see: Videos of awesome DJ sets, jealousy-inspiring pics of Gou around the world, and some incredible fashion
I Weigh, @i_weigh
Hannah says: Founded by Jameela Jamil, I Weigh is ‘about radical inclusivity, so that no one feels alone’. They are a champion of body neutrality, a practice that takes the focus away from having any negative OR positive thoughts about our bodies, and learning a healthy respect for them instead. I Weigh uses their feed to be open and honest about eating disorders and neurodiversity, racism and discrimination, and intersectionality. They post a lot of important stuff, and also encourage their followers to tell them what they ‘weigh’ (e.g. I would weigh being a friend, musician, blog writer, and Diet Coke addict).
Expect to see: Art that tackles important issues, eye-opening discussions on different cultural body-image standards, and clips from the fabulous podcast of the same name (the Reese Witherspoon episode is my favourite).
Personally, my favourite account on Instagram right now is @aspoonfulofhannah… You should definitely go check it out…
Lots of Love,