When the social media outlet playing on my love of photographic memorabilia otherwise known as Instagram first appeared on the scene in my life, beginning my adventures as @somewhere_under_the_rainbow, I couldn’t quite grasp the depth and breadth of interpersonal connections it would allow me to make. However, that only deepened exponentially when I became connected with a particular body positive community – much of which revolved around unapologetically brilliant selfies, outfits of the day, and hashtags (representing greater movements) galore. Of course, these body positive activists’ work is about much more than the quick albeit already important snapshot I’ve listed – each one of these warriors has managed to tap into an audience of “followers,” who have in turn continue to tap into them daily as a source of inspiration.

Related: 5 Artists Whose Body Positivity is Taking Over My Instagram!

rachel insta

Utilizing social media as opposed to mainstream media, as their outlets for being seen – many of these activists transcend any conversation about clothes, and diligently delve into the issues most at the forefront of America right now, while others still hold how they intersect with one another. Not only is this done through authentic self-expression and witty memes, but it is done through the power of visual imagery – an image or a 15 second video can convey more than we may have first been able to imagine when initially dealing with such socially interweaving formats. In fact, our very own @wearyourvoicemag Instagram account is growing daily as we continue to honestly express opinions on body positivity, fat activism, eradicating racism, disrupting social norms, and intersectional feminism to name a few.

WYV insta

 

Along our own Instagram journey (which you should come join if you haven’t thus far) we have crossed virtual paths with so many amazing body positive activists expressing themselves from all perspectives, and we wanted to spotlight 10 of them in 2016:

 

@thebodyisnotanapology

sonya renee

The Body is Not An Apology, founded by Sonya Renee Taylor, has been a root and founding force of radical body positivity, self-love and care, and ultimately acceptance so it would only be appropriate to kickstart this list paying honor to all the work they have already done, but also for all the impending work they are about to create and bring forth into this world. As a whole, this team is amazing, and their Instagram account certainly doesn’t fall shy of our expectations. Check it out to find out how this organization is continuing to flourish in 2016 – and yes, “Bad Picture Monday” is a new trend they created that we think everyone should give a try!

Related: #CelebrateYourBody: Honoring the Beauty of all Bodies

@TBINAP

 

@saucyewest

@saucyewest

No sugarcoating, hands-down, Saucye is one of the best humans I have ever had the pleasure of working with and being inspired by. While she is best-known for continuously rocking it on the runway and in print as a plus size model – she is also known for speaking her truth and standing firmly in it. Saucye represents herself with nothing but love, and I’m certain that positive outlook on her body and the bodies of all womyn, no matter their size, will only bolster her success further in 2016. If you’re looking for that perfect mix of gorgeous photos, truthiness, ferocity, and humor – you’ve come to the right place. 

 

@feministastic 

@feministastic body image

I couldn’t be any more obsessed with this intersectional feminist account if I tried – they serve steaming hot dishes of truth served with sides of authenticity, again tackling topics intersectionally (such as how the image above touches upon being Black, big bodied, and a woman), which is how most lived experiences are for the majority of womyn. Rather than just focusing on the often compartmentalized topic of body positivity, @feministastic focuses on how such a topic must be viewed through various lenses; deconstructing power-dynamics such as racism and heterosexism in the process.

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 7.01.51 PM

 

@coolfatchick 

@coolfatchick

I am SO HERE for this account – I have been following @coolfatchick personally for quite some time now, and appreciate the fact that she can blow me away with her outfits as well as blow me away with her speaking of important truths. It also greatly touched me to have her support and solidarity when I started my #FuckFatPhobia ventures – utilizing it on all of her radical images still to this day. The fact that this body positive activist is willing to open her arms to others on this journey as opposed to acting competitively, is just another great reason you should all open yours to her. 

 

@radicalbodylove

@radicalbodylove

Those craving a dash or more of radical body love should definitely stop into this body positivity forum. It is interspersed with inspiration in the form of self acceptance and the connection to others coming in search of the same.

 

@alternativecurves

margot & kobi

I absolutely LOVE @alternativecurves and frequently utilize their #alternativecurves myself. This body positive outlet is a mecca for anyone weird, whacky, and wonderful…and of course curvaceous. It’s always refreshing to see variance in style and expression within communities, reminding us of the diversity that does reside here – even if more mainstream outlets haven’t decided to fully highlight it yet. Until that time, we say, please keep the colorfully haired alternative womyn coming – representation is everything! {I recently had the great pleasure of spending time with one of the brilliant admins @kobi_jae, pictured above right, during her American tour-de-force, and it was a stunningly resonant several hours, which I cannot wait to repeat. I highly admire and respect her work, along with another of her fellow admins (who are all incredible) @margotmeanie, pictured above left.}

 

@hantisedeloubli

@hantise

The fact that we only recently came across this femme force of nature – is even more reason why they are on our list for 2016. The @hantisedeloubli Instagram account is like a visual reminder that body positivity far extends its current trendy-like societal nature to include radical womyn who aren’t afraid to blatantly celebrate themselves…nor should they be. We should all make note of the authenticity being served to us with this account, and learn how to apply that to our own current definition of the term “body positive activism.”

 

@ambivilentlyyours

@ambivalentlyyours

This courageously expressive artist says everything we desire, with a punch of poignant imagery coupled with their brazen words of choice. Here, @ambivalentlyyours takes a body positive meets feminist stance by normalizing the act of a womyn getting her period – which is still taboo to this day. We can only be excited to see more of the sheer witticisms and talent we will witness in 2016.

 

@blavity 

@blavity art

I wholeheartedly believe this account to be radically body positive, even if not very obvious to others. Intertwined with the fact that it utterly breaks the mold for what is currently considered “body positive,” is its doing so by featuring Black bodies – living their truths and expressing them authentically (shedding a positive light where mainstream media all too often casts a dark shadow). To me, body positivity, reaches far beyond the realm of plus sized bloggers and eating disorder recovery stories (not negating the importance of either narrative), into the depths of every single body that is oppressed in our culture, and yet has still managed to find a way to celebrate themselves (and their bodies). This is no small feat my friends, which is why I will again stress the importance of @blavity as a whole – beginning to balance out the often outweighing negative imagery and narratives that have been told for decades about black bodies – @blavity is a reclaiming of space that should have never been taken away to begin with. 

@blavity blackgirlmagic

 

@jewelzjourney

@jewelzjourney

This womyn is as real as they come – and I have been proud to know her since the very beginning of her own body positive journey. Although she does pursue modeling now, @jewelzjourney has always kept it beyond 100 on her Instagram – rarely posting fully made-up images such as this one, and often giving detailed behind-the-scenes looks at the entire picture when she does. Often, she posts very meaningful and inspiring words along with powerful nudes or a spontaneous selfie – crushing the idea that body positivity has anything to do with perfection…or even being positive all the time. If you want a dose of this kind of reality – check her out now!

 

The body positive activists above, again remind us to look outside of today’s typical blog-o-sphere for other uniquely radiant talent expressing themselves in a variety of beautiful ways. Whether your body positivity exudes from your perspective as a feminist collective, plus size model,  artist, Black woman, alternatively clothed individual, or an intersectional variety of all, some of, or even far beyond the above – we see and honor the work you do. 

 

Do you have other Body Positive Activists you’d like to recommend us follow in 2016? Please leave their Instagram handles in the comments below!

 

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