The Body Positivi+y Blog
Different is good
Curate your social medial feed so that it fills you with joy, not self-doubt. By Jane Lambert
Depending on your point of view, social media can be either (a) a pleasant way to spend time, or (b) truly the work of the devil. As someone who did a lot of their growing up without the internet, I go both ways on the evils of social media: I’m grateful that it wasn’t around when I was a teenager, because life as an adolescent is hard enough. Nowadays, though, I spend a fair amount of my time on social media, both professionally and personally, but I’m trying to curb my habits, and be honest with myself about the effect it can sometimes have.
Part of that is ensuring I am following people that are inspiring, motivating, and generally good for my mental health I don’t follow accounts that make me feel bad about myself or make me long for a different life that I can’t hope to achieve. Sometimes that means I have to unfollow people that I know in real life, or influencers that everyone else follows. Curating a social media feed full of inspiration is something I highly recommend, so with that in mind, I want to share some accounts that I do follow:
Jessamyn Stanley is a social media superstar. A yoga teacher and body positivity advocate who uses her position as someone with over 400,000 followers for good, Jessamyn is not just interested in photographs and videos showing her in difficult poses. She challenges what it means to be a fat woman of colour in a world that places limitations on her, because of her size, colour and gender. Following Jessamyn brings so much positivity into my feed, because of how she is living life on her own terms and promoting yoga as a force for good.
“I don’t follow accounts that make me feel bad about myself or make me long for a different life that I can’t hope to achieve.”
Marc, a yogi from Louisiana, launched Fat Kid Yoga Club, a space dedicated to making yoga accessible for bigger bodies. Marc knows that being a bigger body can sometimes mean that regular classes do not feel welcoming (whether that’s down to the class itself, or our own feelings), and so wanted to create classes that are accessible for everyone, regardless of size, shape, age, strength or flexibility.
Fill your feed with people like Dana, a yogi who has been part of the Instagram yoga scene for a long time. Her posts are beautiful and calming and show her demonstrating poses and proving that yoga is accessible for everyone. She has also launched an online yoga platform, with a pay-what-you-can pricing system.
If the people around you in your real life lack diversity, curate a social media feed that exposes you to people of all different types. Kira is a Wyoming-based yoga teacher who also happens to be an amputee. Her yoga pictures are nearly always taken in the great outdoors – she lives in a beautiful part of the world – and through her captions it’s clear that she is inspired every day by the nature around her. An Instagrammer who is committed to honesty and integrity is a good person to follow!
In an Instagram age, it has become harder for brands to be anything less than inclusive. Social media allows consumers the chance to provide their favourite brands with feedback, and a mis-step can prove costly in terms of reputation. Some brands will merely pay lip service to an inclusive message, while others will make it their mission statement. Superfit Hero is one such brand; its feed is full of people of all shapes and sizes. It’s so great to find brands that are doing good things on social media, positioning a diverse mix of people front and centre, and not relegating people who don’t fit a stereotype to the back, or leaving them out completely.
Life throws people at us in all manner of situations: our families, colleagues, friends, acquaintances. It’s not always possible to only surround ourselves with people who share our values, or who will help us to challenge and explore our own fiercely-held beliefs. But you are entirely in control of the people who are sharing their lives with you through social media; if you choose to be a consumer of the world of Instagram, make it a world that makes you happy, and inspires and motivates you.