You might think Instagram is purely a place where you can take photographs and edit them in a myriad of creative, artistic ways. But there are many other important things one can do on the app. For starters, expressing body positivity on Instagram. So many celebrities and well known Internet icons have participated in the self-love-inducing mantras of the community, and there's no doubt that plenty of social media users have benefited from the movement's presence online.
Speaking for myself, I know that it's thanks to the body pos hashtags and incredible women unafraid of posting images of their so-called flaws that I've become inspired to embrace my body for what it really is. Considering how often women are still criticized and judged for aesthetic reasons this day in age, the importance of that little camera icon on your smartphone just cannot be overlooked.
There are so many ways that one can express body positivity on Instagram as well. Some might involve hashtags or sponsored campaigns, while others could be all about posting a bold image that other humans might react strongly to. Of course, practicing body positivity will vary individual to individual. But these seven ways are just a few that I've personally found effective for expressing my body posi self to the masses of IG.
1. Post Makeup-Free Selfies
Makeup-free selfies are a great way to showcase just how comfortable you are in your own skin. Just look at YouTuber Dodie Clark, all bare-faced and beautiful. Not only is this empowering on a personal level (considering we live in a world that almost expects women to wear makeup), but it's also empowering on a macro level, reminding women and feminine people that they are beautiful no matter what.
2. Post Uplifting Quotes To Inspire Your Audience
Body positive-focused Instagram accounts like @thebodyisnotanapology are often posting positive quotes that have the potential to uplift us even in the worst of times. Following accounts like these is a great way to show your support for the movement's mantras. Such words promote self-acceptance, and you never know who might need a little encouragement.
3. Show Off Your Body In A Sexy Full Body Selfie
Posting a cute picture of your body is the perfect reminder that there's zero reason to be ashamed of it. YouTube vlogger and body pos proponent Meghan Tonjes, for instance, shows off her body using her own #BootyRevolution hashtag. You can join Tonjes along with her amazing community members at thebootyrevolution.tumblr.com, where tons of people have shared photos of themselves loving their bodies as well.
4. Use Hashtags That Encourage Body Confidence
Hashtags are another simple way to join in on the body positive movement's flair on Instagram. By using these tags in your photos, you are actively involving yourself in the ideals of an incredible community that is all about acceptance and tolerance of all body types. It'll mean others searching for the same topics might stumble upon your photo and feel just a little more connected to humans who share in their opinions. From #effyourbeautystandards to #freethenipple to the #bodypositive hashtag itself, there's no shortage of inspiration.
5. Post Kind Comments When Others Express Themselves
One of the best ways to be body positive on Instagram is arguably to encourage others when they express themselves in a genuine or bold way. So if you see a photo of someone showing off their bikini bod or a selfie of your friend that is makeup-free, take a moment to let them know just how great they look (and more importantly, how great they are).
Akilah Hughes has many of positive comments on her outfit photo shown above. Not only can leaving positive comments help the Instagrammer feel good, but it'll hopefully also make you feel good for spreading the love.
6. Post Photos Of You And Your Friends Uplifting Each Other
The media so often pits women against each other that it’s nothing short of refreshing to see these babes just hanging out and having a good time being fabulous.
7. Encourage Your Friends & Fam To Be Body Positive On Instagram As Well
As great as it is to do all these things things on your own, it might be even better to include others in the fun. So don’t be afraid to encourage your friends and family to express themselves on social media too. The body positive movement is meant for everyone, of all shapes, sizes, ages, abilities, races, backgrounds, genders, sexualities, and more. If you ask me, it's time we encourage others to educate themselves on the powers of self love as well.
On or offline, body positivity is always worth maintaining. But considering most Millennials' relationship to the Internet and said Internet's housing of Internet trolls, I would argue that it becomes even more important on the Web.
Image: Livi Burke