Do you find social media feeding into your insecurities? Do you end up mindlessly scrolling for hours? We’ve become desensitised to the digital onslaught that Instagram has brought us in what I call the ‘aesthetic age.’ Influencer culture and consumerism has us feeding into the belief that if we empty our pockets, we can finally feel happy and empowered in ourselves.
I’m here to tell you that it isn’t true. That’s not just because most millennials have been found to live paycheck to paycheck (however that’s another issue to discuss at a later date), but as cliché as it sounds, money can’t buy long lasting happiness.
A study by Facebook showed that 32% of teen girls said Instagram made them feel bad about their bodies (I). From weight loss gummies to surgical procedures, more young people are consuming content that keeps their minds in unhealthy comparisons.
However, social media isn’t all doom and gloom, as Russell Howard says. Many people are now redefining their relationship with social media and using it as a tool that can help aid personal development rather than a comparison site. So, it’s finally time to cleanse your following list and replace them with accounts that uplift you. Whilst you may already be following some great inspirational accounts, here at Bamae we’ve put some of our own favourites together to inspire you.
To make it easier we’ve categorised them by theme, so no matter what you need positive reinforcements for we’ve got you!
Mental health empowerment
Sad girls club – an animated account dedicated to challenging negativity, creating infographics and creating a support system for those who don’t have access to therapy.
Youareluminous– a page dedicated to spreading compassion and self-reflection through spiritual understanding.
The sad ghosts club – raising positive mental health awareness through the most adorable ghost illustrations.
Quotes and daily affirmations
Thegoodquote.co A staple go to when you need some, well, good quotes
Thegoodquote See the above!
Selflovegxng - Like the name insinuates, this page is all about self-love.
Werenotreallystrangers If you’re dealing with turbulent emotions, this is a great instagram account for daily reminders and self-affirmations, especially for those moments when you don’t feel good enough.
Heygirldreamer This account aims to support the development of women of colour in tackling social inequality and affirmations to follow their dreams
Herselflovejourney – this is a Christian based quote page for young women and teenage girls. Whilst some the quotes are linked to spirituality, don’t need to be a Christian to find this page relatable!
Rumi.quotes - A page dedicated to the famous sayings and poetry of Persian poet, philosopher and Sufi, Rumi.
Mind valley – An account dedicated to inspiring people with daily quotes and videos.
Inspiration from women
Jameela jamil - social commentor and journalist Jameela Jamil is a great person to take inspiration from. She’s constantly posting about issues that affect women and sharing her opinions on matters whilst keeping things humorous.
Malala fund – a charity set up by Malala fighting for girl’s education in underdeveloped countries.
Busybee.carys. A transparent youtuber who embraces her body and posts unedited, unfiltered pictures unapologetically.
Gemmacorrell – self-care tips in animation style
Amanithepoet - Amani shares her journey with the world of self-discovery and empowers women through her poetry of being a brown queer woman.
Yeonmi_park a survivor of the north Korean regime and author documenting her struggles, she empowers women and men alike to stand up and fight for our rights.
Sophjbutler – disabled and queer, Sophie inspires women everywhere to not let themselves be limited by the constraints of society. Frankly, she's killing it.
Cleowade – Author and mother Cleo Wade fills her feed with daily inspiring messages.
Najwazebian – A poet who posts inspiring daily quotes to empower women to feel at peace with themselves and their identity.
Self-empowerment in our identity
Gal-dem zine – A personal favourite, galdem magazine is a great place to look for social commentary and self-acceptance through articles and posts.
Amaliah – Amaliah is also a great platform that aims to empower Muslim women and strengthen community and identity whilst being a place of non-judgement.
Freeda - Freeda, also one of my personal favourites, is a feminist page all about empowering women through relatable memes and infographics.
Shado.mag - This is a magazine that focuses on being a change for art, academics and activism.
Rani.creative - This is a monthly zine that aims to celebrate queer POC creatives and communities that are often overlooked in the mainstream. As well as this the zine gives opportunities for creatives to express themselves using the written word, visuals and music.
Ashamedzine – Contrary to the name, this page is nothing to be ashamed about! Instead, this zine empowers minority groups by highlight pop culture milestones and using art and collage as a primary form of expression. Even if you don’t find yourself in a minority group, if you’re a lover of art then this is a great page to follow to be inspired.
Rootedzine – This is another online zine aimed to empower Black, Asian and minority groups. However, they also share quotes and post opportunities to join the creative industry.
UN women - The official page for the United Nations agency for gender equality and women’s empowerment. This page is great as it shares stats so you can see the progress that women as a collective are making. They also share inspiring quotes and celebrate women’s success.
Self-empowerment for the female hustle
Girlswhocode - This page is all about celebrating women in the coding world.
Girlsinmarketing - This page is a great place for women to get tips and tricks to excel in the marketing field.
Shedoesfilmz - This account is a celebration of all the female directors.
Ladieswhodesign - A platform designed to inspire creatives and celebrate female success.
Ladiesgetpaid – An inspiring page that shares tips and tricks to ensure ladies get paid!
Ebrlillustrates – Ebrul creates amazing art with self-love and informative quotes.
Plusbabygirl – A body positive page for plus size women highlighting that weight doesn’t define them and empowering them to be confident in their own right.
This girl can – This page empowers women to reach their fitness goals.
The_motivat_her This is a page that cheers other women on and normalises all aspects of the female body through illustrations.
These are only skimming the surface of the empowering pages on Instagram. Beyond the valley of influencers and selfies, there are hundreds of pages that have been created in the hopes of inspiring, empowering and validating our existence without the bells and whistles. It’s important we remember that social media is a tool, and depending on how we utilise it, it alters our perspectives of the world, and in turn, of ourselves.