Since I started blogging, I’ve curated my social media feeds related to blogging in a certain way. As I blog almost exclusively about my mental health, I’ve taken care to follow accounts that are actually good for my brain.
I’ve forgone a lot of celebrity accounts. I’ve weeded out those tricky ‘wellness coach’ accounts that flood your inbox on Instagram as soon as you start an account. When I logged on to my personal account the other day, I was immediately greeted by an image of a friend inspecting some sort of diet book.
That’s the kind of thing I’m trying to avoid. Exactly that. Of course, I follow a lot of mental health related accounts, but my care for the content I see extends beyond that. In this post, I’m going to list a few accounts that I find really beneficial to my learning process. Accounts that constantly remind me things my brain is almost defaulted to forget. As we enter a new year, it seems appropriate to highlight those who can help us grow and learn.
Please be mindful that many of these accounts are body positivity related, and focus on deconstructing diet culture and fatphobia. If you aren’t in a mentally safe space to engage with those accounts or what I’m going to say about them, I’d advise either proceeding with caution or simply clicking away and reading something else for a while.
Megan Jayne Crabbe (@bodyposipanda)
Megan approaches body positivity with realness, humour, and fabulously rainbow-coloured hair. A recovering anorexic, Megan is learning to love her body as it is and finding her worth outside of a dress size.
Her confidence is inspiring. She’s written a book off the back of her success on Instagram, and continually produces meaningful, thoughtful content that helps to dismantle diet culture and body shaming.
Megan pioneered the #donthatetheshake hashtag, which basically involves dancing around in one’s underwear celebrating all that your body is in that moment. I’d join in, but she puts most people to shame with her moves.
Melissa Fabello, PhD (@fyeahmfabello)
I’m not supposed to have favourites, but Melissa is definitely one of them. She recently returned from a social media hiatus and my feed has been all the better for it.
Melissa gained her doctorate by studying skin hunger in anorexia patients. She’s put out some really interesting content about that, and consistently promotes self love and healthy habits. What I like most about Melissa’s feed, though, is not only the care and attention she pays to issues of body politics, but how she uses her influence to grow and discuss other important topics too.
She has spoken out about colonisation and the continuous denial of rights and recognitions for indigenous people. Melissa is bisexual and polyamourous, and whilst this is obviously her private life, I’ve learned a lot from the bits she has mentioned on social media.
You can subscribed to Melissa’s Beauty School newsletter here, and I highly recommend you do.
Stephanie Yeboah (@nerdabouttown)
Stephanie describes herself as a plus sized style blogger and fat acceptance advocate, which is a better summary than I could clumsily afford her.
First things first, as a style blogger Stephanie’s Instagram feed is excellent. She basically looks good in everything and the photos are exceptional quality. Aesthetically it’s a dream, and her captions and blog posts are of equally high quality.
Her blog boasts posts about growth and shedding self doubt as well as helpful fashion pieces. I’m not into fashion really, but for me it’s interesting to engage with someone who is and who speaks about it so candidly from a fat-bodied perspective.
Stephanie’s confidence is almost contagious. Whilst enviously peering at well-dressed people is something I’m trying to avoid, I often can’t help it with her. Stephanie closed the year out with a brilliant thread encouraging women to tackle new years’ body shaming by naming things they love about their bodies.
Ruby Allegra (@rvbyallegra)
Ruby is a disabled activist from Australia. They are genderfluid, so the experience of being nonbinary and disabled is something they discuss frequently.
The first thing I wanted to mention was Ruby’s frank discussions of sex and disability. I’m trying extremely hard to steer away from ‘inspiration porn’ here. We don’t talk about sex enough as it is, preferring to keep a stiff upper lip, Victorian attitude towards it. That leaves little room for any conversations that aren’t based on heteronormative, able-bodied ideas.
Ruby acknowledges that the discussion of sex makes them uncomfortable but does it anyway. It’s this attitude that I think I can learn most from.
Reading and seeing things from the perspective of someone with a body different to mine is always going to be interesting and thought-provoking. A favourite thing of mine that Ruby recently posted was, “… if your respect for someone depends on their body, you can fuck off”. Yep.
Olivia Callaghan (@selfloveliv)
Liv is a tireless body positivity and mental health advocate. She lives with bipolar, and is extremely frank about how it affects her day to day living. To follow Liv’s feed is to step into her journey with her, and learn along the way just as she does.
I’ve really enjoyed engaging with Liv’s posts, which are always thoughtful and honest. She also posts fashion and make up pictures, but is very vocal about not using editing or face-tuning in these pictures. She openly addresses why she’d done this in the past.
Her relationship with her body is growing into a positive, nourishing one and for me Liv has really helped open my eyes to the way we treat and talk about our brains and bodies.
Milly Smith (@selfloveclubb)
Milly is a mental health and body positivity advocate. Can you see a theme here? She lives with borderline personality disorder and is a cancer survivor. She also has a three-year-old son. She’s so honest and raw about her mental health and self image, as well as how this ties in to being a young mother.
I find Milly’s content to be particularly open and thoughtful. There are no filters, no sweeteners. This level of honesty is crucial when talking about mental health, and Milly’s feed shows the ups, downs, and all in between.
Anyone who speaks this openly about their body and brain is incredibly brave, and I think balancing this with motherhood and coparenting is so important. To see someone trying their best in the face of so much is a great reminder of how we should all walk side by side with peace and understanding.
Michelle Ellman (@scarrednotscared)
Michelle is an activist, speaker, and body confidence coach. Perfect! Who better to get some body positivity tips from? Michelle gained viral fame after sharing a picture of herself in a bikini to denote the idea of people with scars hiding away.
Michelle has been through numerous surgeries and wears her scars with pride. She’s active on YouTube, posting regular videos about body acceptance, and has written a best-selling book, Am I Ugly?
She also runs the fabulous @bodypositivememes account, because who doesn’t love a meme? Michelle is relentless in pursuing her own personal growth as well as sharing information and advice to help others achieve theirs, and I for one am excited to see what a new year brings for her.
Gina Susanna (@nourishandeat)
Gina is the first person I stumbled across a few years ago on Instagram who challenged typical notions of body acceptance and body image. She has progressed in light years since I first saw her account and takes all her followers with her.
Initially I was drawn in by the #embracethesquish hashtag, where she showed how a typically ‘desirable’ (thin, white) body could also have traits of the ‘undesirable’ (cellulite and rolls).
What’s important here, though, is whilst this was helpful at the time and definitely opened my eyes to body positivity, Gina has grown so much as an activist and openly acknowledges how her initial influence could have been problematic.
Gina is a vocal NEDA ambassador and speaks regularly at events. She posts honestly about her journey with recovery and activism, and takes frequent vocal stances against diet culture.
Kat Nicholls (@katbluejay)
Kat is someone I discovered through blogging, so I’m pleased to include her on here. Kat’s posts are always thought-provoking and inspiring because of her ability to craft to-the-point content.
On several occasions she’s managed to put into words exactly what I’ve thought or felt, and written posts I’ve needed to see without realising. Kat is a writer and coach focusing on self love and mental health.
The prospect of growth is intimidating. Kat manages to make it more palatable by talking about her own experiences and providing down to earth advice. She writes a newsletter which you can sign up to here if you’d like some wisdom in your inbox.
Kat is another person I’m really looking forward to watching in the next year and seeing what it brings. I’m quietly hoping I can take a few more pearls of wisdom from her many oysters.
I hope you find some accounts to follow and help either diversify or improve your social feeds. There are plenty more accounts I could mention, not least all of my fellow blogging friends, but there simply isn’t space for everyone.