Why You Should Cultivate Body Diversity in Your Feed

Find out why you should follow these body positive Instagram accounts.

As a content creator, I find Instagram a great platform for self-promotion. But it has become clear that the platform is also a place for activism — it provides space for voices to shine through and share stories that bring awareness to social injustice issues. 

That said, I would label Instagram as a passive educational tool. While information and stories that might widen our perspective are readily available, not many of us actively look to follow diverse accounts, or even know of their existence. But taking an active approach to cultivating diversity in our feed — especially diversity around body image — can make a big difference in our perceptions. 

Like other social media platforms, Instagram use tends to affirm the worldview we already hold. If we’re not careful, we’ll only follow people who already inhabit our circle of friends, or accounts that confirm our current worldview, which can actually limit our perspective and ability to see other points of view. 

One of the first steps in responding to injustice is to educate ourselves. We have a responsibility to cultivate our media consumption to increase our awareness, not make it more narrow. I believe in the power of diversifying the people I follow on social media, especially Instagram, because the photo-centric format helps me train my eye to be more body-inclusive, a topic I’ve written about before

Imani Barbari, for example, has put out a call for intentional media creation and consumption with her #AdaptTheFeed campaign. It’s a call to make media accessible for those with hearing or vision disabilities by using transcripts and captions, and to elevate the work of disabled creatives. 


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⁣Our community has grown a lot over the past few weeks 👋 As you discover what we’re all about, @mabsiemanifests created a great introduction to our founding mission – showcasing what we value about ourselves, or “weigh” (and NOT in pounds or kilos)! ✨⠀ ⠀ We invite you all (new and established community members) to create your own 🤗 here’s how:⠀ ⠀ ▪ Choose an unedited photo of yourself⠀ ▪ Use Instagram, Tik Tok, pen and paper, Canva or another editing tool⠀ ▪Write things that you value about yourself on top of the image // positive attributes that have nothing to do with your appearance⠀⠀ ▪ Share using #iweigh and tag @i_weigh⁣⁣⁣⠀ ⠀ You can also leave your I Weigh as a voicemail by calling (818)-660-5543 or emailing us: iweighpodcast@gmail.com, and you might hear it on our podcast – ‘I Weigh with Jameela Jamil’ 🌈 #iweigh #activism

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Another example is the #iweigh campaign generated by @i_weigh, the platform built by Jameela Jamil of The Good Place fame. The idea is to visualize and showcase what we value about ourselves and our bodies — in other words, what we “weigh” in terms of value, not pounds. 

Bringing these stories and images to the fore — and into your feed — can help all of us take a step toward greater inclusivity. My personal specialty in the diversity and inclusion conversation is disability and body positivity. As both an amputee and an eating disorder survivor, I have experience in both spheres that has helped me advocate and educate others on the importance of body representation in the media. 


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July is Disability Pride Month! • If you’re scratching your head wondering if I just made that up, I didn’t. But, I empathize because I’d never heard of it either until THREE DAYS AGO. • That’s right. I’m 23 years old. I have been disabled every single moment of my life and I DID NOT KNOW that Disability Pride Month existed until this very week. • That’s a huge problem. • You not knowing about its existence is also a HUGE PROBLEM. • I’m here to help with that. • This week, I will be educating myself on the history and significance of disability pride month and sharing it with you all across all of my platforms. • If you haven’t yet subscribed to my blog, this would be a good time to do that at the link in my bio. Or follow me on Twitter: rollingexplorer Or like my page on facebook: therollingexplorer And obviously, if you don’t follow me here on IG, go ahead and do that too @therollingexplorer • Let’s learn something new and vitally important together 💪🏼👩🏻‍🦽 • Photo ID – Jessica Ping-Wild, a young amputee woman, poses for a picture on the beach 2 years ago. She is wearing a red and white floral romper that has a train behind it. In the photo, she is holding out part of the train to the side as if she is curtsying. I’m the distance, the sky and the ocean meet in a haze of blue. • 📸: @dping7 #DisabilityPrideMonth #EducateYourself #DisabilityAwareness #disabled #DisabilityAdvocate #IndependentWoman #pride #SocialJusticeWarrior #StandTogether #BeLoud #SayItLoud

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In fact, I run my own lifestyle blog that focuses on disability advocacy, body positivity, and personal growth. Growing up with a rare disease that only affects 60 people worldwide with skin and limb deficiencies has given me an interesting perspective on life. By sharing educational information about the disabled community and my own lived experiences, I hope to enlighten others and inspire people to take action against ableism.


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Autographed copies of all three of my books are now available (shipping in August)! Read below for details!⁣ ⁣ August is SMA Awareness Month, which we shall treat like an extension of my birthday. Expensive gifts, words of praise, and surprises are not required, but strongly encouraged.⁣ ⁣ Jokes aside, I do like to use the month to celebrate and bring awareness to the SMA community. I’ll be posting more about it during the month of August, but here’s the short of it: SMA affects many aspects of my life, but it does not inhibit me from living a happy, adventurous, successful, regular life. When complications arise, it’s more often than not a result of some societal accessibility issue, rather than a result of the disease itself. On my platform, and together with my lovely partner-in-life, Hannah, we work to shine light on those issues.⁣ ⁣ One way I spread awareness is through the books I’ve written about living with SMA. My memoirs, like the one pictured here, are sarcastic, silly, ridiculous stories from my life. I also have a picture book to introduce children to disability in a fun way.⁣ ⁣ Starting now, we are opening a PRE-ORDER on a batch of signed copies of these books. Signing and physically packing/shipping books is tiring and time-consuming for me and Hannah, so we don’t do this often! Place your order now at the linktree link in my bio under “Signed Book Pre-Order.”⁣ ⁣ The best part: 100% of profits go to @laughingatmynightmareinc, which is our charity that gives free equipment to people living with MD!⁣ ⁣ If you feel so inclined, please grab a copy to enjoy! You’ll be helping a worthy cause, and you’ll be helping us spread important awareness! Thank you!

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Shane Burcaw is doing this kind of work as well — he is an author and YouTuber who uses his corner of the internet to normalize interabled relationships and call out ableism and inaccessibility when he comes across it. His experience with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) inspired him and his cousin to start a charity called Laughing At My Nightmare. The organization helps those living with muscular dystrophy acquire essential equipment and aims to educate children on the importance of inclusion.

The important thing to remember about diversity is that no one person can completely embody any given topic, even if they fall into a specific marginalized demographic — they are simply offering one perspective. But if they have a different set of life experiences (especially if they’ve been marginalized), then it’s a valuable perspective that might widen your worldview. 

As you begin to search out and welcome new voices into your feed, remember two things: First, while these individuals and organizations publicly share their lived experiences, they do not owe any of us anything. At any point in time, they can decline to share information, even if they’ve talked about similar topics before. If we are going to engage with these accounts, we must be respectful of their boundaries and recognize that many of them are working for free to grow awareness and advocate for their community.

And second, there are a lot of players in this game. There are thousands of accounts dedicated to activism anywhere people face injustice. If we want to learn more about a subject, it is on each of us to do research, read literature, and find and follow more people who are well-informed.


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