Sometimes, Instagram can seem like a glamorous world of posed travel shots, perfect meal prep photos and mirror pictures of cosmetically augmented celebrities. But there’s no reason you can’t fill your feed with body positive women encouraging you to be fit and healthy instead of worrying about your waist size or “imperfections”.
Learn how to embrace your body and celebrate your flaws with these body positive accounts.
10 Body Positive Females to Follow on Instagram
1. Lindsey Valenzuela (@liftlikeLindsey)
Photo with grey sports bra is 20mins ago and photo with blue sports bra is in October. This is what pure fricken hard work looks like. During my pregnancy is gained about 85#s, yeah yeah you read it right 85. It wasn’t because I was eating twinkles and donuts everyday, it was just the cards that was dealt and I was ok with that as long as my son was healthy and happy. Which he is. The postpartum journey of losing weight has by far been THEE TOUGHEST part for me as an athlete and mentally. I never ever thought I would see my abs again, felt sad, and at times was depressed. I can now say I know what it’s like to be on a weight loss journey, what it takes to achieve it, and the amount of emotions one goes through. No matter what kind of fitness journey you are on I’m here to tell you that it is fucking hard, it sucks at times, and often times you will want to give up. But don’t loose hope, you can do it!!!!!!!!! I want to thank everyone I reached out to that gave me emotional support and advice, my family, my close friends, and my husband for telling me I can do it and every once of confidence you gave me!!!!! Still a tiny ways to go, but I know with you all and my nutrition coaches I can do this!!!! #hardwork #darkcirclesdontcare #family #goals #weightlossjourney #postbabybody #7monthslater
Everyone deals with postpartum struggles, including Games athlete Lindsey Valenzuela. Valenzuela gave birth to her precious son Arsenio last May. Despite giving birth ten months ago, Valenzuela just qualified for the California Regional. However, assuming her journey has been easy because she’s a professional athlete would be a mistake.
Valenzuela spent a good part of her last trimester on bedrest and gained almost 100 pounds during her pregnancy. She has dedicated her Instagram account to her difficult comeback journey, showing mamas everywhere that it isn’t impossible to regain your fitness after giving birth. Valenzuela hasn’t advocated for any fad diets or crazy methods — instead, she’s showcased a lot of vulnerable moments (including working out without a shirt on for the first time after giving birth) and a lot of hard work in the gym and kitchen.
2. Sunshine (@Sunshinesjourney)
Suit and shoes | @torridfashion 💘 Shoes may no longer be available . . #EatClean #curvyyoga #Transformation #beforeandafter #NoExcuses #Curves #WorkOut #FitFam #houston #chicago #Motivation #WeightWatchers #FitSpiration #thesecurves #Muscle @plusmodelmag #curvygirls #effyourbeautystandards #BodyBuilding #goldenconfidence #FitnessMotivation #suicidegirls #girlswithtattoos #pmmlovemybody #celebratemysize #rp #fitbit #plussizefashion #runners #healthyrecipes #CleanEating
Sunshine has struggled with being extremely overweight her entire life — she even made an appearance on the Biggest Loser. Her account showcases her journey to reach her goal weight of 199 pounds. While Sunshine’s weight loss is definitely inspiring, it’s her body positivity and the way she loves herself throughout her journey that will really motivate you.
3. Steph Hammerman (@stephthehammer)
Last year I was diagnosed during regionals. I kept it quite until all my Fittest friends finished enjoying their weekend. I didn’t know it then, but Cancer was about to flip my world upside down. I’m now 4 months post Cancer treatment and able to RX my workouts again! For all of those fighting right now please know that there is LIFE to be lived after diagnosis. I am so grateful for the entire @crossfitgames @crossfit and @wheelwod community. I have a greater purpose. Thank you @raleighcrossfit for allowing me to fulfill that part of me. Until next time, Thanks @thedavecastro & @stouty! @swoodland53 @sherwood215 @tommymarquez @rorymckernan and all the other awesome people I know; you all did an amazing job putting together this year’s open! #adaptiveathlete #survivor #wheelwod #thehammer #grateful
We were already pretty inspired by Steph Hammerman when we profiled her in 2015. Steph, who lives with cerebral palsy, is an L2 certified CrossFit coach and motivational speaker. As if her journey wasn’t already inspiring enough, Steph also went on to battle and defeat Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2016. We picked Hammerman for this list because she never makes excuses or lets circumstances hold her back. Hammerman also shows women everywhere that fitness and health is for EVERYONE, not just the thin, the able-bodied or those with built in six packs.
4. Stellar Fashion and Fitness (@stellarjennifer)
Fashion blogger and author of Fat Girl Power Jennifer King focuses her writing around body positivity for plus size women, fitness and health. She discusses real life topics such as staying body positive while plus size and pregnant, everyday temptations and keeping it real and enjoying life while still pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
5. Gabby Sidibe (@gabby3shabby)
Want an education on how to love yourself for exactly who you are? Take some notes from actress Gabby Sidibe. Sidibe is beautiful (and she knows it!) and has no problem sharing her body confidence with the world. Sometimes, the best inspiration doesn’t come from someone who’s lost weight or undergone a transformation — it comes from someone who doesn’t let beauty standards dictate how they feel about themselves. Keep slaying Gabby!
6. Katie Duke (@thekatieduke)
Strong enough to be gentle, educated enough to be humble, aggressive enough to be compassionate, confident enough to take a compliment, real enough to be transparent, and disciplined enough to be free. A strong woman can be all of the above. And a strong man will never be intimidated by that. #EmbraceIt #AWholeLottaWoman #NeverBasic #AlwaysOnFire #StrongWomen #ChurchStreetStrong (Photo @harrisonbarba)
Looking for someone who just shamelessly keeps it real, cellulite and all? Katie Duke is the girl for you. She’s a New-York based nurse practitioner promoting self-love for women everywhere while squeezing in some badass workouts.
7. Amanda Bingson (@abingson)
You may remember Bingson from her nude ESPN cover in 2015. Bingson is a US Olympian hammer thrower who promotes body acceptance and body positivity through her Instagram account. Bingson said if it wasn’t for being called fat, she never would have pursued her Olympic dreams. How’s that for telling society where to stick their pre-conceived notions of beauty?
8. Ashleigh Shackelford (@ashleighthelion)
#BellyGameTooStrong When people be like, “You’re not fat, you’re pretty.” or “You’re not fat, you carry your weight in all the right places.” Check out this belly game and these trapezoid hips tho! I’m fat and I ain’t gotta dress up to be worthy. I’m fat and I don’t have to be an hourglass shape to be beautiful. My body is mine. My body is powerful. My body is worthy of love and care. My body is not an apology.
When you look at Shackelford’s Instagram, you’ll see immediately that she’s passionate about many causes, one of which is body positivity. She sums it up perfectly in the Instagram caption above: “My body is mine. My body is powerful. My body is worthy of love and care. My body is not an apology.
9. Winnie Harlow (@winnieharlow)
Harlow is a renowned Canadian model known for her unique look. Harlow was diagnosed with vitiligo, a skin condition, as a small child. Harlow faced vicious bullying as a child, but still went on to pursue her dreams of modeling and was eventually discovered by Tyra Banks. Her success has shown girls and young women all over the world that different is indeed, beautiful.
10. Pink (@pink)
Would you believe I’m 160 pounds and 5’3″? By ‘regular standards’ that makes me obese. I know I’m not at my goal or anywhere near it after Baby 2 but dammit I don’t feel obese. The only thing I’m feeling is myself. Stay off that scale ladies! #feelingmyself #strongismygoal #bodygoals @msjeanettejenkins #happysaturday #getitin #GIJaneismyWCW
Pink has always been known for her fearless attitude and her postpartum journey after Baby #2 is no different. After giving birth in December, Pink has been honest in that her body didn’t magically “bounce back” over night…and she’s fine with it. She encourages mama and women everywhere to stop looking to a scale for definition.