12 body and mind positive Instagrammers to follow
Social media has changed the game when it comes to women appreciating their bodies. We are aware that some people feel that "body positive" is an overused term but we will never tire of a movement that has allowed women who were, non-existent, to have a voice. YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook have become platforms for women expressing their truth and knocking down the concept of societal perfection. Women are now joining online communities consisting of women who look, think and feel like them which is groundbreaking, liberating and empowering. For Olyinka, social media is an opportunity to present lingerie in a new way by removing over-sexualisation that is commonly attached to the industry, for garments to be cherished and appreciated by women, furthermore, debunk any idea that lingerie is only to be seen on "industry sized models". So as contributors to the body positive movement, we thought it would be great to connect you with Instagrammers who are doing some amazing in this arena by encouraging and supporting women. We also would like you to sign up to our community, we release monthly newsletters with the sole purpose of uplifting your body, mind soul and spirit. and we also gift you with freebie tools to keep you on top of your game. Sign up here to be part of the #olyinkabodypositive movement and again don't forget to connect with the ladies below and be encouraged.
Gabi Greg, inspired by the body positivity movement, started a blog dedicated to young women who resemble her and are into fashion-forward trendy looks. Gabi caused a stir when an image of her in a two-piece bikini went viral. Women like Gabi were never seen in a bikini and by doing so publicly, she broke barriers and negative stereotypes, which has led to other women to confidently follow suit. Gabi has now added fashion designer to her resume by creating a swimwear line for women of all sizes and she is also a proud body positive activist, inspiring women of all sizes to embrace their bodies, be fashionable and cool with it. Gabi, we salute you.
Ashley, a supermodel, entrepreneur, author and body positive activist made history as the first "normal" sized model to grace the cover of Vogue and Sports Illustrated swimwear edition. She signed with a major modelling agency at the age of 13 so you can imagine, it has been a long road to self acceptance for Ashley. Being so long in the fashion industry, she knows what its like to be in environments that does not encourage her standard of beauty but she claims when she stopped comparing herself to other models and stopped slimming to achieve the industry standard size, this is when she started to live her best life and she advocates all women to do the same. Ashley actively campaigns for women to redefine the global vision of beauty by advocating that women becoming their own role models and reclaim their bodies. Ashley has her own lingerie line and has written a book to encorage women to be comfortable in their own skin, Ms Ashley (Trail Blazer) Graham we salute you.
Gabourey Sidibe is an Oscar nominated actress, author and director. She made her acting debut in the 2009 film Precious which catapulted her to stardom and earned her an Oscar nomination which isn't bad for her first movie but with the good comes the bad and the trolls have not been kind to Gabourey but the reason why we love her so is because she is able clap back - she is the clap back queen and will not take nonsense from anyone and does so with humour and class. She is fierce, bold, uncompromising and her level of self acceptance is off the charts. she is redefining beauty and exudes this at every turn. She is currently acting in the successful U.S. TV show Empire, she is the best selling author of her book "this is just my face, try not to stare" and she recently made her directorial debut with her short film "A tale of four" Is there nothing else this powerhouse can do? We'll wait... Gabourey, keep shining, we salute you babygirl.
We came across Kenzie Brenna on our Instagram travels and was immediately blown away by this lady. Kenzie is an actress, creator, body positive warrior and we believe she has one of the most important accounts on Instagram to date. She deals with issues such as mental health, food and eating disorders, self harm, OCD and body dysmorphia (a condition where an individual worries about the flaws in their appearance) which all woman have at varying levels. Through her social media accounts she is able to share her story, be open, vulnerable, intelligent, caring and also very funny. she advocates self love and care and is redefining beauty by example. She has created a community where women can find healing and self acceptance. We at Olyinka HQ are fans and advise any woman who has any issues that Kenzie has dealt with to follow her because you will be in good hands . Kenzie we think you are awesome. x
Winnie Harlow is a Canadian model, spokesperson and activist. She came to our attention when she was one of the fourteen finalists on America's Next Top Model and stood out from the other contestants because of her skin condition Vitiligo. Vitiligo is a condition where the immune system attacks the melanin in your body and turns skin white, but Ms Harlow wasn't going to let this stop her from rising to the top. Since her appearance she has appeared in major fashion magazines, graced catwalks and has become the spokesperson for people with Vitiligo. She is educating and showing by example that any condition you have should not be a barrier to your dreams. Just think about this for a moment, her decision to be a contestant on ANTM has changed her life and has impacted the lives of millions of others. We love this beautiful trailblazer. Ms Harlow we salute you.
Jacinder Pender is a nineteen year old woman who is a self-confessed self love and body positive activist. She educates young black women to love themselves and to not conform to the European standard of beauty. Jacinder came to our attention when she posted a picture of her lips with the caption "When you realise having big lips is a trend but it took you a while to love your natural ones," This image went viral and Jacinder has been actively advocating for young black women stop hating on themselves and to love and embrace the bodies they have. Leading by example Jacinder shows off her tummy rolls, hairy underarms, stretch marks and anything else she feels like showing off. She also deals openly about mental health and admits she has good and bad days but she shares her thoughts just the same and has built a community of women on Instagram who appreciate and share the same issues. We love this account and cannot wait to see more from this young lady.
Amanada de cadenet is a British born actress, photographer, author and presenter. In the 90's she was what the British media called a "wild child" the "it girl" partying and hanging our with celebrities and musicians. At 19 she married Duran Duran guitarist John Taylor whom she later divorced and then she disappeared from the party scene. Little did we know, went and she settled in America, raised her daughter and is now doing some pretty awesome work with women. We found her back in 2012 on our Twitter travels promoting her show "The Conversation" where she interviewed some of the world's most famous and influential women. and tackled issues such as sexuality, body image, relationships, human rights and politics. At the time it was ground breaking as this was pre-Instagram, pre-body positive movement and we've been following her ever since. Amanda is also CEO of the @girlgazeproject which works on closing the gender gap by supporting creativity in women. Who could have imagined that the wild child could have evolved in such a beautiful way.
Watch The Conversation here and be inspired.
Jessamyn Stanley is a yogi teacher, practitioner and author of the book Every Body Yoga and is known for de-bunking and demystifying the notion that Yoga is not for curvy, full figured women. She calls herself "fat femme" and has built an Instagram account documenting her journey as a yogi advocate. Jessamyn believes that Yoga is for all people, all sizes, ethnicities and backgrounds and she makes a point to note that she doesn't teach Yoga to "fat people" but teaches yoga to all people. Personally we cant get over the fact that this woman can do a headstand with ease, a difficult pose for most people so she is definitely challenging the norm in the yoga arena, another trailblazer and we love her for this.
Iskra Lawrence is a model and positive advocate and as a model she has always battled with her body. She was dropped from her modelling agency at the age of 15 because her hips were "too big". She has also seen her body altered and manipulated to suit the industry standard and instinctively knew that this was wrong so she decided to put out images of herself that were real and not photoshopped and the response was amazing. She now actively teaches young women to unlearn negative thinking that have been imposed upon them by their peers and getting women to love themselves as they are. Iskra has done numerous TED Talks, has her own YOU TUBE channel and actively promotes body positivity, fashion, modelling and activism via her social media channels and with 3.8 million followers on Instgram she is definitely kicking the modelling industry in the butt. We think she's awesome and salute her for all the work she has done to help women feel great about themselves.
It was at the age of 5 that Megan Crabbe was aware of how her different her body was from other girls, so to conform she was dieting by the age of 10 and by the age of the age of 14 she was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa. Megan has been hospitalised, in and out of psychiatric units and believes, if it wasn't for the body positive movement on social media she would still be struggling. Megan came across a hashtag #DontHateTheShake started by Melissa Gibson (@yourstruelymelly) and posted a video of herself dancing to Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" to show body shamers exactly what she thought about their comments of her. Megan's version went viral (click here for her version) and has since been a role model for men and women within the body positive community. She has written a book Body Positive Power which is a best seller and she is very passionate advocate of women accepting who they are, well... if it can avoid a 5 year from feeling less insecure, a 10 year old from dieting or a 15 year old from being admitted into psychiatric units, she would have done her job. Megan we salute you honey. x