Instagram has become one of the most used social networking platforms to date, with over 500 million active profiles daily. People regularly check the app for updates on not only their peers lives but also their favourite celebrities and Influencers. According to a research by IPSOS, 68% of people say they use Instagram to interact with Content Creators.
According to a research by IPSOS, 68% of people say they use Instagram to interact with Content Creators.
However, studies have shown that this behaviour could be damaging young people’s self esteem. A study carried out by York University in Toronto showed that when women were asked to look at and engage with social media images of their attractive peers, they were left with a more negative body image than before. When asked to look at and engage with social media images of family, this effect did not occur. So what does this show? Well, some people may take from this the general notion that social media is unhealthy. But when you look into this study, you see that the issue it’s not social media per se, but the way we use it.
The issue it’s not social media per se, but the way we use it.
The constant visibility of young celebrities and Influencers can lead users to compare themselves to these unattainable images. When looking at the top 10 most followed people on Instagram, we can’t be surprised that girls would feel inferior when viewing these overly beautified and professionally photographed women. Said females are, in order, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift and Kylie Jenner. Yes, 6 out of the 10 most followed Instagram accounts are women, and exceptionally beautiful ones. This reflects the landscape of Instagram in general. Women, who like to model and flaunt their figures, their beauty and their lifestyles, many of which are played up by the power of editing. The topic seems to be heavily skewed towards women, probably due to the objectification of female bodies that has dominated the advertising aesthetic over the last decades.
Body positivity Creators
Cue to the emerging body positive Instagram accounts. And there are many. Candice Huffine (creator of Project Start), Em Ford (Creator of the You Look Disgusting video), Allison Kimmey (an inspiring body positivity Influencer) and Winnie Harlow (a successful fashion model) are just a few. These are all incredible women who post real images of themselves and aren’t afraid to showcase raw beauty.
@abbeykayblog is a body positive blogger who delivers a message of empowerment and encouragement. On both Instagram and on her personal blog, abbeykay.co, she discusses mental health, well-being, and mindfulness. Abbey always encourages her followers to be their best selves and love who they are. She also likes to style outfits, and encourages her followers to express themselves and not to give in to what society says you should do.
@mskristine is a fashion blogger with over 226K followers on her Instagram, and a regular readership on her blog trendycurvy.com. She talks about fashion from her perspective, and how everybody can be more inclusive to every body. Kristine is one of the top plus-size fashion bloggers on the web at the moment.
Another great beauty blogger is @iambeauticurve, Rochelle Johnson. She is the Creator of beauticurve.com, and has over 222K followers on Instagram. Like Kristine, Rochelle centres around plus-size fashion, and she promotes body positivity and plus-size inclusion in trendy fashion.
Brands that embraced body positivity
Now more than ever, Brands are focusing their marketing towards inclusivity, and are partnering with Influencers to create a body-positive message. In recent news, Nike have started to include plus-size and disabled mannequins in their storefronts, and Dove have recently published a marketing photo collection, #showus, which promotes body positive advertising. This was a big step in promoting inclusivity and positive body image. The message is clear from both the Brands and Influencers: whether based in fashion or lifestyle, all bodies and all people belong.
A perfect example of this is Eloquii, a fashion Brand tailored for plus size women. Buzzoole recently worked with Eloquii to identify the perfect plus-size Influencers to utilise quickly and efficiently using our AI-powered image recognition. Eloquii have accurately identified their consumer as women who are into mass fashion and frequently shop, but lack a Brand they love and identify with. Eloquii want to be that Brand by using plus size Creators and talk about body positivity. They have chosen to work with women who can reach out to this audience and show them a company that caters to them in an authentic way. It’s a great way for Eloquii to foster a message of body positivity and inclusion as well as a great opportunity for plus size Influencers to gain recognition whilst sharing their stories to other women in their position.
Even though social media is frequently blamed for the reason young women feel insecure, it can become a channel for women to find security in who they are and to support and uplift them. The more Brands and Influencers push a wholesome standard of beauty, the more authentic social media sites like Instagram can become.