An Instagram Renaissance: My Top Five Favorite Instagram Accounts that Empower Women

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Recently, I had the privilege of meeting an up and coming 15-year-old pop singer, Penny.

When you first meet Penny she appears to be everything you’d expect from someone who’s bound for pop stardom. Perky, fit, wide smile, shiny makeup and able to command a room with the attributes of confidence that the industry demands.  And not that I want to dote on the perfection of this pre-teen for fear of sounding obsequious, but she’s uber intelligent and carries an undeniable view of self-assurance that I long to emulate in my 30’s.

At this meet up, Penny and I got to talking about life, love, music, and what she likes to do in her free time. Our small talk took a turn towards her Instagram account. A strategic gallery managed by someone who posts with great intention and forethought. Within the first 10 minutes of our Instagram rundown, I was overwhelmed with equal amounts of admiration for her plight as well as immense grief for her generation.

Penny took the time to show me some of the accounts she follows. My sentiments, dread. I was seeing what Penny saw, every day. Her feed was inundated with images of preteen’s mirroring the horrors of a Kardashian inspired “beauty” industry. Straddled legs, lip injections and unrealistic body shapes. It was sad and debatably, it was porn. Not to mention, these weren’t strangers or models, they were her classmates. Kids she saw at school or the movies.  There was even a 1/2 naked classmate sponsoring her father’s plastic surgery practice. Truth! 

It was hard to see and even harder to imagine young women, like Penny, processing these images and inevitably comparing them to their own expression of beauty. Social media has made the psychological affliction of conforming to unrealistic beauty standards validated by “likes” or “thumbs up” emojis.  It makes sense that the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and the Young Health Movement (YHM) ranked Instagram and Snapchat as the “most detrimental to young people’s mental health and well-being.”

Listen, I’m not a prude. I understand that sexuality and beauty has been a successful marketing tactic since as early as 1871, when a “Birth of Venus” inspired female donned the golden skyline on the Pearl Tobacco cover. We know, as evolutionary beings, our brains are primarily focused on food, danger, and sex.  We can’t help it. And, as someone who helps create effective content for small businesses, herein lies the conundrum.

How do we engage our social feeds without the use of detrimental images?

My opinion: it's time to start the Instagram renaissance! It's time to encourage woman to follow and engage with more “realistic” and all around “positive” influencers. In fact, the more we like, comment, and share this type of subject matter, the more capable we are of altering the algorithms that prioritize this content, inevitably forcing "influencers" and advertising agencies to make more conscientious choices. 

And since Rome wasn't build in a day, here's some inspiration to get you started.  


My Top Five FAVORITE Inspirational IG Accounts that Empower Women:


1) @Betweentwobooks - by Florence Welch  - This book club inspired feed pays homage to female writers, art, inspirational quotes and all thing magical.


2) @Gloriasteinem – All hail the queen, who’s been advocating for Women’s rights since the 60’s. Her feed is a great reminder of just how far we’ve come and why we have to continue marching forward.

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3) @EmmaWatson – Watson, with an air of extreme class and grace, inspires women to stand up, speak out and stand “shoulder to shoulder” for equality.


4) @Rupikaur_ This author of Milk and Honey, a NYT bestseller for over two years, and all-encompassing artist, provides women with an uncensored view of the female experience that is thought provoking, evocative and inspiring.


5) @Girlboss – A platform for all the badass female entrepreneur’s ready to make their mark. With a combination of positive pop culture images, uplifting content, and a never-ending supply of inspiration to break the glass ceiling at any level, Girlboss has your back.  


Comment below with your favorite uplifting/inspiring and all around female positive IG accounts: