Everyone knows who the biggest names on Instagram are. But for those of you who are tired of scrolling through Kylie Jenner’s selfies or Justin Bieber’s pictures, here are six socially conscious Instagrammers you should be following.
If you’ve been on social media within the past year, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve heard of Corey Maison. When the controversial North Carolina bathroom laws were being discussed every day, her picture exploded across the internet alongside the question: “If this was YOUR daughter, would you be comfortable sending her into a men’s bathroom?” Since then, Corey has been open about her life as a transgender teen and uses her Instagram account to document her fight for transgender rights.
Follow if: You obsess over cute kids, you like finding up-and-coming stars so that you can tell all your friends you knew about them first or you want to educate yourself on transgender rights and the impact that an accepting environment can have on a child in transition.
This Instagram account (which also links to a personal blog) is run by Anum, a medical student and expert selfie-taker. While she gives regular updates on her journey to becoming a doctor and life with her husband, she also posts about the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and speaks out about the recent hate crimes against Muslims. But fair warning: Her professional dedication and recent trip to Cancun will make you wish she was your best friend.
Follow if: You need more #ootd inspiration (she’ll make you rethink those ‘modest clothing’ stereotypes), you’re thinking about applying to med school or you want to support young women who are trying to balance the work-home life balance.
There are multiple reasons why Tiyumba “Ashley” Wright is a woman worth a spot on your Instagram feed. She’s an awesome mother to her daughter Shannon (who might be the sweetest toddler on social media), a proud supporter of breastfeeding and a champion of natural parenting. And, if that’s not enough, she’s also incredibly active and shares pictures that will push you to sign up for the next available yoga class at your local gym. After a few minutes of scrolling through her posts, you’ll be able to continue on with your day a bit more inspired.
Follow if: Seeing adorable children and their mothers brightens your day, you are a breast-feeding mother or someone who supports its normalization or you need someone to inject a daily dose of motivational speech into your life.
As a senior justice writer at New York Daily News, Shaun King is consistently posting about the #BlackLivesMatter movement and human rights issues. In the middle of a national discussion about using one’s voice for things that matter, he speaks out about injustices against the black community. His Instagram is filled with posts about Alton Sterling, Laquan McDonald and Sandra Bland. He also weighs in on political issues and various elections – when he’s not posting updates on his five children, of course.
Follow if: You think journalists are the true celebrities of the millennial world, you want to prove your relatives wrong when they say that social media has nothing significant to offer or you want to stay up-to-date on what’s happening within the Black Lives Matter movement.
Megan Jayne Crabbe is incredibly honest about her past. She struggled with anorexia for years, to the point where she only weighed 65 pounds. The woman who runs this Instagram account, however, is a completely different person. She loves her body and constantly voices her appreciation for it, has the most fun with her #donthatetheshake videos, supports women in their self-love journeys and ultimately lives her very best life.
Follow if: You feel there’s a gap of color and/or inspirational quotes in your feed, you want an introduction to the body positivity movement but don’t know where to begin or you want to surround yourself with people who are celebrating their journeys towards happier lives.
Even if you haven’t heard of the singer/songwriter/producer/DJ Brad Walsh, you’ve probably heard of his husband Christian Siriano, a designer from who made it big on Project Runway. A lot of Brad’s pictures are typical of what you’d expect a celebrity to post — he’s friends with Alicia Silverstone, Christina Hendricks and Danielle Brooks, who attended his wedding – and Christian photobombs his selfies with Leslie Jones. But he also takes time to post about human rights issues. He speaks out for LGBT pride and designs shirts to benefit different causes (like OneOrlando and StepUp).
Follow if: You enjoy celebrity sightings, you’re looking for tips on how to build your brand or you want to see more people using their influence on social media to encourage equality.
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Published in the Fall 2016 Issue. Read the whole issue for FREE here.