The fun part of social media, especially visual social media like Instagram, has always been about what interesting people you can find, the thoughts they’re sharing or the cool things they’re writing, creating and sharing with the world. Unfortunately, as time has gone on and we’re having to wade through countless ads and “suggested” posts, the ever present (yet unseen) algorithm can make it feel difficult to find accounts we actually want to follow. That’s why we’ll be sharing five plus-size Instagram influencers to follow right now.
Broadening Our Perspectives
The social media algorithm keeps us in a loop of repeatedly showing us the same things over and over again: the same style of clothing, the same body types, the same gender presentations. Although we can’t necessarily capture the full, expansive expression of human experience into one perfectly curated Instagram feed, we can make sure we’re seeking out lived experiences that don’t match our own to help broaden our perspectives, just a little.
And while “diversifying your feed” is important, it’s important to remember that people are more than just a diversification opportunity. Their humor and wittiness, sense of style and honesty are all things that make their content engaging.
5 Plus-Size Instagram Influencers
The following plus-size Instagram influencers talk about being plus size, yes, but also about everything else, because the world is larger than just our body sizes.
1. Alicia Mccarvell
One of my recent follows has been Alicia Mccarvell. This video, in particular, hit me right in the chest because, despite the comedic tone, Mccarvell is correct: people do have preconceived ideas about who should or should not be together based solely on appearances. And when people don’t conform to our preconceived ideas, it can make us uncomfortable to acknowledge and interrogate. Mccarvell has discussed how internalizing that messaging put roadblocks in her relationship, making intimacy more difficult because she didn’t believe she deserved to feel that joy and passion herself.
On her account, Mccarvell talks about her relationship with her husband and the comments she often receives, as well as her complicated relationship with movement and how multilayered and complex it can be as a fat person. But she also shares so much joy from her life, from traveling to sexy transition videos with her husband to eating donuts naked in bed. Her energy is infectious, and her laugh and silliness are truly a joy to witness, and the sexiness she shares on her account is aspirational for any of us who may feel that we may undeserving, for whatever reason.
Robyn, known as wheelingalong24, shares the most divine cottagecore outfits on their Instagram. Their outfits are beautiful and filled with whimsy, with so much attention to detail. From gorgeous stays to delightful skirts and jaunty berets, Robyn’s outfits truly feel like real-life art. They also use their account to talk about sustainable fashion, something evident from many of their posts using the same clothing pieces over and over.
Robyn shares about moving through the world as someone who has a wheelchair and its impact on their ability to access the outdoors, the effort that goes into creating some of their content and the misconceptions abled people have about disabled people. They also talk about being non-binary while dressing in feminine clothing and the dysphoria that can come with it, as well as the lack of inclusivity in many queer spaces that disabled people often face. Robyn’s account allows followers to see what a larger, more expansive and inclusive world looks like, and how possible it truly is if we make the effort.
3. Nyome Nicholas-Williams
You might know Nyome Nicholas-Williams from the #IWantToSeeNyome Instagram campaign. The result was that Instagram and Facebook “updat[ed their] policy on nudity in order to help end discrimination of plus-size Black women on its platforms and ensure all body types are treated fairly,” according to The Guardian in early 2021.
Nicholas-Williams is a model in the UK who has used her platform to talk to the British Parliament about the impact that body image has on people and written for Glamour about how body shaming is still alive and well in 2022. She’s also pushed back the impulse to compliment people for their weight loss. Alongside her activism, Nicholas-Williams’ account is full of spaghetti straps, low-cut tops and backless dresses. There’s a lot of black in her posted outfits, but also bright oranges, reds and patchwork pieces throughout. She also throws in some feathers, faux fur and shawls in eye-catching color combinations.
4. Brynta Ponn
Brynta Ponn’s energy is infectious and her love of crop tops and her reminder that “boobs are gonna boob” gives her account the feeling that you’re meeting up with a good friend for drinks and a laugh. She confronts harmful social messaging like why Kim Kardashian’s rapid weight loss for the Met Gala was harmful and out-of-touch magazine articles. Ponn had a series about clothes she told herself she’d wear when she was skinny, many styles that now feature prominently in her outfit posts.
She has no problem telling people to mind their own business when it comes to fat people’s weight and joy and reminders that eating is not a moral activity. Ponn also shares stories about her eating disorder as a teen and the journey she’s been on to accepting her body as it is, even if it’s harder some days than others. As a bonus Ponn’s posts, videos and stories often feature her dog, Penny.
5. Lydia Okello
Lydia Okello, known as StyleIsStyle, is all about that color! Neons, punchy patterns and playfulness in regards to length, color, texture and drape are their style playbook. Although their outfits run the gamut from loose and flowing to fitted, there’s the common thread of the unexpected — often a small pop of bright color — that runs through all their outfits. The details may be few, but they are intentional. They’ve also been ahead of the fashion cycle, sporting multiple matching sets long before lifestyle blog “Cup of Jo” noted the style late last month.
Okello is also a writer, advocating for plus-size bodies in various media. They’ve written about how a viral photo of them in their fatkini helped them stop covering up and about why the sustainable fashion industry would do well to be much more size inclusive. They’ve also pointed out that it’s unfair to chastise fat people for not shopping more sustainably when it’s often more difficult to find clothing in their size and that fat people often face income disparity.
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Lead photo by AllGo/Unsplash.