Social media is continually cited as the cause of rising mental health issues. Media headlines brand Instagram a breeding ground for body shaming and eating disorders, with a million and one so-called ‘influencer’ accounts promoting over-exercise, unhealthy diets and unobtainable standards of beauty to young and impressionable girls. Whilst certainly true, this critical narrative overlooks a growing number of Instagram accounts created by female activists, on a mission to make social media a force for positive change. We have selected our firm favourites for that daily dose of patriarchy-smashing goodness.
Australian Graphic Designer and Illustrator Christine Emily Yahya started Pink Bits in October 2016. Inspired by and celebrating women in all their glory, Christine illustrates the daily realities of womanhood that we so often hide. Check out her website here.
Home of #FreePeriods and#girlswanktoo, The Pink Protest is brought to you by Grace Campbell, Honey Ross and Alice Skinner. The trio have made serious progress in the battle to end period poverty in the UK, using their account to educate and engage with thousands of followers online.
Created by Chicago-based artist Shannon Downey, Badass Cross Stitch provides inspirational quotes in the novel format of a hand-embroidered message. Whilst delivering a powerful and thought provoking message, each post is a work of art in its own right – Shannon is a true creative genius.
Founded by @adwoaaboah and Holly Gore, Gurls Talk is a platform for young women from across the world to share and listen without fear of judgement or stigma. Aboah has been very public about her battles with depression, and this online community is a true labour of love for the model turned activist and mental health campaigner.
Incredibly informative yet brutally honest, CYCLES + SEX is a must-follow account for anyone who enjoys humorous depictions of reproductive organs. Co-founded by Ashley Spivak and Lauren Billie, their corresponding website allbodies also provides a wealth of knowledge, tools and personal experiences to educate people about reproduction and sex – topics that are too often viewed as shameful, intimidating and shrouded in mystery.
And finally, this wouldn’t be a roundup of the best female-empowerment Instagram accounts without mentioning our very own @andsistersuk. Managed and run by &SISTERS Founder Claire Lettice, this is essential following for all women. Challenging taboos, highlighting positive period practices and providing regular doses of wisdom, no aspect of the female body or menstrual cycle is left unexplored.