Photo credits: @norajmaxwell

Diversifying your Instagram Feed

As Instagram starts shifting back to “normal” it is important to remember that the fight against racism and the global pandemic are by no means over. People have yet to be held accountable and structural problems continue to plague society. So, when navigating the line between whether or not it is appropriate to revert back to posting selfies and brunch pics, it is crucial that you check your privilege.

Diversifying your Instagram feed is a necessary step in doing so. Social media is an echo chamber, with the algorithm feeding you images and amplifying voices of those you are already comfortable with. Often, this means those who are just as privileged as you. On a platform where violence against POC is often voyeuristically circulated, following more POC—especially Black—accounts give space for POC to exist outside of their suffering on social media. Diversifying your feed not only exposes you to different experiences and ideas, but it also allows you to interact with and amplify silenced voices.

Below, I’ve rounded up 10 Instagram accounts that have inspired and educated me, and hopefully, they can do the same for you.

@norajmaxwell

@norajmaxwell posts super informative and interactive Instagram stories that teach people how to be a better ally. Her past stories are saved in her highlights and include topics on “ally fatigue,” colorism, and also the importance of diversifying your feed.

@asata.maise

@asata.maise is a Delaware-based 27-year-old designer. She has also been chosen as a recipient of the Black Creators Funding Initiative by Halsey. Her unique designs are all handmade, reflecting her commitment to slow fashion. There is a long line waiting for her patchworked pieces and I’m sure the wait will be worth it.

@sofya_wang

View this post on Instagram

Looking inside

A post shared by Sofya Wang (@sofya_wang) on

Singer-songwriter, producer, classically-trained musician, @sofya_wang is a multitalented artist. Sofya is a first-generation Chinese American and a vocal member of the LGBT community, which can often seem like an oxymoron in itself. Her music is fun, flirty, and just an overall bop.

@jaycina

Jaycina Almond was a working model and only 21 when she had her daughter Syx. Since then, she has founded The Tender Foundation that aims to help single-mothers, especially those from marginalized communities, with short-term emergency assistance. A beautiful human being, inside and out.

@dejafoxx

As her bio states, @dejafoxx is an activist and the future President of the United States. From being homeless at 15 years-old to being a strategist for Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign at 19, she has been actively fighting for social change through educating others. It is impossible to list all her achievements here and I’m sure there is still much more to come.

@sophia_roe

View this post on Instagram

give tenderness a try why don’t you? — — There are tears that drip onto my fingers when I type some days. I know I’m anxious, we all are. Unease is a battle that we all fight. I’m on a pretty consistent losing streak lately, I’m sure many of you can relate. I was on the way to get groceries, and noticed a very stressed out mommy almost in tears because her two-year-old son just would not keep his mask on. I tried “smiling with my eyes” to let her know that “IT IS OKAY!! YOU’RE A MOMMY, AND YOU’RE DOING SUCH A GREAT JOB.” She twitched with anxiety to fix his mask, I kept walking. — — A handsome, but withered black man experiencing homelessness in a ripped coka-cola t-shirt sits in wheel chair where the sidewalk meets the road. He’s blasting Al Green, and singing his little heart out. His voice sounds beautiful, even though he’s masked. I pause to admire him, and love him for a moment. Only seconds later people honk, and scream at him for being loud, and in the way. He stopped singing, and I kept walking. — — A person said to me one day how insincere it was to tell a stranger I loved them. But ya know, it’s so easy to hate things you don’t understand. A stranger hating anything stranger is a stark, but predicatable occurance. Think of all the times you’ve said something nasty about someone you don’t even know..surely if that’s allowed, then it’s acceptable for me to love people I don’t know, and love things I don’t understand, right? Fuck, I sure hope so, or I’ll just have to keep walking.. — — It’s a weird time, filled with very weird things. You can’t hug your best friends without fear, you can’t go outside without the proper gear, a simple trip to the post office, sadly is much more serious now, and it’s unclear if we’ll ever have “the good ol’ days” again. So fuck it! Get over yourself, and love all the people you don’t know or don’t understand. We’re all living with unpredictable energy right now, and most of us really are doing the best we can. A little tenderness might be good for us all, and that means for you too. #thinkingoutloud #deardiary #iloveyou

A post shared by i am sophia (@sophia_roe) on

@sophia_roe is a chef and founder of @thepillowtalksessions, a series that provides a safe space for people to come together and hold conversations. She shares creative recipes and speaks on important issues in a way that is easy to understand and fun to watch. Plus, she does all this in the cutest outfits.

@misha_japanwala

View this post on Instagram

I’ve felt sick all day as I’ve followed the developments of Uzma Khan’s story; sometimes the only way I can sort through the noise in my head is by making art. The above word means ‘safe’, but the drawing represents the evident + extreme lack of safety for women in Pakistan. ⁣ ⁣ When will our society start treating women with respect? When will our laws and our justice system start protecting us? This is NOT and shouldn’t be an argument about chastity or the morality of infidelity (though it’s interesting that the man involved in this situation is conveniently MIA), and has absolutely nothing to do with whose house these women were in and whether alcohol/drugs were present – the arguments/reasons for justification of assault that are being brought forward by the guilty are sickening. ⁣ ⁣ This is about the way women are treated in our country. This is about money, power and influence continuing to win in Pakistan. It’s important to understand that incidents like these are not isolated, they are happening every day and only rarely do they make it onto social media for us to hear about. We need to discuss/question the structures and systems in place that allow for things like this to happen. We need to learn from this, and make sure through public pressure that #UzmaKhan is given her right to register an FIR and that the assaulters are held responsible. We can’t let another one of these incidents slip through the cracks.

A post shared by Misha Japanwala (@misha_japanwala) on

@misha_japanwala is a Pakistani artist that creates body-casts of Pakistani women. Her work gives voice to the women behind the molds who have been oppressed and subjected to violence. Her replicas of the female body are both intimate and empowering, both vulnerable and absolutely beautiful.

@awengchuol

Born in a refugee camp in Kenya, South Sudanese model @awengchuol was discovered in a McDonald’s in one of Sydney’s suburbs. Since then, she has walked for brands like Vetements, Savage x Fenty, Pyre Moss, and Asai. Apart from modeling, she is also studying for her law degree and plans on opening her own law firm before she’s 25. Her wedding to her wife @lexymayjust was also recently featured on Vogue. It seems like she has already accomplished more than I could hope for in my lifetime and she’s just getting started.

@koredoko

@koredoko creates the most gorgeous Victorian-inspired pieces. Reversible corsets, hand-painted jackets, puff-sleeved tops, every creation is like a manifestation of some angelic dream sequence. The captions leave me in both wonder and confusion, much like the clothes themselves.

@zariyaallen

@zariyaallen is a writer, musician, and performing artist based in Los Angeles. Her poems are provocative, genuine, and a joy to read. She has also been very involved in slam poetry and I highly recommend watching her performances online, they give me goosebumps every time.

More Stories
The dark side of Harajuku girls