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 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 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.
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 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.
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 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 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.
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 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 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.