All Articles Tagged "Instagram"

Can Instagram Really Help With Your Mental Health?

October 21st, 2016 - By Tracey Lloyd
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This week, Instagram announced a new service that helps its users identify troubling behavior within the community and reach out to followers who might need mental health help. The service, which is not yet available, lets users report posts in which certain negative phrases and hashtags are used, such as “I feel like nobody would miss me if I was gone” and “#selfharm.” The original poster would then get a message from Instagram indicating that one of their followers was concerned about them, and then point to critical mental health resources from within the app.

A screenshot of part of the new Instagram mental health tool.

A screenshot of part of the new Instagram mental health tool.

The announcement by Instagram is part of a partnership with Facebook, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and other organizations in an effort to help their communities deal with bullying, eating disorders, suicide and a number of other preventable mental health conditions. Facebook and Instagram currently have guides for talking with your friends online about the above situations. On Instagram, these guides are buried in the Privacy and Safety Center under Support; Facebook has put its documentation in the Community Standards section.

As I read about these initiatives, I’m heartened by the attention that these social media companies have paid to the health and safety of their users. As someone who lives with a mental illness, I pay attention to my friends’ language on social media as a matter of course. And I’d love for everyone to share my mindfulness of trigger words and phrases on Facebook or Instagram. But I’m still not sure of the efficacy of the new Instagram mental health tool and it’s ilk getting people help.

We’ve seen that people often hide behind their social media profiles, and do things there that they wouldn’t necessarily do in “real life” — like bullying celebrities and making death threats on blog posts. The same anonymity that distances people from each other in certain online circles could possible keep them from making positive outreach to the members of their community. Further, many people have Facebook and Instagram accounts that represent a persona rather than the actual person behind the account. That level of namelessness and distance might not be the appropriate place to encourage people to have difficult conversations about mental health.

We all use social media differently. For example, I only follow real life friends on Facebook, anyone can follow me on Instagram, and my Twitter is carefully curated for a specific point of view. Not everyone is that picky with their social media connections, but the way in which one uses the medium will further hamper the usefulness of the Instagram mental health tools. It’s much easier to reach out to your friends when you see that they might be in trouble. It’s not as easy to step out of your persona and engage with someone on a serious level. After all, many of us have friends and follower lists full of people we’ve never met who merely like our posts and send us animal pictures. It’s hard to move from a relationship based on kitten videos to one based on a possible mental health concern.

The new Instagram mental health alert process has a failsafe, a human that reviews flagged posts to determine whether the post in question is really harmful or is a joke or a misunderstanding. I feel good about that feature, as it would eliminate uncomfortable confrontations in which the reported user is angry for having been reported. But that still doesn’t address the fear or discomfort experienced by the reporting party, or the annoyance at getting a note from Instagram or Facebook that someone thinks you’re losing your marbles. Social media is made up of people, but social media companies are still seen as nameless, faceless entities that impose new features we don’t like and shut down when we need them. With sensitive subjects like eating disorders and suicide, I can see users feeling violated as though Instagram has disregarded their privacy.

All in all, I think providing more resources to promote better mental health is a good thing. But our society is still at the point where mental health topics are often verboten and not spoken about in public. I think that injecting hidden resources and unpromoted services to our social media accounts is too passive an activity to make a huge difference. However, if one suicide is prevented, or one person gets help for an eating disorder or a bullying incident, then the effort to launch these initiatives will have been worth it.

“I Work Very Hard To Keep Their Identities As Private As I Can” Halle Berry On Why She Won’t Show Her Kids’ Faces On IG

October 7th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Halle Berry On Why She Won't Show Her Kids' Faces On IG

Credit: FayesVision/

If you follow Halle Berry on Instagram you may notice that her children’s faces are noticeably absent. Still you know that they are often with her. You’ll see their hands, hair, feet and even the shirts they’re wearing. But their faces are not shown. One of Halle’s Instagram followers noticed this and made sure to ask her why she keeps obscuring her children’s faces.


A photo posted by Halle Berry (@halleberry) on


What’s with the hiding of the faces? They’re beautiful children why not show them off? [exasperated eye roll emoji.]

Apparently, Halle had time on this particular day and she took some of it to respond to the woman’s query.


Source: Instagram

Source: Instagram

At the end of the day, they’re Halle’s children and she is raising them the best way she sees fit. What do you think about her decision to conceal their faces on social media?

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at She is also the author of “Bettah Days.” You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter @VDubShrug.

Queen Bey X Barbie Instagram: It’s To Die For!

September 19th, 2016 - By Danielle Elaine
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Barbie Beyonce Life Instagram

Barbie Beyonce Life Instagram

The Beyhive is still swarming on social media since Beyoncé ‘s Lemonade lost the Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special last night to Grease: Live, but they might find some comfort in this new Beyoncé-themed social media account.

Recently a new Beyoncé  Instagram page surfaced, and while it’s everything, it isn’t what you’d expect.

The latest IG page dedicated to Bey, @BarbieBeyonceLife, is a fan page unlike any other. Bey X Barbie shares looks of the doll from the Lemonade tour with behind the scenes looks at Bey’s life on tour, and looks like behind the scenes of the making of the outfits and doll herself as well. As of now it is unknown whether or not Mattel plans to join in the fun, but the uncanny resemblance is superb.

Though Barbie Beyonce only has a few posts, they are stunning and fun to look at nonetheless, and she already has over 2000 followers. A selfie with vocal powerhouse Brandy, and a shot of her tour outfit fabric are just a few snippets into the busy life of the touring doll. Check out some of the fierce Yonce posts below. 



Fitting… #FormationWorldTour

A photo posted by Barbie® Beyoncé (@barbiebeyoncelife) on


Design and cutting… #FormationWorldTour

A photo posted by Barbie® Beyoncé (@barbiebeyoncelife) on


Are you following Barbie Beyonce? What are some things you hope to see on the page?

Drop The Gel: Beautiful Photos To Inspire You To Embrace Natural Edges

September 16th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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natural hair


Ever since the invention of hot combs and baby hair, slicking back or hiding edges has been the beauty standard when dealing with our strands. But it’s not the only way to celebrate the beautiful possibilities of Black hair.

From Gabby Douglas to Janelle Monàe, Black women are letting their natural edges shine, as is. They’re letting their coils stand out. These examples will make you want to give the gel and curl control a break. Plus, embracing this kind of look can help you deal with high humidity and give your edges a much-needed break when they need to be left alone.

Taraji Checks 50 Cent For Trying To Clown Vivica Fox And “Empire”

September 6th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

If you know anything about 50 Cent’s social media presence, you know that basically, he’s a troll. He uses his platform to clown other celebrities, make jokes about his financial status, promote Effen Vodka and his hit television show “Power.”

In promotion of “Power,” he’s been on a crusade against “Empire.” And now that his ex girlfriend, Vivica Fox is going to be guest starring in the show, he’s geared up again with the unnecessary attacks. Today, he posted this one.

Taraji, who has had a little back and forth with 50 Cent before in his dissing of Empire, came to Vivica’s defense this time around.

In an Instagram post, captured by The Shade Room—before she deleted it, Taraji wrote:

Oop! #TarajiPHenson made a #PostAndDelete about #50Cent’s post referring to #VivicaAFox. View earlier posts

A photo posted by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on

We’re glad someone said it. 50’s been acting too crazy for too long.

Best Of Instagram: Free-Form Locs

September 6th, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
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Hey. #locs #brookejay #latergram #naturalwomen #naturalhair #freeformlocs #latergram #wild #wildwoman

A photo posted by Brooke Jay (@lovebrookejay) on

Search for #freeformlocs on Instagram, and you’ll find a treasure trove of goodness – images and videos of carefree Black women and men documenting their hair growth, selfie posing, and everything in between. In any case, one thing is certain: from the way they’re shaped to the way they defy gravity, free-form locs are a thing of natural beauty. If you’re browsing through this slideshow, maybe you’ll get some ideas on how to style or maintain your own locs. Maybe you’ll simply appreciate the variety and diversity within the images. Here are some of our fave free-form loc Instagram pics.

Halle Berry Continues To Give Us All The #FitnessGoals At 50

September 6th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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If you haven’t followed Halle Berry’s Instagram page, you really need to. It’s filled with such love, and light, and peace, and color. Oh yeah, and fitness goals.

The actress seems to love connecting with her fans through images. And when she’s not showing us Nahla’s artwork, having fun with friends or just being all artsy fartsy, she’s striking a very fit pose for the cameras. Like this one:

BTS on my last shoot of the summer.👙🌊💪🏽

A photo posted by Halle Berry (@halleberry) on

The image was from the same photo shoot that Berry shared this picture from a few weeks back, looking just as amazing:

When asked in the past what allows her to stay in such great shape, the 50-year-old has said that eating right is what works for her. And it’s important to do so, as Berry has said that she has Type II diabetes and was diagnosed with it at the age of 19. For her, that means no to breads, very few carbs and sugars, lots of veggies, as well as water, and her occasional guilty pleasure of red wine.

“It’s a lot harder than it used to be [she laughs]. As I get older, I am more conscious of what I eat,” Berry told The Los Angeles Times last year. “I have never worked out with a lot of weights unless I had to for a film role. Left to my own devices, I just do cardio. I do exercises that involve my own body weight, because I never want to get too muscly. I am diabetic, so exercising has always been a part of managing my disease and keeping my sugars under control.”

It’s definitely working for Berry. Check out a few other times the beauty gave us fitness goals (and the feels) via her Instagram page:


Being in London makes me miss my workout buddy @natbardonnet 💪🌊

A video posted by Halle Berry (@halleberry) on

First look at @ScandaleHalleBerry. More beautiful things to come.

A photo posted by Halle Berry (@halleberry) on

When you find a pair of boots so dope you don’t want to put on pants.

A photo posted by Halle Berry (@halleberry) on

So happy to be home. Bow down to this beach.

A photo posted by Halle Berry (@halleberry) on

Signs You Need A Social Media Detox

August 22nd, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

When Kerry Washington announced that she had taken a break from social media, it caught all of her fans by surprise. What was even more brow-raising was the reason she took a break: social media wasn’t good for her self-esteem.

“That thing that happens in social media where you’re comparing your day or your life or your food or your mood or your kids to somebody else’s. I felt like I needed to create a little more stillness around me.”

We’ve all felt negative feelings about social media and its effect on us from time to time. But when celebrities are even saying they need a break, it might be time to consider whether or not we could all use a detox from time to time.

Turning social media off altogether doesn’t work for everyone, but there are ways to take brief breaks from all the noise if you’ve suffered from the following feelings and issues.

About Her Business: 7 Motivating Women To Follow On Instagram

August 3rd, 2016 - By Kweli Wright
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Women are certainly running the world nowadays. We are the CEO, President, founders and creators of some of the most successful businesses. Wearing many hats that sometimes seems like we’re running circles around men. We’re on the move and it does not seem like we will be slowing down anytime soon. In the world of reality TV, it seems to portray women as constantly fighting, bickering and demeaning each other, but that is not the truth in real reality.

For the women who don’t have the camera rolling for the entertainment of others, we have joined forces in what feels like a #GirlPower revolution. With so many social media outlets, it has become so convenient to reach out and form a bond with your fellow sister. Whether your connection is for business purposes or just to link with another woman that inspires you, a positive force can be created by just the click of a button. For the love of positive energy, I choose to use my Instagram account wisely by following accounts that inspire me to want more and to work harder.

Here’s a list of my top 7 motivating women to follow on Instagram for inspiration:



Myleik is the founder and CEO of CurlBOX. She’s probably my most visited account on IG. For the days that I’m feeling a bit discouraged, I can always find the push or “read” that I need in one of her #MyTaughtYou gems that she drops often. I also enjoy listening to her podcasts on business, life and relationships. Not to mention she inspires me to want to travel more and live life to it’s fullest potential. There will be plenty of energy and knowledge that you can walk away with by following Myleik.



Imperfect Concepts is like a study guide for your business. She drops daily knowledge on issues or ideas that every entrepreneur may come across and needs help dealing with. She breaks these concepts down so that they are easy to understand and apply to your own business. Her website is full of tools that every woman entrepreneur can learn from and use.



June Ambrose is a stylist to the stars, but I see her as so much more. She has taken the fashion industry by storm by turning her talents into an empire. June’s down to earth approach gives the energy that dreams can become true, with hard work and dedication. Besides her drive as an entrepreneur, as a rockmom myself, I enjoy how she balances her business and family life with ease.



Ekiuwa is such a beautiful soul, that you can feel it through her Instagram pictures. The most amazing female graphic designer I know, her page offers tons more than just a glimpse of her business. She shares her journey of being a wife, recipes, her love for photography and her walk with Christ. Ekiuwa keeps it real. Anytime I yearn for more, I visit her account for inspiration.



Motivation at it’s best! Susan Petersen is the owner and CEO of Freshly Picked, the uber popular baby moccasin shoe line. I started following her about four years ago, in which I’ve followed her from personally making/shipping orders out of her garage to the day that she appeared on “Shark Tank” (sealing a deal with shark Daymond John). Even prior to her appearance on the show, her products, marketing and sharing entrepreneurial struggles made me fall in love with her journey.



Lana is ½ of the Gymnetics Fitness dynamic mother and daughter duo. She inspires me to get and stay fit! With the most realistic approach to weightloss and fitness that I’ve come across, she exudes enthusiasm on how healthy eating and fitness is important for women in the African American community. To see how much their brand has grown and how many lives they’ve changed is so inspiring!



Karen Civil is a force to be reckoned with. In the male-based world of Hip Hop, her branding/management skills are taking over the music industry and so many other outlets as well. She shines such a positive light on her social media daily, via working or just an encouraging #LiveCivil post. Karen’s story is so moving and has placed her on a platform to be a role model for adult women everywhere!

The Funniest (And Most Questionable) Arthur Memes On The Internet

August 2nd, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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😡 #thebookofarthur #arthurmemes

A photo posted by Official Laughter Page😭 (@thebookoflaughter) on

Growing up, many of us watched the hit show Arthur which first premiered on PBS in 1996. Because of the sweater-wearing aardvark, countless millennials learned how to navigate bullying, manage their school work and fight fair (or not) with their siblings. Unfortunately, since the creators of Arthur missed the memo that 20-somethings still need lessons from the cartoon show, social media users decided to create memes using images from the cartoon to illustrate their adult journey. From dating woes to paying bills, here are the funniest (and even questionable) Arthur memes floating around the internets.