An Ode To The Black Girls On Instagram That Help Me Feel Confident
Sometimes social media can be the worst (hello FaceTune and botched bodies making me feel insecure). That’s why I wanted to take the time to acknowledge a few women on the Gram that have inspired me to love myself, my body and put my talents on the map. Too often, we’re bombarded with images on Instagram that make us feel less than. Black women, per the usual, take the hits the most. From accounts that only show a “preferred curvy” body (you know, the super small waist and overtly plump behinds) to men and women alike, mocking us, it’s hard to find positivity on social media as a woman of color.
So here’s to you, Black women, some I know, some I don’t, who’ve inspired me to love everything about myself, flaws and all. These women have helped me feel worthy and navigate this thing we call social media and the real world with more confidence than I’ve probably ever had before.
Danielle Brooks, @daniebb3
We all know her as Taystee from Orange is the New Black, but Danielle Brooks is a legit BFF in my head. From her confidence in her curves to calling out the fashion industry’s sizeism issues, she is the epitome of slayage. With every post, she inspires me to show off my curves and love up on my dark complexion.
Teyana Taylor, @teyanataylor
Can we say #blackgirlgoals? Teyana is feisty, fun and raw. I love how she really, really doesn’t give a damn about what anyone has to say about her. She’s let us all watch her glow up, and I’m forever inspired to hit the gym every time I look at those abs.
Nikki Ogunnaike, @nikkiogun
The Elle.com style director gives me life on so many levels. From her fitness inspo to her positivity, Nikki is someone I’ve looked up to since forever. As a Black woman in the magazine world, she’s always bringing diversity to the table and sharing her career journey. Nikki is legit #bosslady goals.
Brande Victorian, @be_vic
You’re probably like, “Wait, I feel like I’ve seen her before.” You have. As the Managing Editor of Madame Noire, Brande is focused on telling authentic stories for and by us Black women. But the one thing that has inspired me the most about following Brande has been her weight loss journey. There’s nothing easy about showing the process of body transformation for the world to see. Her videos show her getting stronger every day, and her fabulous outfits make me want to spend all of my coins!
How I’m supposed to not include Jay in this lineup? How? There is no other person on the Gram that gets me the way she does, she is my spirit animal. The hilarious Instagram comedian just won’t stop serving up some of the funniest videos about men, money and everyday life issues women deal with. I cannot wait until she’s on television one day.
“when somebody gives you an opportunity, don’t insult them by telling them that they don’t know what they’re talking about by believing in you.” @chescaleigh via @luvvie’s @rantsandrandomness podcast. today is THE DAY that #WTEQBook drops and I couldn’t be more proud of you! I maintain that a win for one is a win for all and let’s be clear, this book is LOADED with gems. can’t wait to host your #WTEQ ATL tour stop! swipe right to sit with us! #myleikbookshare
Myleik Teele, @myleik
The queen of straight-shooter life and career advice, Myleik Teele, pretty much gets us all together with her uncut life lessons. Plus, she’s gorgeous and has impeccable style. If you’re not following her or listening to her podcast, what are you doing with your life?
Iris Bonner, @ThesePinkLips
Iris has been on her grind for years and is finally getting the shine she deserves. As a Philly fashion designer who has recently adorned her frocks on the likes of Cardi B and other badass women, Iris makes me want to work harder. She stuck to her guns and created a clothing line that not only speaks to women empowerment but also entrepreneurship.
Need I say more? Whether you love her or hate her, Cardi is here and she’s not going anywhere anytime soon. I, just like many other women, fell in love with her IG rants about real life issues, and her willingness to just be herself. You can say whatever you want about Cardi, but you can’t say she doesn’t keep it all the way real.
Briana Owens, @bri.monee
The woman behind Spiked Spin, an upgraded spinning and fitness class, has been inspiring me since the day I met her. Watching her build her brand from the ground up has been nothing short of awesome. And that body? Yes, and more yes! Briana is the ultimate definition of #blackgirljoy and I’m here for all of it.
Janell Hickman, @jmargaretbeauty
This beauty editor and content strategist is all beauty and brains, baby. Janell is chic, focused and is one of the best beauty writers you’ll come across. Plus, she’s absolutely stunning!