Every year as it gets warmer, the scourge of summer diet culture returns to make people feel weird and off about their bodies. Remember: The devil works hard but people who want you to feel bad about your body and buy stuff to change it work harder!
Combined with the ways that hyper-visual social media (oh hey, Instagram!) can contribute to making people lose sight of all the ways bodies can be diversely beautiful, strong, powerful and good, sometimes your feed just needs a makeover to be a whole lot more body positive.
I like following a good fitness influencer as much as the next girl but also know that the content can be frustrating or triggering for a lot of folks who want to learn about a new workout or get some cool inspiration without having to wade through the diet culture ,body negative ickiness. We’re all too good for that!
That’s why we rounded up a few really wonderful body positive fitness instagram accounts that focus on celebrating bodies in all their diverse, powerful and complex glory. Read on and get ready to revamp your fitspo feed in the best way!
It’s totally possible your first introduction to Hampton Liu from his TikToks (which offer really positive, affirming and accessible introductions to all sorts of bodyweight workouts!) but if you aren’t familiar with Liu’s work, give @hybrid.calisthenics instagram a follow too. The videos are easy to follow and motivational — recognizing that fitness is a journey and that there’s always opportunities to grow as you get more comfortable with various workouts.
If you’re someone who generally finds capital-F fitness people to be at-best annoying or at-worst triggering and body negative and exclusionary, Hampton will be a welcome to addition to your feed.
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EDIT: This class is now available on my IGTV ❤️❤️ I’m teaching a free #yogaonhigh class TODAY on IG Live at 3pm EST. @wegohighnc & @theunderbellyyoga are taking donations for @criticalresistance, @byp100, @blackdirectaction, @undocublack & #boldorganizing- click the link in my bio to donate & get info about the orgs! If you’re scared to come to class, I feel you- I usually hate trying out new types of exercise bc I always get worried about not knowing enough. Mostly I’m worried about what other people will think. Sigh. But honestly, yoga really isn’t exercise- it’s a spiritual practice. Plus, postural yoga practice is fucking hard for everybody. Literally everybody. Even the “easy”poses are hard- #corpsepose?! Bitch, what’s harder than just trying to be still? Yoga poses are hard on purpose- they kick the shit out of you so you can finally get out of your own head. In damn near every yoga class I’ve ever taken, there’s a moment where I’m like “bitch, I’m literally bout to die on this yoga mat. Today is judgment day and I am going up in flames.” In that moment, my challenge is to just say “…..Ok.” Instead of blocking opportunity with my fear, submission is my challenge. And submission looks like a lot of things. Sometimes it looks like spending the whole class in corpse pose or spending the whole class in tears or spending the whole class in tears while also in corpse pose. That’s what yoga is- every pose is just a vehicle to a big ass awakening happening within. It’s gon be Emotion City, JUST IN TIME FOR CANCER SEASON AND TONIGHT’S SOLAR ECLIPSE!!!!! (I am a double cancer and I’m turning 33 next Saturday CAN YOU TELL THAT I AM VERY FUCKING EXCITED ABOUT CRAB SEASON 🦀 🦀 🦀 🦀) Come cry with me. See y’all at 3pm my time- swipe for your time zone ✌🏿✌🏿✌🏿 (Also, I cannot for the life of me remember who took this photo- if it was you, please hit me up 🤙🏿)
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You may have seen Jessamyn Stanley’s gorgeous photos go viral a few times now, featuring feats of strength, flexibility and just the intense power of the human body in all sorts of phenomenal yoga poses. Her page features artful photos, links to classes (lots of virtual stuff these days) and inspiration for days.
Julia Parzyck is an eating disorder recovery coach who really has great perspective on feeling well and connected to your body and not being wrecked by diet culture or standards of beauty that prioritize thinness over fulfillment. She’s also got killer style and great taste in workout clothes — so you get some fashion and fitness (mental and physical) inspo in one!
Jessie Diaz Herrera’s feed is full of dancing, cute outfits and inspirational posts that never feel corny. Founder of Curves With Moves, she delivers weekly dance workouts (along with updates of her adorable family) and reminders to be your most confident and kind self.
One of the most hilarious new additions to my feed, Roz Mays is a personal trainer that brings personality, energy and just straight-up joy to fitness through pole dancing, TRX, strength & conditioning and flexibility. From activism (hello white supremacy busting donkey kicks!) to the real good, feel good stretches, you won’t be able to sit and scroll by her posts.
A version of this story was published July 2021.
Before you go, check out our favorite powerful quotes to inspire health attitudes about food & body image:
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