By Mihret Amdu Yirgeta, April 25 2022—
With spring coming in and the weather warming up, our feed will start to get an influx of messages saying things like “Get your bikini body ready!” or “Lose weight in time for the summer!” This has been a trend that has been going on for years, with so-called fitness influencers telling people to lose weight and get their summer bodies ready while trying to sell people on all their different diet fads. However, the pressure to lose weight from these perfect-looking people on the internet can be incredibly detrimental to people’s health — mentally and physically.
These messages of weight loss and the glorification of thinness set incredibly unreasonable expectations on people, adding to the already unrealistic standards of beauty. They also make anyone who has not achieved a “summer body” feel bad about themselves, creating body image issues for people. The extreme diets being shelled out by some influencers can also cause eating disorders in people who believe they need them to lose weight. The pressure to be thin and the fear associated with being perceived as fat or overweight as a bad thing can create self-esteem issues and can be a source of mental anguish.
Additionally, people who are just looking for a new workout or a fitness lifestyle page to follow will have to find them under mountains of influencers hawking different diets and supplements claiming to make people lose weight instantly.
Fortunately, there has been a recent wave of body-positive fitness influencers who focus on things other than weight loss and thinness, such as building strength, becoming healthier, improving mental health and building a more positive attitude towards your body. Their workouts tend to be more motivational and supportive — some of them even emphasizing the importance of having fun. Here are a few body-positive Instagram accounts to follow if you want to get more active or even if you are just looking for a change in your workout routine.
This girl is so incredibly strong and just watching her workouts is very inspiring. All her posts are very encouraging and motivational and she has a range of different workouts on her page — from strength building to flexibility and cardio. Plus, she’s also just a fun person to follow (her cosplay game is strong).
Hampton’s account is full of easy-to-follow exercises and tips on how to improve your workouts and range of motion. It’s motivational, inclusive and very beginner-friendly. He explains the reasons behind all his different exercises and he’s very encouraging as he does so. I like the line from one of his videos — “It’s about health, not ego.”
Jessie makes weekly dance workout videos that are perfect for people who don’t like to go to the gym or who prefer a different way to exercise. Her upbeat attitude is infectious, and she has some beautiful affirmations for when you work out. Jessie is actively against diet culture, which is a definite bonus and tries to spread positivity for all body shapes and sizes. She also has the most adorable workout outfits.
Jessamyn is an influencer whose amazing yoga prowess showcases the strength and ability of the human body. Her artful photos and messages of self-love and inclusivity are inspirational and motivational. She has links to yoga classes and her captions leave you inspired long after you leave her page. Jessamyn is also an advocate and a writer, with a new book out recently, as well as a podcast host.
These are just a few of the many body positive influencers out there. If your goal is to become more fit or to live healthier, body positive influencers with an emphasis on fun and healthy lifestyles are better role models than the popular “lose weight fast” brand of influencers. Hopefully these four influencers can get you started on your fitness journey.