Seven of the best body positivity Instagram accounts to follow right now

In yet another first, we at IMAGE are so excited to be launching The IMAGE Beauty Festival – a beauty wonderland taking place on May 25-26. Attendees will enjoy two days of talks, workshops, masterclasses and experiences as we present Ireland’s first ever, totally immersive beauty experience.


As women, our bodies are continually a topic of conversation.

Whether we be talking about our own – or the media placing a focus on the bodies of celebrities – it's a neverending cycle of observation. For years, we were told to drop a dress size in two weeks, and encouraged to become the mirror image of an airbrushed photo. 'Do this and there will be world peace,' it felt like they were saying.

For so long, a particular ideal was pushed and we lost sight of the wonderful unpredictability and uniqueness of the female body.

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Related: IMAGE Beauty Festival is coming:
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Focus on body positivity

In recent times, however, the terms 'body positivity' and 'body acceptance' have hit the mainstream conversation – and rightfully so. Women are taking control of their bodies and this had led to an influx of body positivity Instagram accounts.

These women are using their platforms and voices for the better. Instagram (indeed, social media in general) can often be a place of aspirational disappointment. Everyone looks better and more successful, and imperfections are nothing but a blip on their radar.

But these accounts change all of that; showing how every woman (no matter the size, shape or perceived flaw) is beautiful.

Here are our top seven accounts to follow right now.

Find out more about the IMAGE Beauty Festival here

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Joanne McNally

Comedian Joanne McNally burst onto the comedy scene in 2014 and quickly became co-host of RTÉ 2's flagship comedy show Republic of Telly. Since then, she wrote and starred in her own stage show, sold out her first solo stand-up show in Dublin and wrote a one-woman show called Bite Me, which depicted her experience with eating disorders.  She has been open about her struggles and is now an advocate for those struggling with eating disorders.

Niamh O' Donoghue

Journalist Niamh O' Donoghue's Instagram page is a haven of real talk and inspiration. The writer had four major spinal surgeries for scoliosis, lost a kidney to chronic kidney disease and was diagnosed with thyroid cancer all before the age of 23. Although she is vocal about the complicated relationship she has had with her body, she is now wearing her scars with pride and is hoping to inspire others to do so too.

 

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Today I felt confident in myself and my body. I got up and had a great big 'ol breakfast and afterwards, I put on my favourite, high-leg, high-waisted bikini. I sat in the sun beside two incredibly beautiful Russian women who are on holiday here in Phuket. I see them every morning at breakfast and they carry themselves with a type of certainty that's admirable. When I sat beside them today in my bikini I noticed them noticing me. Moreover, I noticed how they changed from talking loudly to a quiet whisper when they saw my misshapen, traumatised body next to their symmetrical ones. I went cold for a minute. In the past, something like this would have haunted me. It would have been enough fuel to make me get up, leave and put my clothes back on. It would make me feel small and ugly. People often comment on how confident I am – self-assured even. In truth, it has taken the guts of my entire teen and adult life to learn to accept, like and love my body for what it is. It is a little bent, yes, but it is not broken. So I repositioned myself on the sun lounger. I wanted to turn around and tell them my body isn't like there's, but it still works. I wanted to tell them how many times it has been pulled apart and stapled back together. I wanted to tell them about the metal that I feel every time I move. I wanted to tell them that despite their stares, I still felt beautiful. Instead, I got up and did my best strut to the pool. On my return, one of the girls gave me a reassuring, friendly smile. It was like secret girl code for "you fucking own it". I smiled back and that was that. #Scoliosis #Pelvicfusion #scoliosissurgery --

A post shared by niamh odonoghue (@niamh_cupl) on

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Nadine Reid

Xposé presenter Nadine Reid's Instagram page can only be described as joy. Scrolling through her feed is endlessly entertaining and her infectious personality will help to make you smile. She's positive and powerful and is a constant style inspiration for plus-size dressing.

 

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I was thinking about the #10yearchallenge I didn’t post before because you know I come from a good skin ageless type of family. When I’m 100 you will have no clue ????? ? #sorrynotsorry ?????? The internal changes are way more amazing! But what I will say is in 10 years I have embraced courage and worked on myself, improved my self esteem. I am developing my passions, purpose and place in the world. I am kinder to others and myself, I understand empathy better and I am simply a way better version of Nadine. So Yay to the past 10 years! and Yaaaaaassss to the next Ten years! . . . Only goal for 2019: Continue to Living my best life and Dream Bigger. ???? The picture on the left is me with a stunning tan from the Cayman Islands! Deffo need some sun in my life this year. I am going to have to change emojis soon ?????????? ? The picture in the right was on my birthday 20th Jan 2019, Dublin ????

A post shared by Nadine Reid (@nadinereid) on

Louise McSharry

RTÉ 2FM presenter Louise McSharry is refreshingly honest. A plus-size advocate, she is helping women across the country to accept their bodies and love them. Her fashion choices are drool-worthy and she is a treasure trove of information when it comes to buying plus-size clothes. Not only this, she never shies away from an edgy beauty look and will provide you with buckets of make-up inspiration.

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Sinead Burke

Sinead Burke is a powerhouse. From being on the cover of Business of Fashion to sitting front row at fashion weeks, she is taking the world of style by storm. The primary school teacher (who is now a contributing editor for British Vogue) is a much-needed representative in the fashion world for those with different abilities. Through her work, she is pushing for inclusivity in fashion – and we are behind her all the way.

 

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Opening #Davos by leading a discussion on designing for everyone was an extraordinary start to #wef19. I spoke about education and fashion, and how the lack of inclusivity within these ecosystems is limiting creative potential and authentic inclusion. It was an honour to speak at the @worldeconomicforum wearing custom @Gucci - thank you so much, Marco Bizzarri, @alessandro_michele and the entire Gucci team. . . [Image description: Standing in the foyer of Davos’ Congress Centre, I’m wearing a magnificent floor-length cerulean blue silk and lace dress, with a pale pink slip sporadically peeking through. I’m holding a magnificent cream leather and bamboo Gucci bag too. Both @jacindaardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand and Queen Mathilde of Belgium were very impressed, and of course, equally stylish in their dress.] ? @worldeconomicforum #wef19

A post shared by Sinéad Burke (@thesineadburke) on

Louise Bruton

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Writer Louise Bruton's Instagram feed is a lighthearted wonderland. She is a wheelchair user and has written about being disabled and learning to accept that. She is taking power back from the word and is helping others to not just accept their disabilities, but own them.

 

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I’ve been having really cool (and interesting, as Britney would say) conversations about disability lately and one thing that’s popped up a few times is the thrill of seeing other people like you... anywhere. The noise from mainstream media and mainstream social media can sometimes shout over what disabled people say/post so even though I’ve tried to do this in the past, I’m going to try and post more photos that show me as a wheelchair user, a disabled woman and an amputee in very ordinary settings. Whether it’s just a selfie before I go to a wedding, out of breath after an early morning swim or showing off a new Britney t-shirt, it’s a reminder to myself and others that wheelchairs and disabilities exist. Even if they’re not glamorous photos, it’s recognition and representation. So you’re getting more selfies, guys. #disabled #wheelchairgirl #wheelchairlife

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Jen Morris

Jen Morris, the woman behind beauty blog Too Dolly Make-up, has some serious beauty skills. From the perfect cut-crease to achingly perfect contouring and highlighting – she is a must-follow on the 'gram. She also has amazing skin and freckles we could only dream of. Jen is teaching her followers to love themselves no matter what, and to always focus on being your best self (no hiding freckles around here!).

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We are delighted to announce that Joanne McNally, Niamh O' Donoghue and Nadine Reid will be joining us to talk all things beauty and body positivity at the very first IMAGE Beauty Festival from May 25-26 at Point Village. Over two days, attendees will be transported to an amazing world of treatment tutorials, celebrity guests, masterclasses, free gifts and more. For tickets, hit the link below.

Want to come along? Buy your tickets here.


More like this:

  • Weighing in: A woman's happiness is not tied to her weight and here is why...here
  • Why I'm swapping ‘Body Positivity’ for a more chilled-out ‘Body Neutrality’...here
  • The world needs more body positivity for men - and here's why...here
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