Five years ago Instagram had approximately 30 million active users each month; today, this number is 700 million.
There is no doubt that different humans (and robots) use the platform for different reasons. Some people are most interested in creating a profile, others are interested in who they follow and the feed they create, others create personal networks and join communities, and some people establish their brand and market themselves.
Whatever your reason for using Instagram, there is the undeniable reality that it can be as good as it is bad, as problematic as it is full of opportunity, and as toxic as it is uniting and uplifting.
Instagram is a land where you can be absolutely anything you want to be, and so can everyone else, which can lead to impossible standards that solidify real divides within society.
In saying that, Instagram allows people to shine a spotlight on a part of themselves, their whole selves or their true selves. It is a platform where creativity can transcend physical borders, communities can be created, ideas can be shared, trends can be set, people can be inspired and careers can take off.
Today, we would like to share with you some of our favourite grams. They are not the most well-known, reputable or followed – we have purposefully left those accounts out – but they are authentic and fun and we get something positive out of following them.
We would like to acknowledge that this is not the most balanced of compilations; we created categories and filled them with Instagram accounts that we truly enjoy following.
We hope you find some diamonds.
The Bossy team.
A collection of visuals.
Art Ark is a not-for-profit that supports the sustainable and ethical sale of Australian Indigenous art in an effort to support social and economic enterprise within Indigenous communities.
Illustrations of the bits, shapes, practices and realities we are told to hide.
A collection of art and images exploring female wonder.
A multidisciplinary artist whose works are inspired by personal experiences and who focuses on the female body, psyche and what it is like to be a woman in contemporary times.
A French art director and painter, living in Paris, who creates abstract paintings with intertwined and contrasting bodies.
An artist living in London who draws and paints with a little bit of sass.
An illustrator of women and their demons.
An artist who uses pinholes to map real and imagined topographies of her memories and experiences.
A visual artist who creates erotic art and depicts the beauty of sensual pleasure from a woman’s perspective.
A body activist, model, author, and lingerie and swimwear designer.
A model whose Instagram photos are free of retouching and who actively calls out body-shamers.
A body activist, anorexia conqueror, feminist and just all-round inspiring human.
The fashion market editor for Refinery 29.
A wardrobe stylist based in Los Angeles.
A coordinated grey-haired couple in their 60s delivering relationship and fashion goals.
The latest street fashion from Tokyo.
A swimwear and lingerie brand that is body positive and inclusive.
A young style queen whose photos explore youth, identity and gender.
A fashion label from the London-based designer, Hannah Weiland.
Feminists and Activists
The author of Capture Your Style, a book that teaches readers how to transform their Instagram photos, showcase their life and build a profitable social media platform.
An image consultant, model and fashion blogger.
An attorney and digital influencer based in Chicago.
A freelance artist, model and stylist with a passion for fashion and sass.
The woman behind the blog wheredidUgetthat.com.
A Chinese-Australian photographer, director, stylist and writer.
An intersectional feminist with an infectiously steadfast and positive attitude.
A transgender fashion icon and pop star.
Radical feminist warlords and rainbow warriors.
A queer sex worker from Sydney who challenges the perceptions held by the Australian mainstream media and public.
A singer who writes and covers songs about her emotions and struggles with mental health.
A disabled woman on a journey from weight loss and eating disorders into self-love, self-acceptance and body positivity.
A Haitian-American blogger, advocate and motivational speaker who seeks to dismantle stereotypes of what people with disabilities should be or should look like.
The author of Flavour: Eat What You Love, a cookbook that celebrates food and eating, and the co-creator of the mental health-related zine Do What You Want.
A YouTuber who is open about her own mental health and struggles with body image.
A Sydney-based multidisciplinary creative practice voicing for ethical eating, plastic-free living, minimal waste living and renewable energy.
Book reviews collected from random commuters reading on the New York subway.
Portrait light photography.
Fine art photography inspired by fairytales.
Deconstructed and reconstructed surrealist and fantasy photography.
Photography exploring power, femininity, nature, technology, the body and indulgence.
Saturated and surreal dreamscapes inspired by America and Britain in the 50s, 60s and 70s, which draw on the duality of the female form.
Surrealistic photographs depicting one’s inner thoughts, feelings and anxiety.
Photography exploring bodies, women, beauty and ugliness.
Intimate moments from the human experience, coupled with introspective thoughts and story-lines with relatable sarcasm and candor.
Pictures of and words from those worth remembering and listening to.
Positive and motivational quotes intended to spread good vibes worldwide.
A wealth of daily inspiration and insights for those looking to design a life they love.
A Melbourne publication that examines art and culture through the lens of female-identifying and gender-fluid folk.
Advertisements from a huge range of print publications.
A biannual print publication that explores sexuality, gender and identity.
Australia’s first Indigenous and Ethnic women’s lifestyle magazine, which strives to see the world colour rather than black and white.
An online publication facilitating a conversation about puberty, sex and all the awkward bits in between.
A print and online publication for women with something to get off their chests.
Archives from Dazed magazine.
A zine that uses art to explore and challenge feminism, influence and individual and collective identity.
An independently-run online magazine, book series and podcast by and for teenagers (and anyone else who is interested).
A quarterly digital journal exploring contemporary ‘babehood’ through self, art and womanism.
A zine dedicated to women supporting women, with content contributed by badass ladies and dudes from around the world.