(WOMENSENEWS)– I confess I am guilty of spending a lot of time on social media and because I love pictures I also often Instagram-binge.
In addition to posting pictures and videos–which I’m particularly prone to doing after the gym–I love browsing through my feed, liking new posts and catching up on old ones. No, I do not stalk!
But there is more to Instagram than sharing selfies, photos of our #OOTD (Outfit of the Day) or our last meal under the hashtag #foodporn. This platform is also great for starting conversations and raising awareness of serious issues. And since it’s rapidly catching on with young adults, ages 18 to 29, as well as with women, that means you can find lots of wonderfully creative self-expression around feminism and gender issues. Here are 10 Instagram accounts that I have come across so far that I highly recommend.
Joanna Thangiah, of Sydney, uses art to discuss “feminism, mental health and fragments of my inner monologue.” The 26-year-old student in graphic design–soon to graduate–draws comic-book-style women who are curvy, sexy, fashionable and sufficiently confident to deflect any social pressures to be and look a certain way. They talk about body image, fat shaming and sexual harassment. “My art initially started off as a reflection of my own experiences,” Thangiah told Women’s eNews in an email exchange. “It turns out a lot of people have shared these experiences, which allows me to help them while I try and help myself.” Thangiah also transforms her drawings into stickers, pins and accessories that she sells online. First, let’s meet the artist!
Molly Williams, a 20-year-old college student, draws real and fictional women who are challenging sexism, The Huffington Post
reported. Her Instagram account features celebrities and historic figures such as Frida Kahlo, Laverne Cox, Caitlyn Jenner, Malala Yousafzai and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Each drawing is accompanied with a quote that addresses feminist issues such sexual identity, equal pay, intersectionality, health, body image and religion. “I basically started this account on a whim one day because I was feeling frustrated with both the micro- and macro-aggressions that I experience and witness regularly as a woman,” Williams told The Huffington Post.
Amber Amour is the founder of #StopRapeEducate
, a worldwide campaign using education and public awareness to fight rape culture. She was sexually assaulted in September 2014 but her case was never taken in consideration by the New York Police Department, according to her crowfunding website
that raises money to help her tour cities and world capitals to educate on rape. “Three days after her assault, she began doing chalk art to educate the masses about rape culture and consent,” reads the website. After touring several U.S. cities, her campaign is now raising funds to travel abroad with the mission of education as a tool to fight rape. Amour is currently hosting a photo challenge inviting anyone to take a photo with a message and post it under the hashtag #StopRapeEducate
. Men are also joining the challenge.
Alyssa Seibert writes poetry and shares her words on Instagram. Her frequent subjects are feminism and social justice. One of her latest poems is about the death of Sandra Bland, who died in a Waller County, Texas, jail cell.
Here you can find female superheroes and other characters fighting sexism and violence, questioning social stigmas. The account also features drawings of victims of sexual violence. Amber, 28, started the account out of love for comic books and feminism, she told Women’s eNews. Amber is a therapist for a nonprofit for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Maryland. “My objective is to provide a safe space for people to express their opinions about both feminism and comic books. I want to spread awareness of intersectional feminism using comic books as my medium,” Amber said.
Carol Rossetti is a 26-year-old illustrator and graphic designer from Brazil. She is the author of the Women Project, a series of portraits of women with short captions that often touch on issues affecting women. “I feel very disturbed by the world’s attempts to control women’s bodies, behaviors and identities; so I’ve started a series of illustrations in a friendly tone hoping to reach people about how absurd this really is,” Rossetti writes on her website
. She would like to take this conversation beyond women’s circles. “The fact that my protagonists are women does not make this is project just ‘for girls’.”
With over 11,400 followers, Feministastic is a call to “smash the kiriarchy.” Feministastic is run by Lisa Dzera
, a graphic designer from North Carolina, who said she has “a passion for ending intersecting systems of oppression.” On her account, Dzera defines kiriarchy as “the social system that keeps all intersecting oppressions (race, gender, class, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, culture, etc) in place.” Feministastic is a platform where, Dzera said, she can express her graphic design talents and her interest in feminism and equality. “My posts are either based on current events or on issues that I feel do not receive enough attention,” Dzera told Women’s eNews. “For example, I follow many other feminist accounts, and if I notice that many of them are not posting about issues such as prison reform or Islamophobia, I’ll make an effort to create some graphics related to those issues. I try to be very intersectional in what I post and repost quotes from people whose voices are often not heard.
She Knows Now is using Instagram as a platform to share its digital collection of short video clips featuring women sharing insight on “what they each know for sure in their personal and/or professional experience.” The project was launched in February 2015 by Tiffany Hardin, a branding and entertainment entrepreneur. She Knows Now aims to promote positive images of women in media and nurture a community. “The collection serves as an anchor where women who trust her own ‘Hero’s Journey’ can share how she lives authentically with the love of self,” reads the website.
This list would not be complete without Elizabeth Plank’s Instagram account. Plank is one of the best known voices of millennial feminism in the U.S. She is currently a senior editor at Mic.com and hosts the new web series “Flip the Script.” On her Instagram, Plank shares a lot of memes, tweets and photos illustrating current gender and social issues. And because a millennial would not be a millennial without taking selfies, Plank also shares goofy selfies and poses happily in front of the camera. On Instagram, Plank is as popular as she is on her other social media accounts. She boasts over than 15,600 followers.
Since we are talking about Elizabeth Plank, let’s finish with the Instagram account AllMenCan
. Plank and Mic.com inspired a Tumblr using the same name and hashtag #allmencan. Because not all men are sexist, misogynist or violent, they are our partners and invited to step up. The Instagram features photos of men holding a sign with written messages addressing many of the issues faced by women, such as street harassment, gun violence and objectification.