7 Down-To-Earth Influencers to Follow When the Instagram Game is Getting You Down
As Marie Kondo would advise, I asked myself “does this spark joy?” and unfollowed profiles when the answer was no.
Words by Georgia Gadsby
Image from Style Me Sunday // Natalie Lee
Instagram is a scary and exciting place at the same time. While acting as a hub for creativity and inspiration, it simultaneously fuels self-hatred and embeds comparison into the forefront of our mind-set. Although many say that deleting out accounts or limiting our access is the way to eliminate the negative impacts of this social platform, I believe that if we use Instagram correctly, in a way that benefits our mental health, it can be something we are happy using every day.
While I used to follow celebrities from my favourite shows, stalk the lives of the Hollywood elite, and dote on the Instagram stories of macro influencers, it soon became apparent that this was not healthy. Sitting in bed for hours on a Saturday morning and living vicariously through the lives of others via social media was never exactly a proactive or inspiration inducing activity. So, as a result of recognising this, I cleansed my account. As Marie Kondo would advise, I asked myself “does this spark joy?” and unfollowed profiles when the answer was no. I am left with very few influencers and bloggers popping up on my feed, but the ones that still do encourage me to love myself, strive for excellence in my career, wear the clothes I want to wear, and be grateful for my life.
Thinking about doing the same? I strongly advise it for a healthier outlook on social media, but while you’re culling those negative accounts, check out the motivating women below who stand out for making a change in their industry.
Chloe Plumstead | The Little Plum
Best known for her beautiful use of language and genuine gift for writing, Chloe Plumstead is one of the few bloggers who’s blog posts I read every single time they are uploaded. In a flurry of influencers with blogs full of stunning imagery but sub-par writing, The Little Plum is truly a diamond in the rough.
I would describe Chloe’s blog as a piece of digital art. The imagery, colour scheme and written content has a quality about it that you don’t often see in a world of slap dash uploads. Writing about topics that are personal to her, but also resonate with her audience is what makes her content come across as so authentic. Her think pieces range from topics surrounding sex and women’s pleasure, the difficulty of long term relationships, to friendship in your twenties; all topics that millennial women are able to identify with.
Alongside her talent for the written word, Chloe uses Instagram stories to engage with her audience in the most relatable of ways. Constantly posting selfies from dodgy (but somehow still flattering) angles and frequently using the question tool to chat to other Insta users, her Instagram engagement with her audience is on point. I never tire of seeing another one of her ‘True Stories’ Instagrams, asking people to submit their ‘most outrageous love story’ in six words or less, warranting responses such as ‘sex on rooftop broken penis’ and ‘dick pick but jeans on fire’. If you’re looking for writing that evokes an emotional response, but Insta Stories to make you giggle like an idiot while you’re alone in public, Chloe Plumstead is the one to follow.
Natalie Lee | Style Me Sunday
Activist and Having a Nosey reader Natalie Lee is paving the way for feminist mums on Instagram. Raising her brilliant and energetic children while working on her career, running her podcast and being an all-round super woman is exactly the kind of inspiration I love seeing on my feed. Although I’m a self-confessed ‘not going to have kids until I’m 30’, career focused woman, I will admit to following quite a few fantastic women, that also happen to be mums on Instagram. Natalie Lee of Style Me Sunday is by far my favourite of the bunch, showing how being a mum can be just a small, but important part of a woman’s life.
What I particularly love about Natalie’s content is that she says things exactly how they are. In her segment ‘#FridayFinger’, she posts a photo of her raising the middle finger to issues in our society. Although some weeks it’s hilarious, like her recent #FridayFinger to portaloos, she has also given the finger to more serious topics like putting people in boxes in regards to their gender and sexuality, and even gave the finger to slacktivism after reading our article in Having a Nosey Issue One.
In The Everything Podcast, also hosted by comedian Kelly Ford, Natalie touches on some incredibly tough, but important issues such as sexual abuse in childhood, sex work, and poverty. Although difficult to discuss, I cannot commend her enough for using their platform to bring light to these issues, despite how daunting the topics may be to talk about and share with the world. This inspiring woman with a truly inspiring online presence definitely deserves your follow.
Self-identifying fat girl Lottie L’Amour is an influencer and creative I always have my eye on. Making career moves in social media, alongside using her online presence to encourage plus-size women to love their bodies, and publicly sharing her lesbian relationship online are just a few reasons why I (and many other women) love her profile. It’s not very often that you see a plus-size woman in a bikini, saying a big fuck you to our stereotypical standards of beauty, while chatting away about her loving female fiance. In all honesty, it’s refreshing, and I can’t imagine how much more so it is for plus-size queer women trying to find their place on the internet.
As a queer woman myself, seeing Lottie L’Amour so unashamedly sharing bits and pieces of her relationship online makes my own identity feel normalised. Although I’m aware that there is nothing abnormal about my gay relationship, when Instagram is so often filled with the heterosexual norm of ‘photographer boyfriends’ taking snaps of their flawless Insta famous girlfriends, it can feel as though our queer relationships are outcasted by the blogging community. Seeing Lottie out there, loud and proud, stating that her lovely fiance Emma is her ‘resident photographer’, makes me and other queer women smile from ear to ear.
In addition to her stories and posts, Lottie hosts a ‘Behind The Gram’ IGTV series in which she covers topics such as body positivity and pride. To have a professional woman at the peak of her career discussing these topics, further embeds into our society that these subjects are essential to discuss.
Tabitha Warley | Take Heart
Tabitha Warley of Take Heart prides herself on her honesty and authenticity on Instagram. It is truly the unique selling point of her profile. In a sea of influencers trying to present themselves as something they’re not, Tabby bears all in terms of her personal life and struggles, and makes Instagram a much better place for it.
What I find so encaptivating about Tabby is her ability to share to help others. Topics some people may be embarrassed about regarding debt, mental health issues, and religion, are all subjects Tabby discusses openly and without shame on her Instagram posts and stories. With every post, she reduces the stigma behind these issues and gives people who are struggling the confidence to speak out and ask for help. She never sugarcoats anything and openly speaks on her day-to-day struggles, particularly in terms of money, which I believe a lot of millennial women can identify with.
On a recent Instagram story, Tabby struggled to decide whether an outfit was too short for her to wear to work. Although this is only a very small issue, I found it incredibly endearing. Thinking about it, I have never seen an influencer battling with what to wear on their way to an office job, despite this being something many of us battle with each day. Seeing Tabby chat away about the length of her shorts, and eventually posting an update of her walking back home after deciding last minute to change into something else, made me laugh to no end. This is something that I, and many of the women that I know, do constantly. It’s life. It’s nice to see these things shared so we feel like we are all normal, real, authentic people as opposed to Instagram barbie dolls.
Tara Marzuki | Tar Marz
Absolutely crushing it, career girl Tara Marzuki is living the dream. From studying fashion in Ireland, to up and moving to New York and staying there ever since is the reality of her life. Although it’s probably every fashion-focused girl’s dream to drop everything and move to New York, Tara has done this, but shared all the ups and downs along the way. When living on her own, before her long-term boyfriend eventually moved out to America to join her years later, Tara shared the brutal honesty behind being in an internationally long-distance relationship. She has touched on the extortionate rent prices, the laborious visa process to move, and the strain the city can take on you when you’re feeling isolated.
It would be incredibly easy for an influencer to move to New York and pretend 24/7 that they are living their best life. There’s no end of stunning photo opportunities and Instagramable spots, but Tara has kept herself genuine and shares the struggles alongside the fun times.
Despite her feed being beautifully curated, her Instagram stories are full of fun clips of her working with her friends, shopping, grabbing some aesthetically pleasing coffee, and still being Instagramable, but in a way that stays honest.
Issy Fox | IssyBelleFox
New to the influencer scene, IssyBelleFox may not have thousands and thousands of followers, but she sure should do. A stroke survivor and working mother to a one year old, Issy shares updates on her recovery while raising her little boy.
What makes Issy so different from other micro influencers, is her ability to share whatever she wants unapologetically. Upon scrolling through my Instagram stories yesterday, I came across her sitting on the toilet, blatantly poking fun at herself and referencing an article that came out earlier this year regarding the birth of her son. A tabloid newspaper had said they were going to share her stroke story, but instead wrote a piece on how Issy had a bowel movement when giving birth to her son. Regardless of the overly dramatic news story, this happens to 50% of women who give birth naturally, and is therefore a very common occurrence. Issy has turned this sensationalised piece of coverage into a long-running joke with her followers, making her come across more witty and authentic than ever.
The main draw-in to Issy’s profile is her resilience in recovery from her stroke. Despite being ill she has powered on in terms of getting back to work, raising her child, and re-gaining her own personal strength. Despite her often poking fun at herself and joking around on Instagram stories, she very much comes across as a strong, defiant, feminist woman with no intention of slowing down any time soon.
Ariana & Hannah | The Angelinos
Making waves for the LGBTQ+ community on Instagram, Ariana and Hannah of The Angelinos share their relationship online while discussing all things queer in a normal day-to-day way. Attending pride events, discussing coming out, going on holidays and the generic everyday activities we all do take place on the Instagram posts and stories of The Angelinos.
Openly talking about their experiences with sexuality, the interracial couple bring light to the normality of queer relationships, particularly for those in the US and those that may be from different racial backgrounds opposing the white queer woman stereotype we often see.
In addition to raising awareness for the LGBTQ+ community, they also make apparent to their audience what a healthy relationship is. Their lengthy captions declare their devotion for each other, their future plans, and their commitment to the relationship, while their stories allow them to candidly chat about the ups and downs they face. They set a great example of a loving relationship, which is something you can’t really go wrong with seeing on your feed.