For me, there are tons of reasons to love Instagram. I love it for its connectivity between brands and followers, I love it for the bevy of aesthetically pleasing feeds I encounter every day, and I love that I am able to get put on to some pretty dope and incredible women. Some of the women I follow are vessels to be inspired by, if not to aspire to. When you eliminate the desire to compare, you realize how much positivity breeds positivity because like attracts like. In fact, some of the accounts you follow can become motivating factors instead of reasons to bawl in a corner in fetal position because of what you want and don’t have. Or at least, that’s what I do. I’m inspired by the woman I follow. They are dope, stylish, mothers, achievers, movers, shakers, creatives, and great examples of how they forged paths of success in their lanes.
I figured now is as good a time as ever to put you onto some incredible women who can very well brighten up your Instagram timeline as well. Check out my list of ladies I love on Instagram below. And if you haven’t already, make sure you hit that follow.
Without further ado, the list:
For the Mental: Nikisha Brunson
The mother of one, who I was first introduced to as 1/2 of the Urban Bush Babes, is now venturing into her own thing solo dolo and she is absolutely flourishing. Nikisha Brunson is a wellness enthusiast who is the owner of hte holistic apothecary brand Folie, which has been featured on prestigious skincare review lists. And even more recently has signed with Wilhemina Models LA. I love how real she is, how transparent she is (about her battle with ADHD and depression), and how willing she is to share her knowledge of a healthier more holistic lifestyle with her followers one 'gram at a time. The emphasis on mental health, especially from the lens of a POC, is very much needed at this day and time. Follow Nikisha Brunson @nikishabrunson.
For the Creative: Alex Elle
Alex Elle will forever be one of my biggest inspirations as far as being a writer and making a living from it. But in addition to the success that she has had a self-published author, Alex has also made a name for herself in other avenues that all fall underneath the creative umbrella. The entrepreneur got her start when she was a mixtress and selling natural hair products by the batch to her clientele. Then, it went to jewelry making. Somewhere down the line, she started sharing her words, and it just stuck and resonated with people so much, she turned that into three sought after books. The self-care enthusiast also has a natural skincare line with her daughter, called Balm & Co. Follow Alex Elle, her endeavors, and dope words @alex_elle.
For Style: Jenn Im
I first encountered Jenn Im on her YouTube channel clothesencounters and have obsessed over her ever since. I segued over to her Instagram account some time after, and have been in love ever since. I think I'm attracted to people for their light, which is something all of the women on this list have in common, but Jenn especially. The entrepreneur has made a massive brand off of just being herself, showing off her thrifting style, and recently opening up her personal life to share with us. Her longtime British boyfriend Ben has recently upgraded our girl up to fiancee status. I love that no matter what Jenn puts on, it just looks effortlessly like Jenn. Her popularity has led to campaigns with Simple skincare, SK-II, Colourpop, and more. With her mega-watt smile and impeccable style, Jenn's feed is a must for inspo needs. Follow Jenn Im @imjennim.
For Wanderlust: Jo Franco
Another feed I found through YouTube, Jo Franco is 1/2 of my favorite traveling duo, Shut Up and Go (the other half is Damon Domonique). Their tagline is that they are two best friends who love to travel and hated the cheesiness of travel shows on TV, so they created their own. And, let me tell you, it's amazing. Chemistry is on 10! I started following her IG because I really liked the way she captured herself in different places all over the world. No matter the setting, she's always thriving. Her personality radiates through her photos and it's amazing to get glimpses into places I'd like to see in real life one day. Until then, I'll live vicariously through this Brazilian beauty's magical feed. Follow Jo Franco @jo_franco.
For Female Energy: Ev’yan Whitney
What I love about Ev'Yan is that she is unapologetic in her sexuality and all that being a woman encompasses. I always knew I was a sexual being, but it was never something to wear proudly or beautifully. Society taught me that that was something to hate and to hide. Ev'yan helped me unlearn those things and even made it possible for me to teach others. I love her feed because it embodies her and stands as a reminder to connect with the feminine sensual parts of myself and to own them, in whatever way that means to me. Follow Ev'Yan Whitney @evyan.whitney.
For Hair Goals: Nelly
I don't know a helluva lot about this Paris native, but I do know that she garners quite the praise for her stylish ways. I admire her style as well, but I also admire it for another huge reason. Her big hair that's unapologetic in its liveliness and demands to be noticed. Nelly can be seen in her feed rockin' her 'fro unabashedly, but also styles in protective styles like updos and braids. If you're looking for inspiration, Nelly does that and then some tenfold, be it hair, personal style, or just Parisian lifestyle wishes and wants. Follow Nelly @musesuniform.
For the Spirit: Stella Blu
How can posting a selfie be an act of poetic justice? Artist/creative Stella Blu doesn't post a lot, but when she does, it's always either a captivating portrait or glimpses into some of her art. She was put on the map as an artist when the late Prince comissioned her to do some work for his album. Since then, she has been in demand and put on the map for her beautiful, one of the kind pieces. I love that her and longtime love Anwar have gotten married recently and that she and he are making a baby girl. Her feed always screams peace and ethereal-ness. Just what the spirit called for. Follow Stella Blu @bystellablu.
For Girl Boss Goals: Elaine Welteroth
Hats off to this awesome boss woman. Elaine Welteroth was recently officially named as Teen Vogue's newest Editor-In-Chief, after a year of propelling the teen glossy to massive success. She also broke barriers while doing it. Being named editor made Elaine the second black person in the history of Condé Nast's 107-year history to hold that title. In the new direction, the mag began printing more articles that promoted civic engagement, particularly with their coverage of the 2016 election. Web presence has seen an increase of over 2 million per month and the YouTube channel started under her direction and leadership has 500,000+ subscribers and counting. She's a queen out here doing dope things. I love seeing behind-the-scene glimpses of what she's doing for Teen Vogue, as well as her moves as an editor/influencer on the scene. Follow Elaine Welteroth @elainewelteroth.
For the Aesthetic: Nikia Phoenix
I had the pleasure of interviewing Nikia Phoenix once for an interview with xoNecole - well, twice. What I loved about her was how warm she was. I honestly felt like I was catching up with an old girlfriend from college. I get that same vibe whenever I'm looking at her feed. It doesn't look purposely orchestated, but her aesthetic feels like warm LA. She's always smiling, always pleasant, and her feed reflects that same energy. Follow Nikia Phoenix @nikiaphoenix.
Read my interview with her here.
Who are some of your favorite people to follow on Instagram?