Last night, I went on TikTok to relax after a long day. Instead, I ended up feeling bombarded with videos about dieting and working out. I knew that, logically, most of what I see on social media is fake or edited. Social media algorithms are incredibly complex, based on millions of scrolls and likes making it incredibly easy to become trapped in content like this. We scroll through social media so quickly that we often forget how many messages affect us subconsciously. A 2020 study showed 87% of women compare their bodies to images on social media. Not only that, but 50% of women compare their bodies unfavorably.
However, the good news is that thousands of influencers on the internet create holistic and positive content. Thankfully, there has been increased visibility online for diverse lifestyles and demographics. The most effective influencers create inclusive content, understanding of differences in lifestyle and attitudes, among other characteristics. Whether you are looking for content related to body image, fun workout ideas, or new recipes, here are five women that will improve and inspire your social media feeds.
1. Lydia Keating (@lydialoo121)
Lydia Keating, better known as lydialoo121 to her 1.2 million TikTok followers, is a former DI athlete currently earning a graduate degree. Lydia shows her followers that even though the transition out of collegiate athletics is difficult, working out can still be rewarding for personal wellness. She posts running vlogs with in-depth outfit details and is sponsored by many athletic brands. You don’t have to be a college athlete to engage with her content; Lydia has various tips for athletes of all kinds, even if you aren’t a huge fan of running either.
2. Lauren Leavell (@laurenleavellfitness)
Black women have consistently led the body positivity movement since the 1960s, which you can read more about here. Lauren Leavell is a motivational fitness coach and certified personal trainer who encourages her clients and followers to feel confident in their own bodies. You can join Lauren’s membership for live workouts and coaching or follow her Instagram. She posts ideas about how to think about your body, eating habits, and fitness in healthy and positive ways. Instagram: @laurenleavellfitness
3. Courtney (@6ourt2.0)
Courtney @6ourt2.0 boasts 330k followers on TikTok, providing short but intense weightlifting routines. While she is not one to shy away from how strenuous her workouts can be, Courtney represents the hard work she puts in at the gym. If you are looking for intense workouts, you can buy Courtney’s tailored workout plans or watch her TikToks and youtube videos. Instagram: @6ourt
4. Jonelle Lewis (@jonellelewis)
Jonelle Lewis, an apple fitness and certified yoga instructor, Jonelle Lewis, describes her personal mantra as “be brave, be fierce, be free”. As an advocate of social justice and Black Lives Matter, Jonelle understands that fitness is about holistic wellness and is mindful of the emotional wellbeing of her students and the world around her. You can access many different types of yoga set to upbeat afro and dancehall music on her website or on her Instagram. Jonelle is also featured in a podcast about inclusion in yoga spaces here.
5. The Korean Vegan (@thekoreanvegan)
After posting recipe videos on TikTok during quarantine, Joanne Molinaro garnered over four million followers across multiple social media platforms. Set to personal stories about her family and North Korean heritage, Joanne posts Korean recipes that are intimately unique. Try out a new recipe from her cookbook or listen to an inspiring story on her TikTok here.