We all have our own personal preferences when it comes to social media. Some of us stick to what we know, others like to have a bit of a dip in everything. There’s the steady trickle of Facebook and the rapid fire of X (or Twitter to most of us!) There’s the perpetual scroll of TikTok and the momentary flash of BeReal. Then there’s Instagram, once the new kid on the block but now matured into a feast of visual delight. Plus size Instagram influencers remain popular in the space. It’s clearly a platform more favoured by some communities than others. So why is it such a key player in plus size and body positive circles?
OK, so some people are more honest than others on social media. Whether or not you believe what you see from influencers will normally depend on who it’s coming from. The point is that historically, Instagram has provided the platform for honesty within communities. It’s a space which, at best, can really be utilised for realistic warts and all representation. And this is why it is so valuable for body and identity inclusive communities. People can easily access like minded accounts with just a few hashtags. Although there are no safe online spaces, accessing honest representation can be incredibly helpful for mental health.
Sense of community
Essentially, a community is a social unit that holds something in common. Having this common factor creates a foundation of understanding, support and empathy. It also enables development and evolution. This is not just within the plus size space itself, but also in the wider consciousness. Body acceptance is great to have within a set community, but it’s even better if the whole world alters its belief system to become more accepting and inclusive. Building a supportive community empowers these beliefs to extend beyond just that corner of the internet!
Talking of empowerment, then, Instagram is really important in empowering the individual as well as the community. Because your posts, and the control that you have on your posts, puts you in a position of power over your image. When we post an image to Instagram, we’ve had control over the angles, lighting, clothes, and make up look. Sometimes it takes real bravery to put ourselves out there. However, once posted, it can be an incredibly powerful experience.
As a visual platform, Instagram is a forum where conventions can be challenged. As it has developed with different functionality like stories and reels, varied and direct routes of communication can be established between individuals and communities. It’s somewhere we can tell our real stories and find common ground. As more and more people discover that they are not alone, we can challenge unrealistic societal expectations.
From the global to the boutique, brand presence on Instagram is strong. As a marketing tool it’s undoubtedly vital, and this makes dialogue between brands and influencers achievable. The net result should be to pave the way for changes in brand behaviour. The accessibility that social media, specifically via Instagram, has enabled between users and brands is leading to change. These include wider dress size availability, representation within catalogues, and dedicated plus size fashion ranges.
OK so this sounds obvious but it’s worth saying. Visual platforms like Instagram are really helpful for many women in exploring different looks and styles. It can be hard for some of us to visualise how a style will look on us, especially when magazine models are rarely representative of normal sizing. So plus size Instagram influencers are incredibly valuable in providing inspiration for women with fashion, makeup and lingerie choices. We believe that trying a look that’s new and dynamic can makes you feel confident and energised. Great for mental health!
The plus size community on Instagram is an incredibly supportive, inspirational and powerful space. Long may it continue that way!
A little bio info about Becky the author and copywriter