After our investigation into toxic weight-loss products advertised by some of the world’s most followed Instagram accounts, we decided to give you a piece on alternative accounts to follow that ‘spark joy’.
Written by Stephanie Kleanthous
Illustration by Shazmeen Khalid
Marie Kondo graced the world with her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, followed by her Netflix series, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. She introduced us to the idea of getting rid of items in your house that no longer ‘spark joy’.
Sarah Knight, inspired by Kondo’s concept, wrote her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck. This book encourages you to take out anything and anyone in your life that doesn’t ‘spark joy’.
I’ve taken both of what these inspiring women have blessed us with and unfollowed any Instagram accounts that don’t spark joy when I see them. I’ve tidied up my feed and followed more positive and self-love promoting accounts. Protecting your space off the screen is crucial of course, but Kondo and Knight already cover this, so let’s discuss your screen space.
Do the models, influencers and fitness ‘inspiration’ accounts (when you don’t even have a gym membership) spark you with any joy? After doing a twelve hour shift in hospitality or your 9-5 in admin are you on your sofa scrolling through, unhappy that you’re not at the edge of an infinity pool with your abs out or ‘thicc’ booty on show with 65 thousand likes?
These Instagram accounts can serve their purpose, the people who own the accounts are getting paid per post so we can let them be… away from us. You’re not missing much if you hit that unfollow button for your own sanity. You have every right to disconnect yourself from this competitive and comparative culture the common use of Instagram feeds into.
I’ve hand-picked my top 11 Instagram accounts that spark joy when I’m scrolling:
1. Amber Wagner – jstlbby
This incredible woman has to be at the top. She’s energetic, motivational, body positive, hilarious and brings all of her followers joy. She’s multifaceted with her #motivationalmonday talks, adverts, ‘Auntie’ impressions, songs and let’s not forget her iconic three inch acrylic nails.
2. Florence Given – florencegiven
At just twenty years old, this woman is creating powerful, political and inspiring pieces of art. Feminism is at the forefront of her work and her message is all about empowerment and making a change to society. She sells great prints, t-shirts and tote bags too!
3. Jodie – bodeburnout
Australian illustrator, Jodie, tends to draw very witty and relatable images that verge on memes. What more can we ask for? The people range in size, colour and gender so it’s an inclusive page. She sells merchandise on her website including t-shirts with slogans such as; ‘sorry I’m late, I wanted to cum’.
4. Anonymous – poundlandbandit
If you haven’t already heard of this account, you’re slacking. He makes starter packs and I really struggled to pick a top post. He posts the packs daily so you’ll never be left too long without something to laugh at. The ‘songs of the day’ are a nice touch as he clearly has good taste in music.
5. Founded by Jameela Jamil – i_weigh
Jamil created this page to do exactly what this article is about. Ditch the toxic ways of ‘weighing’ yourself, stop comparing and start embracing. Recently she interviewed Lizzo to discuss confidence and body image.
6. Anonymous – Depop Drama
This account gives us all the drama we’ve been missing with screenshots of amusing conversations on Depop, (the app for buying/selling/swapping old and new clothes). Some people have found used condoms, drugs and knickers in their packaging. It’s fascinating to read the types of things people ask for, for example, ‘can you please upload a picture of a spoon next to the shoes for reference?’
7. Founded by Adwoa Aboah – gurlstalk
Aboah created this amazing platform as an inclusive, safe space to share a wide variety of stories and art that help to educate and provoke change. She’s also held podcasts with the likes of Munroe Bergdorf, Professor Green and Jorja Smith.
8. Anonymous – beammeupsoftboi
‘We r all indie softbois here’. A page devoted to exposing boys that chat a lot of … trash. If you have any examples of your own, please screenshot and send them via DM to the account.
9. Rickey Thompson – rickeythompson
He started on Vine and has grown his following even more on Instagram. From videos of him dancing to sensational music, to ranting about the people he has to deal with daily, to motivating us to ‘get the hell up’. He can do it all.
10. Colors – colorsxstudios
Colors is a platform for mainly up and coming artists. It’s a place to showcase artists from all over the world at their studio in Berlin. A great way to expand your music taste and listen to some live sets. This is a snippet of London-based artist, Tom Misch.
11. Jay Versace – jayversace
Another entertaining man that first began on Vine and now has a large following on Instagram. He creates singing/rapping videos, miming, dancing, rants and advice. He even does the occasional ‘cleansing’ of your timeline for you by burning sage on camera.
And there you have it. We hope we’ve sprinkled a little more joy over your Instagram feeds today.