Powerful Voices – Activists to Follow
Climate change, women’s rights, body-positivity, diversity…The awareness of those topics have risen in the last years, but that doesn’t mean that the work is done. Quite the opposite. Luckily, there are some great activists out there, fighting for the better future. Here are the 10 role models to follow on social media and beyond!
If you need a dose of inspiration as well as self-affirmation, look no further. The 20-year-old artist and female advocate empowers women through her art and content. The social media ‘big sister’ shares advice on how to be happy within yourself, not having to conform to overwhelming ‘norms’ in our society. Despite her young age, Florence Given, with unusual maturity, helps millions of people with self-empowerment as well as mental well-being. She is a true inspiration to many and, even though she just entered her 20’s, she is also a bestselling author of ‘Women Don’t Owe You Pretty’ – a phenomenal guide to pure happiness. On her Instagram she shares unique drawings and quotes with an incredibly important message: You are enough just the way you are. Her activism focuses on women, but also non-binary people and the whole queer community. What a role model!
Extreme minimalism might sound scary or even bizarre to many. However, Youheum, who is an intuitive coach and a spiritual healer, talks about the movement in the most accessible and forthcoming way, that even the biggest sceptics would be drawn to the idea. Through her various platforms she provides detailed information on wellbeing, sustainability and, of course, minimalism. She advocates for not only a clearer physical, but also mental space. Her activism focuses on climate change, as well as mindfulness. She posts numerous YouTube videos with tips, shares her experiences on Instagram and helps others with her virtual workshops and, as of recently, an e-book!
The UK-based body positivity activist shares her incredible story from being athletic to being…well, just herself. She teaches us one of the most important lessons, that we usually forget about: to learn how to love yourself. She takes a ‘light’ approach, posting hilarious videos of herself unapologetically dancing and shaking to her favorite tunes, posting pictures regardless of the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ angles and spreads such a dose of positivity with her vibrant attitude and optimistic energy, that it’s impossible not to smile when looking at her content. Chessie doesn’t take herself too seriously and by doing so, she proves that we don’t have to strive for ‘perfection’ to feel good about ourselves. This year she published a book ‘Be Your Own Best Friend’ where she discusses how to find the inner confidence, no matter how deeply it is buried. Through her online activism she fights with stigma and judgement and brings overall joy to anyone who stumbles upon her page.
The word bold acquires a whole new meaning when looking at Ariella Nyssa’s online presence. This incredibly courageous Sydney-based activist not only helps her audience with self-acceptance, but is an advocate for mental health struggles. Ariella is not afraid to show her ‘imperfections’, spreading nothing but love and acceptance, normalizing bodies that have been de-normalized in our culture. She fiercely breaks the beauty standards and takes her followers on the journey of not caring about the set canon, showing us that beauty has no boundaries. She also became famous for hashtags such as #normalisenormalbodies. Nyssa is also the founder of the Self Love Bible App, through which she raises the awareness of holistic health and beating the hierarchy of standardized beauty. Ariella beams with such confidence that it’s impossible not to ‘catch’ it!
Even though social awareness is becoming a thriving topic online, specifically on social media, it’s still not uncommon to scroll through celebrities’ feeds and mostly stumble upon the mundane entries of documenting their everyday life. And there is nothing wrong with that – after all, social media are in a way our online diaries. However, it is admirable when a person uses their enormous platform for the greater good. Matt McGorry, a famous Hollywood actor, best known from the series ‘Orange is the New Black’ has a different idea of his online presence than most of the world. He turned his Instagram into an inclusive and political space, where he advocates for humans’ rights. He became a spokesman for BLM movement, feminism, body positivity or immigration rights. His activism is broad and full of self-reflection, always aware of the importance of educating yourself and aiming to be a better person and to, eventually, create a better society. McGorry shares his knowledge and provides his followers with incredibly interesting and well-researched facts, literature, guides and sources, fighting for a better and more accepting world.
The future lies in the hands of young generations – and if all youth would be like Nyke Slawik, the future would be safe. The Germany-based activist is deeply devoted to topics of climate change, posting numerous advice, details about protests and how to get involved, as well as facts and useful information. Nyke is also a huge advocate for trans people’s rights. She participates in panels, discussions, various media outlets, standing up for LGBTQ+ community. Furthermore, Slawik is also involved in politics: she is the top candidate of the Grüne Jugend NRW political party for the 2021 federal election. Nyke speaks up for those who need their voices to be heard – and she does so with admirable dedication
Dr. Jennifer Mullan
With great knowledge comes great responsibility – Dr. Mullan holds more academic degrees than we can count, but her educational background is not the only thing that’s impressive. Jennifer has gathered a huge following on her social media platforms, where she spreads her activism. She is a psychologist, a creative and a healer. She focuses mostly on topics such as trauma, abuse and counseling. Jennifer is also a big advocate for LGBTQ+ people, offering not only professional advice to those who seek it, but also raising awareness on Queer Indigenous youth and people of color. She has over 15 years of experience in clinical practice and she boldly addresses crucial issues and topics on her platforms. She seeks to create a safe space to talk about everything related to mental health as well as emotional healing. Dr. Mullan organizes numerous coaching sessions, workshops and discussion on dealing with trauma, decolonization and various political aspects – after all, as she says herself, everything is political, even therapy!
This Hamburg-based body positive movement advocate is a true inspiration to many. Melodie posts about self-love in such beautiful yet seemingly effortless way, her feed is a pure pleasure. She is unapologetically being her true self, without pretending or conforming to the ‘norms’ – and better yet, she encourages her followers to do the same. Apart from proclaiming self-love and self-acceptance, Michelberger is also an activist for another incredibly important issue: sustainability. She continually educates others and spreads awareness on fair trade and the reality behind the fashion industry, with the focus on women’s rights. Her motto: "Quality over quantity." Despite being active online, she has on numerous accounts invited her audience to put down the phone and take time to be more present in ‘real’ life. Melodie has also founded an online magazine Trust the Girls, where she publishes feminist content. She also writes for Zeit, Vogue and Cosmopolitan.
Despite the rise in awareness, empowerment and diversity, the battle for the more inclusive world is not yet over. Luckily, there are amazing and brave people who are fighting for the better future. One of those people is Alok, the non-binary activist. They are not only an advocate for trans and whole LGBTQ+ community, but also a writer and performance artist. They are an author of ‘Femme in Public’ and ‘Beyond the Gender Binary’, exploring and educating on issues related to gender and sexuality norms. Alok’s Instagram is filled with incredibly valid advice, art and… bold fashion! Apart from their vibrant outfits and make-up looks, Alok mostly focuses on the sexist culture, myths and facts on trans people and racism. Their message: your weirdness makes you unique. Don’t be ashamed of who you are, embrace it!
A lot of people talk about the beauty of motherhood, but little is said about the not so pleasant side of it – or, rather, the reality. Chaneen Saliee wants to change that. On her Instagram page, she talks about the challenges as well as positives of being a mother and she doesn’t sugarcoat it. Chaneen is not afraid to post about the most uncomfortable topics (for some), whether it is trauma, breastfeeding or body image. Her honest motherhood is inclusive and, most importantly, real. She is the author of poetry book Solidarity, where she beautifully expresses her emotions and feelings about having children. Saliee is also a manifestation and mindset coach, aiming to empower women and transform their thinking into becoming the most confident and happy versions of themselves. Apart from her incredible social media activism, Chaneen is also deeply dedicated to normalizing breastfeeding through art as well as producing breastfeeding-friendly garments. Her social media feed is not only important – the additional bonus are the incredibly aesthetically pleasing photos of Chaneen and her adorable children!
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