How to diversify your Instagram feed

(Edited by Victoria Silman)

Social media is extremely influential, with most users flocking to Twitter, Facebook, and especially Instagram. Instagram has approximately one billion active users and is notorious for its algorithm, which feeds you content based on what you follow, like, and share. 

“I find out current events through social media faster than I do in the news sometimes,” shares Kiara Bissoon-Kennedy, a fourth-year education studies student.

“Social media nowadays has become an important tool to spread knowledge and raise awareness for issues that we should care about,” says Antonio Tsui, a second-year commerce major. “Having a diverse Instagram is crucial nowadays as it can benefit yourself as well as the people around us.”

Kim Yanto, a third-year health and psychology student, also believes that it is important for Instagram to deliver diversity. “I think people would appreciate seeing waves of change,” Yanto says.

“Having a diverse feed allows you to see different peoples’ perspectives and experiences when it comes to things like current events, movements, news, and so on,” adds Bissoon-Kennedy.

Are you tired of mindlessly scrolling through Instagram? Follow these accounts to diversify your algorithm and make your feed more exciting!

@_humzer: Want to support local queer talent? Mango Lassi is a Toronto-based Pakistani drag artist. By following them you’ll get not only mind-blowing make-up looks, but also content that will educate you on South Asian culture, and how queerness can exist within it. Moreover, their aesthetic is amazing.

@chrissychlapecka: Chrissy Chlapecka, originating from Chicago, has recently become a TikTok sensation. Her content focuses on uplifting women and people in the LGBTQ+ community, as well as fighting misogyny. While TikTok is her main platform, she posts on Instagram a lot too, so make sure to check her out!

@itsminagerges: This Toronto-based Egyptian model is amazing! On top of constantly fighting gender norms, they also preach body positivity, which is definitely needed in this day and age. They are gorgeous and deserve your follow!

@ilonaverley” Ilona Verley is an Indigenous Two-Spirit drag performer from Vancouver, BC. They are mostly known for being a contestant on the first season of Canada’s Drag Race. Ilona is very vocal about trans and Indigenous issues. Also, Verley’s pastel monochromatic aesthetic will look amazing on your feed.

@antiracismdaily: Anti-Racism Daily, founded by Nicole Cardoza, is an account aimed to dismantle white supremacy. You can find information about the difference between cancel-culture and accountability, anti-Asian hate crimes, and inequities in child welfare. Follow this account for daily anti-racist content! 

@thedisabledhippie: Julian Gavino is a trans fashion model from Philadelphia with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, an inherited condition that affects connective tissue. While Gavino posts fabulous photos of him modelling with his wheelchair and advocating for disabled and trans rights, you can also find him supporting the BLM movement.

@nadyariot: If American politics are not the only politics that you are interested in, I highly suggest checking out Nadezhda Tolokonnikova’s account. Part of a scandalous punk rock group, Pussy Riot, Nadya is an activist for LGBTQ+ rights and women rights in Russia. Maybe her content will inspire you to dismantle the patriarchy.

@mattxiv: Matt Bernstein has gained quite a huge following on Instagram and Twitter. He is fighting homophobia, transphobia, racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and other issues that are poisoning our world by creating meaningful make-up looks, and writing powerful captions to them. He also often interacts with his followers, which is very fun!

@gottmik: Gottmik truly broke the internet this year. The first ever trans person to compete on a drag television show has quickly started gaining a large following, and is already on the cover of Attitude. Their make-up skills are amazing, and they absolutely deserve the hype that they get. Looking to support local Black owned businesses? Black Owned Toronto has got you covered! This account helps small businesses owned by POC get more customers. You can find a large variety of businesses specializing in candles, skincare, and food items. Check them out!

By following the accounts above, you can create a feed diverse in representation in race, sexuality, and physical ability. The purpose of compiling this list is to encourage you to actively recognize the need for diverse representation in our daily lives, including Instagram.

Tiago, a third-year music major, thinks that “perhaps by exposing others to these issues it can encourage others to be proactive and make a change.” Instagram is an extremely influential and popular platform. The amount of time spent passively scrolling can be used efficiently when following accounts that educate you on current social justice issues. 

“Since we spend so much time on Instagram, it’s significant seeing diverse topics to lift up the voices of the unheard,” adds Mishal Mohammad, a third-year educational studies major.

I encourage you to take a step in advocating for the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities while gaining knowledge on important issues surrounding you. Feed your mind with healthy content, diverse representation, and learn a little about issues that matter.

With files from Sydney Ewert

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