5 Women of Color I Follow on Instagram That Help Me Embrace My Blackness

As a woman of color, it can often be challenging to truly feel that my blackness is beautiful. It's especially tough because I live in an area where I'm the odd one out. One day, I realized I was making the problem worse by further alienating myself on social media. My Instagram feed was always flooded with women who looked nothing like me and who had never faced the problems I conquered regularly. From then on, I decided to make a conscious effort to follow more women of color on Instagram, and I noticed an almost immediate difference in my self image!

My entire Instagram experience changed dramatically after following more women with melanin. There was a new sense of belonging that I'd never experienced on social media before. I felt like I'd finally found my name among the license plate key chains on display at the gift shop. I suddenly had access to makeup tutorials that used products suitable for my skin tone, influencers with protective hairstyles, and most importantly, I gained an army of role models that were just a profile click away. Straight from my Instagram, here are five women of color I follow that have helped me embrace my blackness.


Salem Mitchell (@salemmitchell)

A young model, Salem is one of the first women I saw wearing box braids on Instagram. I struggled for years to accept my protective hairstyle as beautiful, and seeing Salem own her braids inspired me to love mine!


Quinta Brunson (@quintab)

Though Quinta is someone I've only recently started following, she and her inspiring career have always been on my radar. She most notably is part of the highly successful HBO series A Black Lady Sketch Show. Quinta is both hilarious and gorgeous on Instagram, which inspires me daily.


Marjorie Lacombe (@creativekipi)

Marjorie doesn't post her face very often, but her striking art direction has long appealed to my artistic eye. Using every color of the rainbow, Marjorie inspires her followers to create things that will fill you with joy and whimsy.


Paloma Elsesser (@palomija)

Arguably the coolest person I follow on Instagram, Paloma first came into my orbit when she modeled in ad campaigns for popular makeup brand Glossier. Not afraid to bare it all, Paloma is an outspoken advocate for curvy and Black women, and encourages them to take charge of their identities. She also had a small role in the recent Safdie brothers hit, Uncut Gems.


Sherrie Silver (@sherriesilver)

Sherrie deserves royalty status for being the VMA winning choreographer of Donald Glover's politically charged music video for "This is America." Not only is Sherrie an amazing dancer but she strives to encourage others to celebrate Black culture and give credit to Black creators.