The Rise of Instagram Health Accounts

Rachel Foster, Business Manager

For the longest time, I have been asking myself one question. Why is personal health and living a healthy lifestyle a concept that is so easy, yet so difficult for many people to actually practice? Like many others, I have struggled with body image and holding myself accountable for so long, and I finally realized why. Our society has been feeding us a toxic mindset regarding health for as long as we can remember; making exercise a chore of self-punishment and hatred, praising diet culture and eating disorders, in addition to bending the truth about loving yourself in more ways than you could imagine. In reality, we have been completely lied to, creating this large realm of difficulty to commit to “being healthy”. 

When COVID-19 put the world in lockdown, it seemed like people were starting to wake up to the lies they had been fed. It was time to stop depriving our bodies of food, to start exercising to love ourselves, and to prioritize self-love. Many found themselves exercising at home while gyms were closed and finding new and creative ways to focus on being healthy. In such uncertain times, there was a bright spot to turn to; something I’ve dubbed the “Instagram Wellness Community.”

There isn’t a timeline for how the community started or when it dates back to, but these accounts have been around forever. Accounts that fall under the health umbrella can fit a variety of purposes, such as clean eating, exercise, yoga, affirmations, and plenty more. Quarantine allowed these accounts to rise in popularity, and without a doubt have been a great way of using social media. Three State High students have found their niche through their own personal health accounts. 

Grace Bodner- @scfitchicks

Senior Grace Bodner has been in the Instagram health community so long that she could almost be considered a veteran. Creating her account in August 2019, she has lived through the ups and downs of Covid. Bodner originally started her account because she had discovered other accounts that motivated her to jumpstart her fitness journey. Bodner wanted to share her voice and passion with others and have a community behind her to uplift her. 

“This account has helped me get through my toughest lows in life. It is a place where I know I have a community to post to that will support me,” Bodner explained. “I found so much strength and happiness through fitness, yoga, and mediation. After COVID-19 hit, I really struggled with the lack of social interaction. Working out and working on my mindfulness was the only light I had most days. I would like to think that others who feel this way see my journey and feel inspired to do something good for their mind and body.” 

Bodner’s account content primarily flows with her mood and what she finds meaningful in her daily life, including yoga, nature, habits, and home workouts. Although she seems to have a routine with what she posts, Bodner hopes to add more EMT, Nurse Aide, and PA student content. 

“I want my account to encompass all aspects of my life that I do not necessarily showcase on my personal page. I feel as though it is a good outlet to share all of my knowledge and track my journey,” she shared. 

Bodner has been uplifted by the continuous support of her account and the kind feedback she receives in her direct messages.

“It warms my heart every time and that is why I never want to stop posting on this account,” Bodner said. 

Leslie Powers- @lifting4leslie

Some great things start with friendship, and that’s how senior Leslie Powers got inducted into the world of the Instagram wellness community. Bodner and Powers both ran @scfitchicks when it started, but Powers decided to leave the account when she realized that the two were at different points in their fitness journeys. After focusing on her mental and physical health, Powers decided she was comfortable enough to create her own account, @lifting4leslie, on Jan. 10, 2021, to utilize as an outlet to express herself. Powers aims to inspire others, specifically young women, the way that some of her favorite influencers have inspired her.

“I believe that my account is going to help young adults, more specifically girls, become more comfortable with their bodies and learn how to love themselves. I’ve been hooked into the toxic world of fad diets and fake fixes and I would never want anyone else to go through that,” Powers described. 

Her account has mainly been focused on exercise, but she would love to open it up to commentary on the fitness industry, healthy recipes, and ways that she has learned to love herself. Not only has her account helped her focus on the present and holding herself accountable, but she has also found herself considering pursuing becoming a certified personal trainer after graduating college. 

“I would definitely advise everyone to follow their dreams and don’t worry about what other people think about you/them. For so long I’ve spent my time hiding behind doors because I’ve been afraid of being made fun of but now I feel as if I’m finally free and becoming the person that I was supposed to become,” Powers advocated. 

Lily Ruocco- @wellbeing_lily

Freshman Lily Ruocco started her account, @wellbeing_lily, around the same time as powers. Drawing her inspiration from influencers who promote body positivity, Ruocco knew she wanted to create something that could help someone the way those influencers helped her.

“My goal for my account is to help someone, I want to create a positive atmosphere where people can trust me,” Ruocco explained. “I’m positively affecting myself by holding myself accountable and making sure I’m practicing what I’m preaching. I think I’m positively affecting others by helping them to become their best selves and giving them a starting point.” 

Currently, her account is mainly dedicated to helping others love themselves, as she realized that many face body image issues. In the future, she plans to incorporate more workouts, fun ways to exercise, recipes/food, and self-love tips. Anything that she finds helpful to her fitness and self-love journey, she promises to include on her page. 

“My experience so far has been so positive. I’ve received so much positive feedback. The people who have accounts like mine and follow me are so supportive and motivating,” Ruocco said. 

In a health world that predominantly is consumed with promoting toxicity and self-hatred, these three girls have decided to prioritize self-love. Each of their accounts focus on their personal journeys and they care about making a difference by letting their voices be heard. What they are doing has the potential to help so many realize their self-worth, and that is incredibly inspiring.

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