The most inspiration-inducing Internet folk across your favorite online platforms
Quite a few of my friends have deactivated their Twitter accounts, deleted Instagram and quit Facebook cold turkey. Social media has something of a reputation for making millennials unhappy, for fueling jealousy and materialism in even the best of us. No doubt, seeing people sunbathing in Bali or jumping out of airplanes can definitely spark envy, especially when you’re witnessing it all through a screen while you’re stuck at home and trying to get over a bad day by spooning hefty mouthfuls of ice cream into your mouth.
But see, social media doesn’t have to be bad. Sometimes, inciting the right kind of response to the things you see online starts with following the right people.
Ahead, we put together a list of six inspiring individuals well worth your double tap, like, or follow. Creative, brave and most importantly, just like the rest of us, these people serve up motivation in spades.
Image via @imalyssalau
Multihyphenism is a funny thing for a number of reasons. For one, it isn’t even a real word, and for another, it’s so damn easy to call oneself a multi-hyphenate these days. Where our parents and grandparents spent decades carving out one-track paths for themselves, we could claim to be model-writer-actors on our Instagram bios and have the world believe it. Perhaps the funniest thing about it, though, is that despite the ease of it all is the underlying challenge to stand out among the other great minds in the digital space.
This is where Alyssa Lau, photographer/creative director/shop owner/all-around content creator marks her x. She does so many things, and although what makes it online is only ever the tip of the iceberg, it seems she has a knack for all of them. We aren’t loose-lipped with praise, but she deserves it: her body of work is inspiration and motivation for digital content creators.
Find Alyssa on YouTube, Instagram, and her website, Ordinary People.
Image via @im_jella_
It isn’t every day that you come across tan-skinned South Korean women––no less those who are proud of their color. Perhaps this is why Jella, a beauty and lifestyle vlogger, is such a standout: she loves the skin color she grew up with, so much that she regularly tans to maintain a rich, tan shade.
Jella’s makeup tutorials have us wanting to embrace our morena skin instead of trying to match up to standards that just aren’t worth losing our heads (or our melanin!) over.
Keep up with Jella’s latest tutorials by subscribing to her YouTube channel!
Image via @emiwong_
Gone is the day of the ultra skinny, starved to the bone “fitness” goal. Thankfully, the internet has done a good job of diminishing the idea that women need to be thin to be beautiful. Instead, people now welcome the sentiment of strong being the new skinny, with good health and a positive outlook outweighing anything a scale and measuring tape might tell you.
If you’re looking for #fitspo or even just some motivation to get out of bed and get a few stretches in before setting the wheels in motion for the day, fitness YouTuber Emi Wong’s channel is a good place to start. Supportive through every single workout and never afraid to admit when she’s having trouble with a particular move, she’s a living, breathing, vlogging reminder that our fitness journeys all start somewhere––and are bound to get better with enough time and resilience.
Ready to clock in the hard work? Check out Emi’s Youtube channel!
Image via @_unjin_
Another maverick in the realm of South Korean beauty is Unjin (that’s read as U-N-jin, by the way!). With long, flowing hair, perfectly straight eyebrows and a cherry red pout, someone who isn’t used to East Asian beauty standards may wonder what makes her different from every other pretty girl online.
For one, she’s plus-sized. Like Jella who counters their society’s standards with tan skin, Unjin is carving out her own definition of beauty: one that isn’t defined by a double-digit body weight and a tiny waistline.
Give her a follow on Instagram!
Image via @tinycactus
Beaches and cotton candy skies and views of the moon fill KangHee Kim’s picturesque Instagram grid. Palm trees in pools, subway doors leading to oceans. Her work is beautiful and surreal, sometimes reminiscent of Edward Hopper paintings and other times of a daydream plucked straight out of the imagination of a child.
These photos, born of KangHee’s inability to leave New York due to visa restrictions, fire up that wanderlust in all of us. Scroll through, dou let her photo manipulations inspire you to get out there and see the world.
Check out KangHee’s latest work on Instagram!
Image via @issabarte.art
We did a feature on Issa Barte late last year, when her digital illustrations had started making rounds on the ‘gram. Little stories documented in word and scribble, she goes through an entire process when creating her work. She asks, she listens, she lets the thoughts come to her before she puts pen to paper (or tablet, more like it).
The thoughts and moments Issa documents on her Instagram account aren’t all pretty: in fact, there’s definitely as much sadness, anger and confusion as there is happiness. But perhaps that’s what’s so motivating about it. We all need to be reminded that the light at the end of the tunnel exists.
Follow Issa’s ongoing artwork series on Instagram!
RELATED: Who’s That Girl: Issa Barte
Are you adding any of these folks to your Following list? Sound off and let us know your favorite sources of inspiration!
Art Alexandra Lara