Essena O’Neill’s Instagram-induced breakdown forced us to analyse how “fake” some can be on social media, however, there’s a new influencer about town who’s getting real with photos of cellulite, body hair and the increasingly popular granny panty.
Her name is Ashley Armitage, and her Instagram reflects that raw appeal of a 90s chick flick with hazy, dated filters, carefree, behind-the-scenes feels and chill fashion. Focusing on females on their journey though young adulthood, there’s seriously feminist vibes with how these girls are breaking the rules of current-day societal expectations.
“I’m interested in creating a platform for girls, by girls, completely the female gaze,” Seattle-based Ashley told Refinery29, explaining that the project is collaborative. “It’s often both me and the models deciding what we want to create together, and both parties have agency. I’m giving the woman power, not taking it from her.”
The photos have a strong voice in suggesting women be proud of their features and embrace individuality and choice, like not feeling pressure to personally groom pubic or armpit hair, or knowing that it’s perfectly OK to have stretch marks and cellulite.
“My friend who did the pubic hair photo, she’s always like, ‘Oh, take photos of my leg hair…take photos of my pubic hair; it looks so cute today.’ [And I thought], ‘Now is a good time to post this photo of my friend’s natural body, up close’. It says, ‘Hey, we have a choice. This is beautiful, too,” Ashley explained.
Unsurprisingly, followers are reacting favourably (give or take a few who find au natural pubes “unhygienic”). “I just wanted to thank you for sharing your pics. They are REAL and above standard. For that I applaud you, and your friends. Keep it up,” one user wrote. “Your photos are so empowering and make me love myself as I am. Really, you’ve had a huge impact on my life, thank you and keep going!” another commented.
With an Instagram feed that can sometimes make you feel inadequate thanks to flawless skin, abs, perfect teeth, invisible bikini rash and more, following this account will give you a much-needed slap of reality. So, if you follow one Instagram account today, make it this one.