While aesthetics are important on the 'gram, we'll always be fans of content that gives you a little more. It's everywhere if you're looking, and we just love the way these women are changing the black girl narrative and giving us a unique peek into their lives.
You've probably seen them floating on your timeline and maybe spent hours scrolling through their feeds, not only for their rich, vibrant images but also for their how absolutely inspiring it is to see which places they travel to next or who they photograph.
Who knows, maybe you'll spot someone whose vibes match yours and in that case, you should totally hit the follow button.
And here they are in no particular order:
@Tefftheory - Through critical self-study, Teff The Don, originally from Nigeria, shares her life and work via her vibrant Instagram account. You'll find self-portraits, mixed-media collages and photographs taken by her which she always captions with a thoughtful note on human nature and society.
Anyways, here's me cosplaying as Life, bringing you Lemons with my bun and #bantubangs. You may recognise that fabric as the backdrop of my recent Self-portrait. My sister, @brownpetal made it for meee for my birthday last year - custom dyed, because #Orange reasons. It's part of what I call Loop Theory: a principle that underlines how one discipline shifts the other. If you scroll a bit, you'll find line Art piece inspired by this photo. My writing inspires my photography; photography inspires poetry; poetry inspires visual Art. It's all interrelated and cyclic - in essence. #tefftheory #kahktikulture
"5 x 5", 2014 I shot this portrait exactly 2 years ago today as part of the long journey to capture my hands every year on my birthday. It pleases me now to say that I brought in this birthday in the 8th floor of the library where I've been all night, preparing for 2 exams. I guess that's pretty symbolic, yes? (If you know what 8 means to me, then yes, it's rather symbolic). I also brought it in by publishing my first post on Medium + finally updating the site. Soon share. ("I'm on Medium" should be flirtatious line you say on a first date to heighten your appeal, no?) 2014, I was going through hell, but I declared it golden, and it was so. 2015, I declared openness + fluidity by shooting the portrait over water, and it was so. They year ends for me on my birthday. I'm already in 2017 and intentions are already being set. What to declare? Beyond grateful for where I am, and most importantly, what I am learning (academia and beyond). Three key lessons to share: 1.) Do not allow isolation to seduce you. Clarity can be found in conversation, too. 2.) Create with intent, whether "they" notice or not. 3.) Be present. Be a presence. You may know me as a photographer, writer, visual artist, poet, the don (wink) etc. But my true-true aspiration is to be a resource. Whatever path(s) I have to follow to achieve that, I will. Thank you for your prayers, words, support, presence, audience. What good you see for me is already yours. Thank you! ✨?? #selfportrait #tefftheory
@azaniaforest - Azania Forest is a Joburg-based visual artist and designer whose Instagram account screams "Africa". She does a lot of self-portrait work centred on black womanhood and being a carefree black girl. Her images are evocative and we can't wait to see how the budding artist develops.
"But then it is important for some people to make an exit, to get down and walk the paths they were destined to because if people always made an entrance and never left either for the better or worse, then we would feel suffocated and confused like those people in the bus, the purpose of the journey would lose its essence and the journey altogether would neither be worthwhile nor smooth." - Chirag Tulsiani Ph. @eyeamkabi
@asiyami_gold - Art director and visual storyteller Asiyami inspires quite a bit of FOMO. Seriously. Her Instagram feed resembles a travel magazine and its curation makes you feel like you are travelling with her, or at least wish you were. She also has a great eye for beautiful things and we absolutely love watching a woman of colour living her best life.
One of my FAQ is "how do you get to travel so often" the answer... I'm rich! Duhhhh? Rich in spirit. ? If you've been following my posts for at least two years, you would know that I'm just the average young lady who worked hard to get the things that she wanted out of life. I perfected the art of living well while having enough. And really in life, all you need is ENOUGH! Our ability to stay happy and live a full life with just a little is what attracts more. More isn't always monetary. Sometimes that "more" is the good people you meet along the way, a peace of mind, or being grateful. After going back home in 2015 for the first time in 12 years, adjusting to life in the west has been difficult for me. The greatest misconception most of us here have is the need to have more in order to live a full life. But I've seen my family members back home living such content and happy lives with nothing. It made me realize that having more may be a crutch. God gives more when we trust him and are grateful for what he has given us. Because what he gives us is enough at that moment. If we could learn to be grateful for enough and live well with enough, maybe we could see more. You don't need to have a lot of money. There are always ways of working around it. Pick destinations that work with your budget. Travel to places where you can stretch your $. Save enough for the things you want to experience. The best part of traveling isn't always eating a floating breakfast.... lmao. It's the people you get to connect with along the way, the food you get to eat, the conversations, the memories that last a lifetime, and sometimes the new lifestyle you adopt. Define what living well looks like to you and create it. #issavision #seeitbecomeit
"I believe that every person has the ability to be the architect of their own life (or at least they should be). What does this truly mean? It means that you are in the driver’s seat, you have the steering wheel in your hands, you have your foot control of the gas pedal and the brake. In this life you are the architect of your own life. the first part of becoming the architect of your own life is deciding that you are capable of creating your own life circumstances. You have control over every choices that you make."-- Shawn Doyle #seeingafricadifferently
@velmarossa is one half of the stylish brother/sister duo "2 Many Siblings". Velma's Afro-retro feed is a documentation of her life and work in Kenya. Whether she's hanging out at a market or attending an exhibition, she does so with minimal effort. We love her quirky style and cinematic aesthetic.
@banjichona - Zambian born and UK-Based writer, jewellery maker, and aesthete, Banji, is an eclectic woman whose Instagram feed is filled with curated inspiration. We adore how she through her images, embraces her dark skin and roots. Look out for this one.
Salutations beautiful people, The Endesha, Zyana, Namabula and Intya chitenges are available for purchase (being sold by the metre) on my shop. All the fabric was sustainably sourced whilst I was in my mother city, Lusaka. The vibrant colours and beautiful patterns make for beautiful headwraps/whatever it is your heart desires to make out of the fabric. Additionally laptop bags in these fabrics are also available to purchase. Visit @shopnoisette for the link and more info! Love and light x (Big up to my hand model @ocean_tide)
@findingneema curator and avid traveller Neema is what one would call curious. She chronicles her interactions with the diverse groups of people she meets by going beyond the surface with their stories. Her interest in the continent stems from her longing for answers about people's origins and identity. When she isn't lying below a picture-perfect sunset, she's riding a camel or dancing at a street festival.
As stunning as Madagascar is, it is also admittedly very difficult to navigate solo. This is one place I can't imagine being able to realistically navigate extensively as a solo femme traveler without either a local guide, lit travel partner, or at least some proficiency in Malagasy/French. This is a shot from a pit stop on the 18 hour taxi brousse ride from Tana to the northern port city of Ambanja, where you can catch small boats to the surrounding islands. I bought 4 mangoes here for 500 ariary (around 15 cents) ?? #tstmkrsafrica #mundonegro #afropresentism