10 Awesome Women to Follow on Instagram

Before I get into my list, I want to say that my ENTIRE social media community is worthy of a loving shoutout (and a zillion fist-bump emojis!). The daily messages we create and share about empowerment, equality and inclusion would be nothing without an awesome community to exchange with.

In honor of Women’s History Month, I wanted to share 13 of my favorite Instagram accounts owned and operated by women. These women create inspirational, educational, and empowering content that I could spend hours scrolling through (and do). If you don’t already know them, check them out and give them a follow.

  1. In the Insta-world of fitness models, we tend to see little size diversity. Enter @louisegreen_bigfitgirl who uses her platform to represent and showcase fit bodies of all sizes. She’s also got a great new book coming out that I (ahem, ahem) wrote the foreword for. No big deal. Get it now!!
  2. @usowomen…Obviously! The work that the United State of Women do everyday is shaping the culture that our next generation of girls will experience. The work we’ve done together (hello 2016 summit anyone??) will always be one of my most valued experiences. They have their work cut out for them in 2017, but look to them on great, tangible ways to join the #Resistance!
  3. This is my OG girl crush for all things empowerment: @amypoehlersmartgirls. Without a doubt, one of the best pages to turn to for global girl power and smart, cutting-edge leadership. Special squeezes to @puzzlesmom who leads this awesome parade!
  4. @euniquejg is my new girl crush. She’s the real deal, full of heart and fire, and has created a vital account with @becauseofthem. They had a beautiful Black History Month campaign (you can still go check it out) and their content is important to share with everyone (especially your kids!).
  5. @Amani speaks truth and power and her her Insta-platform for @muslimgirl is no different. She’s created the most popular digital platform for Muslim women and they have phenomenally talented writers who pen their perspectives on current news and experiences; a definite must-share for everyone!
  6. @laflowers has created the most incredible Latina blogger community of almost 20k strong over at @weallgrowlatina. You can count on them for funny, poignant, and powerful content – te adoro!
  7. My senator @kamalaharris has one of the best political Instagram accounts I’ve seen. Even after her campaign, she continues to be a trailblazer for change through the informative content she shares everyday. 2020 anyone?
  8. The girl crushes continue with @senduckworth. She frequently posts updates on what’s happening in government and is such a superstar bad ass that you will wish that a zillion more Tammy Duckworth’s were in government. (Psst… see #9 for help with this!)
  9. Since the election, over 6,000 women have enrolled in an incubator program to help them run for office. And who’s behind this incredible program? One of my favorite organizations @sheshouldrun. If you have ever thought about running for office or know someone who should, definitely check them out!
  10. Another one of my favorite nonprofits out there is @shesthefirst. They are literally changing the game for girls (and therefore the world) with their vision to help women around the globe become the 1st in their families to receive education.
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Meijer Eliminates Plus-Size Section

The fashion industry has a history of making Plus-Size women feel more like the “other.” Go shop in the “other” section. Select from these “other” styles and designs, and pay these “other” prices.

From my own experience (and the 200+ comments on my Facebook post), treating plus-sized women like the “other” can make something as ordinary as shopping a real self-esteem downer. It comes with many inconveniences and, if you LOVE fashion like I do, it can make you feel unworthy of being stylish in your own skin.

When one of my favorite actresses, Leslie Jones, couldn’t find a designer to make something for her to wear to her “Ghostbusters” premiere, she took to social media to express her frustration.

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You are not alone @lesdoggg!

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Anyone who has ever had to separate from friends at the mall while on a shopping trip knows how frustrating it is. You just want to shop for the same cute styles as the next girl—in YOUR size. Yet, we have to part ways and enter the section of over-priced and under-fashioned clothing (and why on earth is the Plus-Size section always by the appliances anyway?).

 

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Did you know that the average American woman now wears between a size 16 and a size 18? The industry calls us “plus-size women,” a term that fashion consultant and television personality Tim Gunn would like to erase. He says the fashion industry needs a makeover “because plus-size women deserve fashion – and we deserve the same amount choices offered to straight sizes.”

I couldn’t agree more, and Meijer agrees too.

 

Meijer recently announced that by 2017, they’ll have eliminated the “plus-size department” — combining all sizes on the same rack across 230 stores in the Midwest. Finally, an open-door invitation for all people who love fashion to enjoy a positive shopping experience — and that’s good for business!

 

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This will completely change the shopping experience at Meijer, creating a space that allows all women shop together based on fashion trend, not size. They are also selling all clothing in all sizes at same price — THANK YOU!!! 🙏🏼


Check out this video from Meijer’s “Plus-Size” elimination and inclusion announcement.
You can really feel the happiness and joy in JoElla’s heart in this video – I feel it too! This is a great example of what brands can do to make consumers feel connected, included and SEEN.  Love it! More please!

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How to Cut and Paste your Dreams into Reality

In my recent podcast with the fabulous Damone Roberts, we talked about the power of manifestation.

 

We all have personal and professional goals, plenty of new project ideas, and dreams that seem larger than life. One technique that helps to bring my ideas to fruition is to create a vision board. Vision boards can bring clarity to your intentions by helping you hone in on what you want to create.

 

Everyone’s process is different – here’s what I do to get ready to cut and paste my dreams into reality!

 

  1. Get in the Right Head Space

I usually make a vision board when I’m at a starting point – like around the New Year and on my birthday; it helps me get aligned with a new goal or a way to celebrate a trip around the sun.

 

I try to stay positive when I sit down to create because it is with that frame of mind that I will bring my dreams into focus.

 

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  1. Gather The Materials That You Love!

There are no rules about what you make your vision board with. If you are an artist who likes to paint it out – do it! I am a writer – so I love to cut out words from magazines or doodle my own. My husband loves to make 3-D vision boards by putting pieces of twine, cloth or fabric together to bring his vision to life.

 

 

 

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  1. Let Yourself Enjoy The Journey

Vision boards aren’t always completed works of art. They can be a great exercise to understand a true value you hold or a desire that needs to be surfaced. Don’t judge (“Oh, I couldn’t possibly manifest that!”) Instead – learn from what comes forth while you create.

 

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  1. Place It Where You See it Often!

In the daily hustle of life, it’s important to remind ourselves of our inner visions. Our big dreams and small goals. So put this vision board where you can see it. I put mine in my office (above the computer) or in my closet, (where I see it while I’m getting dressed) this way I am surrounded by the vision I am bringing into form.

 

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TBT: That Time We CHANGED BARBIE’S BODY

This last week has been epic.

 

Just seven little days ago I was finally able to share about a project I’ve been a part of for the last few years. I was on super secret lock down (which made vague-booking so hard!)

 

But finally all was revealed with this cover of TIME.

 

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As you know, I’ve been working for over 20 years to change the messages that women and girls are sent through media, toys, and advertising. And I feel so incredibly lucky to have partnered with Mattel and the Barbie team on this journey to more variety and inclusivity!

 

3 new bodies. 7 skin tones. 22 eye colors. 24 hair styles. So many more choices to play! 

 

So in the true spirit of a throwback, here’s a recap of what my launch day was like.

 

Our day started at 3 AM. And this was the sign that greeted us as we walked in. 

 

That and lots and lots of coffee.

 

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Then the TIME cover story breaks. In case you can’t tell from my expression, I couldn’t be more excited!

 

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Teamwork makes the dream work. I couldn’t have made it through this launch without these guys.

 

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We spent all day tracking the press, doing interviews and working with key influencers to make sure that the story of Barbie’s transformation was told in a way that would spark healthy dialogue (and debate). I mean, come on it’s Barbie. Everyone has an opinion!

 

Then it was on to the PARTY!!

 

We had an amazing launch party featuring Queen Latifah and Gwen Stefani – hosted by the lovely Amanda De Cadenet.

 

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The theme of the night was “Reshaping the Conversation” and I was so thrilled to do that with good friends. Special shout out to my dear friend Damone Roberts for always having my back. My new friend Rutina Wesley (Also starring in Ava DuVernay’s new show “Queen Sugar” on OWN- watch it!) and the funniest voice on the interwebs, Luvvie Ajayi.

 

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You can’t make change unless you have a seat at the table. And I had a seat at the table. Literally.

 

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Up for over 20 hours, exhausted, happy, feeling proud.

 

Then the next day the team at Barbie sent me this fabulous gift. Now a permanent fixture on my patio. Welcome to your new dream house!

 

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This week has reinforced for me what is truly possible when we work together to make change.

 

Whenever a girl can see herself and her world better reflected in culture it’s a good thing.

 

This is just the beginning. Stay tuned for more…. #TheDollEvolves

 

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Conquer Negativity With #LoveGame16

I feel so blessed for the amazing people and opportunities in my life. Gratitude has become such an integral part of my own personal journey.

 

So this year I’m focusing on giving back the good energy and positivity I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by. I want to be conscious and intentional about the love I give out and the love I give myself. So I’m working on stepping up my game. And I’m asking you to join me.

 

I’m excited to introduce our first week’s #LoveGame16 challenges! Are you ready to step up your LoveGame in January?

 

This week we’ll focus on countering negative thoughts with positivity and appreciation.

 

Sure, it sounds simple, but think about it… How many times a week do we look at our reflections in the mirror and complain about something we see? How many times do we let others influence or discourage our ideas? How often are we hard on ourselves? We’re our own worst critics.

 

Challenge #1: Retrain Your Brain

(January 4 – 7)

 

For every negative thought that creeps in, take a minute to think about (or write down) 2 positives. It isn’t just an encouraging sentiment – it’s scientifically proven to be effective!

 

How do you feel once you begin the challenge? What are the positive thoughts you chose? Share with us on social media using the hashtag #LoveGame2016.

 

Challenge #2: Positive Intention

(January 8 – 10)

 

Be proactive. Decide what direction or feeling you want to achieve and weave it into your daily routine. When you feel like you’re getting off track or you encounter negativity (whether self-inflicted or beyond your control) take 60 seconds of meditation and self-care – take deep breaths, close your eyes if that helps, remember that intention and refocus your energy.

 

What happened after you rebooted your brain? What intentions did you choose? Let us know how you’re feeling after the first week using the #LoveGame16.

 

Remember, this isn’t just a resolution, it’s a commitment to changing our energy and intentions. Good luck with the first week’s challenge! I can’t wait to hear from you along the way. I’ll be giving my own updates on social media, too!

 

Not on social media? No worries. Send your #LoveGame16 feedback to info@jessweiner.com.

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How To Stay Positive Online

Anytime we open our laptops we become susceptible to bad news. The Internet is littered with it.

 

You open your browser to check your go-to news source – where positivity is no doubt a rarity. You check your social media only to find “friends” who are doing all the things you wish you were doing, but aren’t. You see a pop up ad with women who look nothing like you, and you doubt yourself.

 

It’s overwhelming. How are we supposed to stay positive when we’re surrounded by so much negativity?

 

It IS possible. Here are a few sites I visit on a regular basis that help me stay informed and still be positive:

 

Hello Giggles – This site markets itself as a positive community for women, and it is just that. Here you’ll find newsworthy articles and lifestyle articles about women like you.

 

Brain Pickings – Maria Popova’s blog gives meaning and depth to topics of philosophy, science, design and art. I get lost in her inspiring and unique perspective.

 

Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls – A cultural community for women and girls that encourages activism, learning and volunteerism.

 

What sites bring you a positive lift?

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Resist the Urge to be Afraid

Resist the urge to be afraid. I know what you’re thinking – easier said than done. The media certainly doesn’t do a good job of putting our minds at ease.

 

With recent attacks in Paris, the refugee crisis in Syria, and persistent acts of terrorism, how can we not be afraid?

 

With marketers telling us we should feel a certain way, our televisions telling us we should look a certain way, and the constant pressure to compare ourselves to others, how can we not feel inadequate? No one can possibly feel secure when given impossible standards.

 

The odds seem stacked against us. The world wants us to feel afraid. So how do we resist?

 

At the end of the day, the choice is yours. You can choose to let the negativity inundate your life and consume your thoughts, or you can choose to focus on all the positives that don’t seem to be nearly as newsworthy.

 

We can’t control what goes on in the world outside ourselves, but we can control our thoughts and our interactions.

 

In light of the upcoming holiday season, I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude. I’ve been thinking about the people who are there for me and who matter most to me. I’ve been focusing on peace in the midst of chaos and soaking in the feeling of gratitude every chance I get.

 

On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve been thinking about the love, energy and intention I emit back to the world, and I’m working on stepping up my game.

 

In a time when the world wants us to be afraid – Choose love. Choose bravery. Choose trust.

 

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Change One Thing

Each of us can probably rattle off a part of our appearance we wish was different. So it may not surprise us that the latest research from Dove reveals 9 out of 10 girls want to change at least one thing about the way they look. Where this becomes problematic is that we know 60% of girls will stop doing something they love based on how they feel about the way they look. We can change this by shifting the way we speak, think, and act around the concept of beauty.

 

This is the foundation behind Dove’s latest campaign #ChangeOneThing. We’ve been conducting self-esteem workshops and helping women and girls think more critically about beauty stereotypes. I’ve spent the last month kicking off workshops from Minnesota to NYC, Cincinnati to Arkansas.

 

Our main message: It’s not girls who have to change, but our culture!

 

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At our NYC launch event, I’m joined by Franchesca Ramsey (host of MTV’s Decoded), Sarah Hammer (Dove Brand Manager), and Dr. Jen Hartstein to help lead an inspiring workshop for girls and their mentors.

 


Before the event, I was interviewed about how we can change our culture by changing the way we post and share on social media.

 

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Here I am leading the workshop! We also announced Dove’s partnership w/ Pinterest to reveal 80 new self-esteem pins designed for Moms, Mentors and Educators. Dove has reached over 17 million girls with self-esteem programming with workshops just like this.

 

attends Dove Self-Esteem Project Hosts 'Pinspiring' Workshop for Girls To Launch New Pinterest Self-Esteem Page on September 29, 2015 in New York City.

 

We had the girls and mentors make real-life Pinterest boards to share their positive messages with the world.

 

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attends Dove Self-Esteem Project Hosts 'Pinspiring' Workshop for Girls To Launch New Pinterest Self-Esteem Page on September 29, 2015 in New York City.

 

This wonderful girl standing next to me is 10-year-old Olivia Allen. She is the founder of the “I Can Be” Girls Confidence Conference – an event for girls and their parents to develop higher self-esteem. Can you imagine creating a conference like this when you were 10?

 

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The next day, I flew out to Cincinnati to film a news segment with Good Morning Cincinnati !

 

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Then we hosted two back-to-back workshops with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cincinnati.

 

Their wisdom and energy had me thinking about this:

 

We can help redefine what is beautiful by using our social media platforms to spread positivity and acceptance. Within our families, friends, classrooms, and communities, we’re constantly shaping the world by what we post online.

 

It could be one word or comment.
One image or video.

 

Being mindful about what we communicate is what creates opportunities to shift our culture in big and small ways.

 

We all have the power to #ChangeOneThing.

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Confidence Is Fashionable

What a fabulous day!

 

I never thought I’d find myself strutting my stuff down a runway at New York Fashion Week – yet, here we are!

 

Today I walked in designer Carrie Hammer’s “Role Models, Not Runway Models” fashion show! The vision of this show is to create a “runway revolution” by featuring a variety of bad ass professional women – from all different backgrounds, sizes, shapes, abilities and nationalities.

 

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Woke up bright and early—bare faced and full-hearted—feeling excited and inspired and overjoyed. Watch my morning pep talk here!

 

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First stop: Hair and make-up! That’s Tiffany and she did an excellent job glamming me up.

 

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Luckily, I had the opportunity to rehearse my fierce walk before the real thing and totally didn’t fall! (Which was my biggest fear)

 

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Showtime!! (At this point I’m thinking “Is this really happening?” and “Please don’t let me fall!”)

 

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AND BAM! There I am!! Today I wasn’t just talking about confidence; I was literally walking the talk in what one lovely Tweeter described as “Jess Weiner serving up some sass!” Yes, indeed.

 

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I was also joined by some incredible role models including CEOs, entrepreneurs, editors, and more – all celebrating inner and outer diversity and confidence. (Left to right: Michelle Herrera of Cosmo Latina, Melissa Miranda of PepsiCo, and Tolu Olubunmi of DREAM Act)

 

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After the show: Camera flashes! Press photos! Meet-n-greets! Just like that, my fabulous runway adventure had come to an end. Of course, a celebration wouldn’t be complete without my sweet husband there to root me on and the influx of love and support I received in person and on social media.

 

I love mentoring and role modeling because it also leaves me feeling inspired and supported and reminded that we’re not alone as we travel through this life.

 

So wherever you are in life – let’s all just take our place on the runway and WORK IT!!

 

XO

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The Confidence Myth

Let’s talk about how at some point, in everyone’s life –beauty fades.

 

At different ages, stages, and life cycles.

 

Because beauty isn’t a currency to take to the bank- character is.

 

My TEDx talk, The Confidence Myth, is out!

 

In it I explore the messy, honest and often overlooked truth about “getting” confidence.

 

Hint: It’s time to talk more openly about the process of self-discovery.

 

Watch it below (and please share, like and comment if you enjoy!)

 

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