A screenshot of Bethany Hamilton’s Instagram.

Instagram is my favourite social media platform and it’s a great way to connect with people all across the globe in a really visual way. I follow so many incredible people and their posts can really help to inspire and motivate me! Here is a list of 10 of my favourite Inspiring Women on Instagram who I believe all girls should follow to help encourage them to test their limits and fulfil their dreams.

1. @veronicaeye
Most of us love a good selfie and Veronica Arroela is no different! She is the founder of the #365feministselfie project which encourages women (and men!) to take a daily selfie, whether they feel they look their best or not, inspiring them to accept themselves as they are and appreciate how beautiful they are in everyday environments.

2. @chrissyteigen
Supermodel, and wife to music star John Legend, Chrissy Teigen offers up plenty of giggles with her Instagram as well as some super healthy and mouth-watering recipes. But it’s her infamous stretch mark selfie that has placed her on my list. She posted a photo of her thighs showing what she dubbed her ‘stretchies’ reminding women everywhere that we all have bits we don’t like about our bodies (even swimsuit models) and we should be proud of them.

3. @caitlinchinn
Sometimes it’s easy to doubt your physical and mental strength especially when you are put down by others. However, Caitlin Chinn, who is a wildland firefighter for the US Forest Service, gives us a daily reminder that boundaries are set only by yourself and that bravery is in the eye of the beholder.

4. @gabbygiffords
It can seem difficult to stand up for what you believe in, particularly when it seems everyone is against you. Gabby Giffords, former US Congresswoman for Southern Arizona, reminds us how important it is to fight for our voices to be heard through her work as a gun control activist. Some pretty amazing people feature in her pictures including Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban on her way home from school.

5. @bethanyhamilton
Life can throw a lot of challenges at us and sometimes it feels as though we can’t overcome them. But Bethany Hamilton, a pro-surfer who lost her right arm in a shark attack, proves us wrong by tackling some of the most incredible tasks. She has not allowed her disability to hold her back and has even become a mum! For more information about female surfers, why not check out Girl Museum’s Surfer Girl exhibition?

6. @thisismybrave
Mental health is often regarded as a taboo subject and Jennifer Marshall, creator of This Is My Brave, offers us regular reminders of the importance of advocating awareness of and having the courage to speak out about mental illness. Her images are empowering and also give an insight into her work promoting conversation about mental health.

7. @lovewalkeatsee
Occasionally we need to be reminded of the beauty of the world around us and Lara’s Instagram account is definitely a great way of prompting us to not take this for granted. Lara began to lose her sight at the age of 18, and now in her mid-30’s she has limited vision. This, however, has not held her back and she travels the world aiming to ‘celebrate its beauty’ through her photographs.

8. @annamariafjellstrom
Too often we can become caught up in all that modern life can offer us, and Anna-Maria Fjellström’s beautiful account of her life as an indigenous reindeer herder in Scandinavia is a heartfelt reminder that a simple life can often be the best life. Family is very important to Anna-Maria and she has an extremely cute son who features in many of her photos!

9. @nasablueberry
Achieving your dreams can sometimes feel like a never-ending, up-hill struggle but Alyssa Carson, a teenager who calls herself the ‘Future Mars Walker’, inspires us never to give up on accomplishing our goals. She hopes to become an astronaut and walk on Mars, and was the first person in the world to complete all the NASA Space Camps! Her Instagram provides an insight into her life as a motivational speaker where she encourages others to follow careers in STEM fields. For more information about Girls in STEM, check out the Girl Museum exhibit, STEM Girls.

10. @leaninorg
So whilst this Instagram account isn’t actually about one particular woman I still think it earns a place on this list. Lean In is an initiative to promote gender equality and their Instagram page is packed full of inspiring women including Beyonce, Amy Poehler, and Serena Williams.Their aim is to encourage men and women to #LeanInTogether to promote equal rights for all.

-Erin Sykes
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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