This Instagram Campaign Highlights Amazing Women

Photo: Courtesy Instagram.
Millions of people share their personal lives on Instagram every day. A lot of these personal stories are interesting, inspiring, and surprising, particularly ones by women, a segment that has historically been hushed in the male-dominated media. So in an effort to celebrate its female storytelling, Instagram launched a new campaign under the hashtag #MyStory. "It’s so important for women to tell their stories. What social media has done is democratize that," #MyStory curator Jessica Bennett told Refinery29. Bennett is a journalist who primarily covers women's issues, and curates a separate LeanIn collection of stock images with Getty. "In the past, the ability to be a photographer, or to depict daily life, was reserved for a select few — that's the way media worked. Now, anyone can tell their story." Bennett searched through hundreds of Instagram images to select the 28 profiles that are being featured in #MyStory. They are women who are smashing stereotypes, overturning clichés, and inspiring others to get out there and do the same. (You can check out the full list at the bottom of this post.)
Bennett didn’t necessarily want to include people who were already famous and well-known. She sought out individuals based on how creatively they were using the platform: the personality of their images, the story they told, and the overall quality of the images themselves. The group of women included in #MyStory is incredibly diverse. There's Jenn Zeller (@TheSDCowgirl), a female rancher in South Dakota. She is working in an industry where there are very few women and documenting her daily life (including beautiful images of her horses). There's a 13-year-old professional skateboarder from Arizona, as well as a woman documenting her mother’s mental illness. #MyStory also includes artists devoted to women's issues, and one woman sharing her experience with motherhood. Software engineer Laura Johannet (@codergirl_) is also featured in the campaign. Johannet focuses on using humor to challenge stereotypes about software engineers and show that "we may all be different as engineers, but we can laugh at the same things."
While sometimes her posts can get a bit technical (some of her favorite hashtags are #programming, #developer, #coderjokes, and #nerd), they also showcase her other interests, such as fashion and lipstick. (Her shade du jour is Maybelline 24 Hour Color in Keep it Red.) "It’s important for people to know you can have these other passions and also be passionate about software engineering," Johannet said. "Those are not part of what the software engineer stereotype is, but I don’t want to say that I’m the only anti-stereotype. I want to recognize that everyone is the anti-stereotype." The campaign kicked off with a gallery event in Los Angeles Monday evening. You can check out the images and profiles across Instagram (including on the official @Instagram account) as well as in O Magazine, and a list of all the women included in #MyStory are below. They're definitely worth a follow.

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