Summer is all about sun, fun, and creating great memories. Or, at least, it should be. But, for many of us, the warmer months are ruined by one ongoing, tedious media narrative – the tale of the summer body.

Forget going away and having a great time, the summer body narrative highlights only the need to tone down and tan up. And, for a surprising amount of us, this alone can ruin these warmer months, or at least prevent us from feeling that we can take the beach by storm.

This is a crying shame. Luckily, things are starting to change. While it would be a major overstatement to say that damaging beach body narratives are a thing of the past just yet, they do, at least, now sit alongside an altogether better story told by plus-size models, body positive influencers, and more.

Top body-positive Instagram accounts are especially reclaiming the summer ideal for their own. Here, we look at just a few accounts that could teach us some important lessons as we move into summer ‘24.

1) Alexandra May (@alexmichaelmay)

Alexandra May has one of those feel-good Instagram accounts that just ticks all of the right boxes. In her bio, she says that her account is ‘a safe space to learn to love ourselves as we are’ and, for her 160,000+ followers, that’s exactly what her profile has become.

Alexandra shares her life, her experiences, and her relationship online, and she does it all with an unapologetic, no-filters attitude. Alexandra especially highlights the importance of finding someone who loves us for who we are, and in the ways that we deserve.

In sharing her own vacation outfits and bikini shots, Alexandra urges that her followers remember that they are more than their bodies. And, it’s in large part this confidence and can-do attitude that makes her look stunning whether she’s in a pool, or showing off a gorgeous summer dress without worrying about covering up her cellulite, or anything else that might not fit summer beauty ‘norms’.

2) Nelly London (@_nelly_london)

Nelly London’s bio quite simply says that she’s ‘here to make you feel better about yourself’, and it’s a goal that she most definitely achieves. Also known as ‘the girl with the hip dips’, Nelly’s a UK-based Instagrammer with more than 560,000 followers.

And the reason for her popularity? Well, that’s plain to see from the moment you head onto her account. Nelly’s honest about everything from her breast corrective surgery to her struggles with eating disorders, and she posts with a real ‘what you see is what you get’ flair.

Nelly’s love for lingerie and bikini shots especially makes her account shine for ‘summer bod’ inspiration with a sense of much-needed realism. Complete with scars, stretch marks, and plenty of squish!

3) Jessica Millichamp (@jessontheplussize)

Jessica Millichamp is a plus-size fashion and makeup enthusiast who shares her striking styles with over 200,000 followers. As well as providing great style inspo for a more normal body shape, Jessica is great at calling out fashion brands for their lack of inclusive sizing, and more.

In fact, Jessica’s so great at exactly this that she’s launched her own collections with InStyle, including striking summer dresses, and bikinis that come complete with cover-ups to keep everyone comfortable.

With a swimwear collection that sold out overnight on its first launch, Jessica has especially highlighted how many of us are on the search for a new kind of summer beauty. And, for that, we can only say, thank you, Jessica!

4) Riccardo Onorato (@guyoverboard)

Move over ladies, because it’s not only the female summer bod that needs shifting to more inclusive waters. Guys also get a hard time of it, with depictions of perfect abs and tight budgie smuggling swim-pants.

Self-heralded as a ‘fat-shinista content creator’ Riccardo believes in embracing the spread, and that’s a goal he achieves seamlessly across his Instagram grid. With messages of body liberation, Riccardo’s uploads are fun and inspiring and include topless bed shots, pool pics, and some fantastic plus-size fashion inspo for the summer and beyond.

5) Claus Fleissner (@extra_inches_plussizeblog)

Riccardo isn’t the only guy flying the body positivity flag. Plus-size male model, Claus Fleissner, is also showing guys how to embrace a different kind of summer body.

Claus’ own vacation shots include beach and pool shoots, showing off his swimwear choices and summer fashions. All of which look great, and highlight the potential of embracing a more ‘typical’ male body.

Claus’ account is especially inspiring because it urges his followers to accept their extra inches, and love themselves all year round!

6) Georgie Clarke (@georgie.clarke)

On the surface, Georgie Clarke’s Instagram looks like a model-perfect page of stunning shots and a stick-thin figure. And, in a way, it is – Georgie has an astonishing figure.

But, Georgie does things differently from most stunning models for one pressing reason – she’s honest about the fact that there’s no such thing as a ‘perfect’ body. In her ‘Instagram vs reality’ videos, Georgie especially works to bust the myth of the Instagram aesthetic by giving users a behind-the-scenes look at her shoots.

In doing this, she reveals the normality of things like stomach overhangs and cellulite. This outlook can be seen in a recent shot of Georgie’s cellulite in a bikini, accompanied by the words ‘What if you said thank you to your body instead’? It shouldn’t be groundbreaking but it is, and we have Georgie to thank for it!

7) Sophie (@sophthickfitness)

Fitness instructor Sophie shares an honest insight into her experiences with weight gain, and the fact that you shouldn’t feel ashamed about your changing body. Amidst this, Sophie discusses everything from the double standards of female beauty to her experiences with endometriosis.

In many ways, Sophie’s focus on fitness is what sets her account apart. Here is a healthy woman, representing the fact that a ‘fit’ body doesn’t necessarily need to be a thin one. And that’s okay.

From workout videos in her bikini that Sophie posts ‘just in case you haven’t seen your body type represented in a while’, to honest before and after shots of how her body confidence has grown despite her weight gain, Sophie’s content offers variety and inspiration galore. And, that’s evidently something we could use more of considering that it’s earned her over 220,000 followers so far.

How Do They Do It?

All of these Instagram accounts could help you to feel more confident in your body this summer but, sometimes, just seeing body-positivity isn’t enough. It’s also important to consider how these individuals achieve that confidence, which is what we’re going to do here –

  1. Body acceptance: Acceptance of the body you have is the first step towards body confidence, even during the summer months. For obvious reasons, acceptance is also a theme that you’ll find across each of these Instagram accounts. From Sophie’s story of accepting her weight gain to Georgie’s honesty about the less flattering parts of her body, embracing your body as it is will be a huge help in overcoming that need to cover up when the sun starts shining.
  2. Let go of perfectionism: Perfectionism is the thief of joy and never is that more true than with summer bodies. But, the ‘perfect summer body’ doesn’t exist, and these accounts will remind you of it time and again. And, in doing so, Instagrammers like Georgie can help to boost your confidence outside of impossible ideals.
  3. Look at the bigger picture: A theme that comes from more than one of these Instagram accounts is simply this – you are more than your body. While fashion inspiration and body ideals can feel all-consuming, especially in the summer months, the reality is that they don’t matter all that much. And, as a pinned reel at the top of Alexandra May’s page reminds us, the things that we do are far more important than the way we looked while we did them. In other words, you shouldn’t hesitate to book that holiday and head down to the pool, regardless of your body shape.
  4. Find a bikini that’s comfortable for you: As is evidenced by Jessica Millichamp’s sell-out bikini collections, comfort is key for achieving a ‘bikini body’. By looking at bikini sets that compliment your body type and feel comfortable, you’re sure to both look and feel better at the beach. And, that’ll translate into a winning summer look that doesn’t require you to change anything more than your swimwear options.


The pressure of the summer body is real, and it can ruin the warmer months if you let it. But, things are changing for the positive, and body-confident, ‘real’ Instagrammers like those mentioned here are proof of that.

So, if you’ve ever been made to feel bad or ‘less than’ for not meeting summer beauty standards, it’s time to brush yourself off and realise that there’s more than one kind of ‘bikini body’. And, as these stunning individuals prove, each of them is beautiful in their way!