Creators Nia Pettitt, Hani Sidow, YAW and Sonny Turner sat down with Instagram’s Brooke Özaydinli to discuss “how creators can build an inclusive, diverse community” on the platform.
The panel opened with a different take on introductions, with each creator showing an image from their Instagram account and explaining the story behind it. These included Nia talking about her photo from Cape Town as part of her work with Comic Relief, Hani chatting about a selfie from January and YAW sharing his ‘Galaxy Mother’ makeup look from September 2018.
On the topic of when the panellists noticed their voice had power, YAW talked about a time when he received a DM on the app from a mother about how her son had struggled but took inspiration from his daily posts, and realised that he had affected the child. Sonny talked about a time where a creative director raised some of the points she raised in a post about the struggles of shopping for plus-size people in a boardroom meeting, while Nia discussed “letting go of this idea of being perfect” and said that this was “important for a woman and a man’s journey”.
The conversation later moved on to comparing yourself to others on the platform, to which Sonny said it is “the hardest thing about Instagram” and said people should “delete the Instagram app for a few days” and “refresh your mind”. Meanwhile, Hani talked about understanding that “what you see isn’t everything” when it comes to users on the platform and that “you don’t know what kind of struggles that they’re facing”. Nia responded by saying that you should “let yourself inspire you” and to “be proud of yourself first and foremost”.
Towards the end of the discussion, the panel were asked what they wanted to see more of in terms of diversity. Sonny talked about wanting more diversity in terms of body shape and size, while YAW talked about brands needing to be “more mindful” and “more inclusive” when it comes to collaborations. Members of the panel also talked about tokenism in relation to diversity.
Header Photo: Mark Chilvers/VidCon.