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Dear Columbia: Here are Two Must-Follow Local Instagram Accounts

By Randy Wicker

In the world of social media, we have so many options on what to read, who to

follow, and whether or not their opinions actually matter. I wanted to introduce y’all to

two local bloggers that are not only changing the spirit of Instagram, but also changing

the way the young people of Columbia view themselves and their community.

He has become one of the most influential men on the fashion scene, not only

here in the South but all across the United States. Davis is changing the way we think

about body standards for men—which is something we often do not discuss.

Davis lets you know it’s okay that you’re gaining weight; he guides you through

risk-taking outfits that aren’t traditional looks for a husky guy. He’s funny, smart, and

wears a blazer like no one I’ve ever seen. Not only is Davis admired by over 71,000

Instagram followers, he’s the father of two little girls and a husband.

Oh, and did I mention he recently just quit his job as an educator, a job he’s held

for the past eight years? Born and raised right here in Columbia, Davis is a NAACP

Image Award nominee for his best-selling book, Notoriously Dapper: How to Be A

Modern Gentleman with Manners, Style and Body Confidence. Other than his famous

blog and helpful book, he’s also a dancer and activist. He’s a model for Chubbies, and

you’ve probably seen his face and body in recent Target ads.

His Instagram account is fun, positive, and very inspiring for men like myself, who

may not really care about a six pack, but are concerned about how clothes actually look

while wearing them. We all deal with failing to meet society’s body standards

sometimes, but Davis’s posts will make you feel like you’re not alone when you’re

standing in front of that mirror.

From food and cocktails to spreading positive messages about the female form,

Holly Heaton has shown us how her beautiful soul and courage can influence a

generation of young women. Born and raised in Athens, Georgia, she now calls

Columbia home—and we are all better off for it.

Heaton’s eye for a great plate has helped many local couples resolve the whole

“where should we eat” song and dance many of us have faced. Her descriptions of food

makes you feel as if you’re sitting there, breaking bread right beside her. With over

6,000 followers, Heaton’s fan base is primarily female. She uses her platform to

encourage the modern woman to eat whatever she wants and dress however she

wants. But for all of us, Heaton reminds us: it’s okay to be truthful about the way you

feel about yourself. She shares her ups and downs in life, telling you amazing stories

that some of us would never even tell our closest friends. She writes each heartfelt

caption with so much freedom, truth and most importantly love.

Heaton is not just capturing amazing photos of local food—homegirl has done

her homework! From her travels overseas, actually taking the time to talk with local

chefs, attending Farm to Table events, and local festivals, she’s proven to be the kind of

gal who rolls up her sleeves and dives right into something new. I’ve had the pleasure of

cooking with her, drinking with her, and just talking about life with her. Her spirit has

changed the way a lot of local people view themselves and others.

“MessyKitchGirl” has received a lot of positive attention, but it’s very important to

keep that train going. If her Instagram account isn’t the best source on the web about

food and dining in Columbia, it’s damn near close. But it’s not only about the food

preparation—it’s about how certain foods make you feel about yourself. Her dedication

for teaching self-love through experiencing food and culture is a moving message we

can all get behind.

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