Instagram can be a powerful tool of inspiration and positivity, but it can also sadly do the opposite. I believe it is the responsibility of every Instagram user to try and spread kindness, motivation, laughter and happiness. With that in mind, here are my top five smile-inducing Instagram tips:


It’s easy to hide behind the anonymity of an Instagram handle and think you can do whatever you want without repercussions. It’s not! Every post has a power – it can influence someone, it can affect someone’s mood, it can inspire someone. Use that power of the visual medium wisely – and, most importantly, be honest.

Don’t say you’ve cooked things you haven’t cooked. Don’t say, “This is my bum in a bikini” if you have used three apps to alter it, and don’t pretend life is always wonderful, seamless and easy. No one’s is and the more often we connect on a deeper level and acknowledge that the better.

Calgary Avansino in a swimming costume with workout weights

“Water aerobics anyone?! Me and the 80-year-olds know the secret of a great non-impact workout. Plus you can workout while “playing” with your kids in the pool! Undoubtedly the dorkiest summer swimsuit picture on Instagram but hey I’m not really one for bikini cleavage shots!”


Stay in the moment and post what is going on in your life now. People like real time inspiration, not seeing a picture that was obviously taken ages ago, in the studio or on your last holiday. The immediacy of social media is what people thrive on so use that to your advantage. What you are eating, doing, thinking right now is what’s most covetable.

Calgary Avansino without make-up

“I’m always saying our Instagram accounts should be more honest and real… so here goes. No filters, only took one pic, no face tune rubbish (how much do we hate those apps??!! and by the way we can always tell when you use them!) Me, pre-hair and -make-up at 8am heading to the Good Roots London festival. Up all night with sick kids, me sick, sleep what? But so excited to speak in a few hours about all the topics that get my heart beating faster. Here’s to more real Instagram pics… agree?”


If you haven’t done this already, sit down with a pencil and paper and hash out what you want your message to be. When people scroll through your account, what do you want them to feel, to think, and to take away? That’s your message. Keep it tight and true to who you are as a person. As I mentioned in point 1, authenticity is key.

Calgary after a run

“Screw filters… this is how red and exhausted you should look after an extraordinary cardio workout – pushing yourself to your limit feels damn good… don’t sugarcoat it show me your sweaty selfies.”


Don’t play it. In the long run people will respect you more for being yourself and not a manipulated, re-touched version of yourself. Avoid the apps that make you look like a wax doll and embrace the realness of the moment.

Of course we all like a nice picture of ourselves and there is nothing wrong with choosing the best picture of the bunch and throwing on a nice filter, but don’t go overboard in search of the “perfect” picture. It will only end in negative thoughts and can become worryingly addictive. Embrace a little imperfection, it makes the world a nicer place.

Calgary on a windy day

“Warm windy beach blow dries….. new beauty routine.”


What goes around comes around. If you support other Instagram accounts you like, others will do the same for you. It’s a community of interaction, so start interacting positively with images and accounts that you like and the goodness will come back to you. It’s what I like to call the ‘boomerang of kindness’.

Calgary without make-up

“Wet hair, a splash of neon and not a stitch of makeup…. summer rules!”

Follow me now on @calgaryavansino for all my perfectly imperfect moments!

Share This!
Print This!