Instagram account celebrates diversity

Social media to complement ethnicities at Park


Katie Hardie

Seniors Malaika Bigirindavyi and Anna duSaire discuss future plans for their Instagram account, tagged @mixtaslp. Seniors Rosa Sigrúnardóttir and Olivia Massie, not pictured, also run this account.

Evelyn Nelson

Looking through her social media, senior Malaika Bigirindavyi felt inspired by accounts celebrating the expression of one’s identity. Bigirindavyi said she now is doing just that by creating a new outlet for mixed boys and girls.

The instagram account, @mixstaslp, was founded this fall by seniors Anna duSaire, Rosa Rut Sigrunardottir, Malaika Bigirindavyi and Olivia Massie. The founders have created the account to promote SLP students that identify as mixed or biracial and celebrate diversity.

Bigirindavyi said the idea arose while discussing the concept of being mixed race.

“We thought it was just a fun idea to do for our senior year. There are a lot of famous instagram accounts and they are very inspirational, so we thought we should create something more local for girls and boys to follow,” Bigirindavyi said.

As of now, the account has posted several pictures featuring the founders of the account plus students who have sent in photos to feature their ethnicities.

duSaire said she hopes students will see the account as a way to relate to one another concerning ethnicity.

“Sometimes it’s really hard to be bi-racial. Personally I often feel pulled in two different directions, so it’s hard to find myself in the white and black community. It’s nice to have this (account) show that we are beautiful,” duSaire said.

Junior Najib Rahal said he feels the account will create positivity among Park students.

“I can’t really see it being anything negative because (the mixed girls instagram) hasn’t done anything offensive,” Rahal said.

The account hosts several different activities for students to get involved, including the trend #mixedgirlmonday where they highlight different female students at Park.

duSaire said the account is set to not only feature girls who are mixed, but also the group hopes to include boys and their ethnicities that make them feel included.

“There are some dark skins who are mixed, there are some people who look really light who are mixed, there are people who aren’t black and white who are still mixed,”duSaire said.

Bigirindavyi said she believes an increase in followers and having other mixed students involved will help the account thrive.

I think that you will learn a lot about yourself and your peers (if you follow the account), what their background is and the things they go through that you might not know about,” Bigirindavyi said.

Sophomore Alyscia Thomas, who was featured on the account, said she was glad her friends introduced the account to her and was able to help feature all kinds of diverse people around the school.

“It is such a cool idea to bring positivity and make people feel confident about their culture. When you look at someone who is mixed, you don’t really know what they are mixed with since everyone is so different,” Thomas said.