Get your mind out of the gutter and get to know these SERIOUSLY badass moms.
Who knew that “M.I.L.F” meant “Moms I’d Like to Follow”?
YES, we realize that Fergie is having some fun with the more common definition of M.I.L.F in her new song “M.I.L.F. $,” but it definitely stands as a defiant ode to all the “I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T” mothers who —even with all their families, spouses, and responsibilities — are still powerful, proud, and getting paid.
These are not parents who are gossiping in the drop-off lane at school. These are fierce moms. These are entrepreneurial moms. These are bad-ass moms, the kind ANYONE would want to follow, either on Instagram or into battle. These moms, to quote Mrs. Stacey Ann Ferguson, “got that MILF money.”
The video for her M.I.L.F. anthem has to be seen to be believed:
Is the video insane and hyper-sexualized? OF COURSE IT IS. They’re drenching themselves in actual MILK, which is weird and hilariously suggestive and sure-fire fetish fodder. Do some people hate it and some people love it? OF COURSE, THEY DO.
But Fergie and her pals — which include Kim Kardashian, Ciara, Devon Aoki, Alessandra Ambrosio, Chrissy Teigen, and more — are all obviously in on the joke. They’re flaunting stereotypes, exaggerating them to beyond-camp levels, and the end result is pretty effective.
Do they deny that M.I.L.F. means “Moms I’d Like to F***”? Nope. But they also make the case for the term having a double-meaning. It can mean both sexy moms AND cooler-than-cool, getting-shit-done moms — moms that we should all be following socially to bask in their awesomeness. (The song even has its own Instagram account.)
This got us thinking about some of OUR favorite moms on Instagram. Most aren’t the type to drench themselves in milk and seduce a delivery-boy (never can tell with FLOTUS), but if you asked us to point to our favorite independent, take-no-prisoners mothers online, these are the 14 moms we would DEFINITELY suggest that you follow.
Michelle Obama (@michelleobama)
This one is a no-brainer. We have a tremendous First Lady of the United States at the moment. She’s an active, proud advocate for causes that she believes in, she handles herself with dignity and grace, and, to quote Fergie, her “hair and nails is on fleek.” Wherever this mom goes, we should all definitely follow.
Jenny Lawson (@thebloggess)
Jenny Lawson is one of the funniest bloggers EVER. If you don’t believe us, check out her hysterical New York Times best-selling books, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and Furiously Happy, and you’ll understand why we love her so. And her IG account is wonderful — warm, weird, and funny, and a total celebration of how much she obviously enjoys being a mom.
Karen Walrond (@heychookooloonks)
Karen Walrond is a force to be reckoned with. She’s a best-selling author, TEDx speaker, international activist, a photographer (her Instagram shots are BEAUTIFUL), and, of course, a proud mother. Her great website Chookooloonks is all about “living with intention and a sense of adventure.” Basically, she’s the coolest mom on the block and one that any kid would be proud of.
Joy Cho (@ohjoy)
Joy Cho’s Instagram account is so gorgeous and beautifully crafted that it almost looks more like an epic Pinterest board more than one person’s personal photo-stream. But that’s just what Joy does. She’s the founder of the Oh Joy graphic design studio and you can find her designs in stores all over the world. And her IG pictures, where she proudly shows off her daughters surrounded by her designs, are almost too cute to believe.
Kristen Howerton (@kristenhowerton)
How can you NOT love a mom with a website titled “Rage Against the Minivan”? Kristen Howerton is the mom of four kids, a therapist, and a hell of a good writer. Her true stories of the victories and indignities of parentings are amazingly on-point and revelatory, AND she also created the way, way too hilarious Instagram accounts @assholeparents and @whenchildrendressthemselves. This is a mom you HAVE to follow.
Joni Edelman (@joniedelman)
Joni Edelman is the editor-in-chief at Ravishly, and she frequently writes beautiful, honest looks at parenting and what it means to be a mom. She also wrote a fantastic essay in 2015, all about her decision to stop worrying about her weight. To quote her, “You want to really blow people’s minds? Try this at home: Be fat and happy. Be unapologetically fat. Wear a bikini, and mean it. Eat pizza and ice cream and enjoy it. Drink up your life and a bottle of wine, and make no apologies.” (Good for her.)
Margaret Jacobson (@margejacobsen)
Margaret Jacobson is a professional consultant, activist, photographer, and writer, who captures stunning moments with her family on her IG account. She writes frequently about co-parenting with her ex-husband, most recently, in a powerful essay for Romper titled “Why Losing My Family Bed Was So Devastating For Me.” She’s honest, amazing, and seems like such an engaged, cool mom that it’s hard not to like her.
Latham Thomas (@glowmaven)
Who’s more bad-ass than a mom who holds other moms hands during childbirth? No one, right? That’s why Latham Thomas is so inspirational. She’s a professional doula who started Mama Glow, a web community all about promoting holistic wellness for pregnant women, and she’s become an international expert on pregnancy and nutrition. If that’s not enough, she takes GREAT Instagram pics.
Graciela Gauna (@gracielaraquel)
Graciela Gauna is an Argentinian-Dutch mother, currently living in the Netherlands, who has attracted over 24,000 Instagram followers with her catalog-perfect snapshots of life with her husband and two sons. Yes, it helps that they’re an adorable family, but Graciela does a truly remarkable job of catching those gorgeous, honest, optimistic parenting moments that make it hard not to smile.
Liz Gumbinner (@mom101)
Liz Gumbinner is a mom who knows what’s cool. That’s why she co-founded Cool Mom Picks, the uber-useful shopping blog about all things “cool and helpful to parents.” If you need a better stroller or a birthday present to put all of the other moms to shame, you have to visit Cool Mom Picks. And Liz is pretty cool herself on Instagram — her pics (not picks) are compelling, fun, and seriously joyful.
Denene Millner (@mybrownbaby)
Denene Millner is the founder of MyBrownBaby.com, a site with the amazing mission to help African-American moms “sort through the beautiful struggle that comes with being black parents in America.” She’s also a national media personality, a self-described “lover of babies and shoes,” and a New York Times best-selling author, many times over. And her passion for parenting and helping other moms definitely appears on her IG feed — you will love it.
Rebecca Woolf (@girlsgonechild)
Rebecca Woolf is a prolific mom blogger, who started her popular site Girl’s Gone Child after the birth of her first child in 2005. She’s now the mother of four and has written for many different outlets, been featured in major publications, and wrote the book Rockabye: From Wild to Child. Her Instagram shots are irreverent and beautiful, and she writes like the mom best-friend you wish you really had.
Morgan Shanahan (@the818)
Morgan Shanahan looks like she’s having a lot of fun being a mom. Not only is she a professional blogger and screenwriter — you should check out her site the818.com — but she’s also the Senior Parenting Editor for Buzzfeed. She tells heartfelt and funny stories about being a parent, even about having a child old enough to start telling her “Don’t put that on Instagram.” (So, maybe check out her IG account before it’s too late.)
Mia Wenjen (@pragmaticmom)
Mia Wenjen calls herself a “Tiger Mom Failure,” but she’s anything but. Her site, Pragmatic Mom, is all about parenting, kids’ books, and how we all need to take active, interested roles in our children’s education. Her recommended book lists and educational tips are FANTASTIC, and she co-founded Multicultural Children's Book Day, an event that encourages parents and educators to seek out diverse reading material for their kids. If you need a pragmatic mom friend (don’t we all?), she’s definitely a mom you should be following.