Meet Agnes Muljadi,
Vegan Ballerina & Social Media Influencer
There is a story behind every carefully curated Instagram feed. Agnes Muljadi - ballerina and social media influencer - has a story of intense dedication to her art and her ethics. A dancer and a vegan, she is leveraging her digital reach to drive attention to the brands and products that share her commitment to people, animals, and the planet. We are honored to share her story, the responsibility she feels to vote with her dollars, and exactly what she is cropping out of her online presence.
Before you were on Instagram, before you were an influencer, you were a ballerina. Tell us about your great love affair with dance. When did it start? How has it changed your life?
My mom was a dancer and we used to watch ballet performances all the time. I fell in love with the art form very early on and I started taking classes when I was just 7 years old I think. Through ballet I learned the importance of focus, repetition, discipline, work ethic and many other life skills. Ballet made me the person that I am today.
Today, you’re sharing that love through Instagram, among other outlets. A quick glimpse at your grid and we see the life of a successful woman, full of beauty, and design, a touch of urban living, and a lot of feminine flair. We have to ask, if we were to look behind the scenes what would a day in the life look like? What gets cropped out of this carefully curated grid?
Oh yes the perfection of a curated Instagram feed is quite strange, isn’t it? I lead a very normal life and I guess what gets cropped out of my feed includes the normal daily grind like having too many things to do in one day, running around town without makeup and dealing with the pressure of having to be in two different places at once. I also find it interesting that most of my ballet images portray a sense of satisfaction with whatever pose I was in at the time, when in fact I am rarely happy with what I do in a ballet class. There are always so many things to correct. For me, dance is a constant journey of trying to strive for that level of perfection that is always just out of reach.
In addition to dance, your stories reflect a deep passion for an environmentally conscious lifestyle. Have you always been vegan?
When I became vegan about two years ago, it started off as a diet. My naturopath told me to become vegan to naturally heal the fibroids I had at the time. But since then, my veganism journey has evolved quite a bit thanks to all the inspiring people I’ve met in the vegan community here in LA and also the countless documentaries I’ve watched on Netflix about plant-based lifestyles. Now I have come to understand the importance of veganism and sustainability as a lifestyle vs. a diet. I guess what makes my daily choices fulfilling is knowing that I am constantly voting with my dollars to support a lifestyle that is kind to our planet - people and animals.
Surrounded by fast fashion and competitive capitalism, it isn’t always easy to choose responsible products and sustainable brands. As an athlete, have you been able to find products that meet your ethical and environmental standards?
These days I only use products, whether food, clothing and cosmetics, that are vegan, cruelty-free, sustainably made and were created adopting fair trade practices which include fair wages and sustainable working conditions.
I would say it’s been surprisingly easy to find athletic products that are in line with my lifestyle. I always look at the materials carefully and obviously I don’t wear any athletic attire or shoes that are made out of animal-based materials. Most of my dance leotards are handmade by other ballet artists and I am always happy to support artisan made products.
These values, along with your unique artistic eye and your dedication to producing consistent content have in part enabled you to grow an impressive following on Instagram. Tell us about your role as an influencer. What is your relationship to the businesses you promote?
I truly believe in the mission statement of the brands I collaborate with. Even though the content might be sponsored, the products featured on my feed are a true reflection of my lifestyle. I think one of my roles as an influencer is to introduce a lifestyle and products that are good for your health, mind, body and soul.
Instagram has given me a valuable platform to start a dialogue about two things that I am passionate about: ballet and the vegan lifestyle. I find it extremely rewarding to introduce brands who genuinely care about improving the wellbeing of the people, animals & environment through their use of health-conscious, sustainable and ethical practices. If my content helps even just one person to realize that they're constantly voting with their choices and dollars, then I would consider my social media presence to be worthwhile.
I would love for my audience to start asking important questions such as: when I buy this piece of clothing, am I voting for fair wages or unsustainable sweatshop practices? It is easy to be ignorant about our daily choices, after all we all lead such busy lives. However it’s important to recognize that change always starts with one person: you. Being mindful of that responsibility has a powerful ripple effect that can transform your own life, the planet and the lives of other people and animals for the better.