Rise of Body Positivity
Around the mid '90, when there was a culture of weight loss programs, an organization called the Positive Body Movement made its appearance, It was founded in 1996 by Connie Sobczak, this movement was a revolutionary one because it promoted self-love and acceptance as opposed to shame and food restrictions.
The movement remained in the fringe until mainstream and social media (Twitter and Instagram) picked it up and gave it a hashtag #BoPo.Since then it's been on the rise, not without some bumps in the way. Still, it continues to gain momentum, Sometimes it's hard to understand it because now that it's gone more mainstream, the original message has been diluted. Body Positivity is much more than just liking your looks.
Body Positivity was created to help people who felt marginalized due to their bodies (they were fat or had a different color or shape) to feel that they could love themselves just as they were, that they didn't have to be as those with privileged bodies to be entitled to self-love. As the concept became more widespread and commercialized. the basic intention has been watered down and it has adapted its meaning in other ways.
Body Positivity's on the rise because there are some great reasons people have embraced it. First, it has inspired people to focus on health issues more than beauty standards. There's no room for stereotypes in the language used by #BoPo, this creates the grounds for more social acceptance. By recognizing that there's a stigma around different body types that weighs society down, it tries to change it or alter it for the better.
Second, it managed to hold the fashion industry accountable. What this means is that the next generation is not going to be raised surrounded by images of super thin and perfect models, the imagery will be a more relatable one. It started with plus-size body-positive brands catering to that target and then it grew as it became mainstream.
Finally, BoPo has created a space for being healthy and exercising that embraces all types of bodies, One example of it is Curvy Yoga where yoga and body acceptance come together.
Body positivity is on the rise because it celebrates body diversity and encourages physical and mental health and that inspires people. It's been somehow distorted by the diet industry, who have capitalized on the inspiration of the movement, still, it keeps growing.
20 Models And Bloggers Making An Impact In Body Positivity
Want to know who is leading by example in the Body Positivity movement? Take a look at these models and bloggers that are making an impact on social media promoting self-affirmation and expression, some fashion-forward thinking and how to love ourselves.
In their blogs and social media accounts like Instagram, they are encouraging people to break some rules set by the fashion industry and to celebrate womanhood, no matter your shape or your size. How are they doing this? by maintaining a healthy and optimistic sense of identity, they want to help people become more confident in their own skin.
Who are they? Let's take a look.
1. Jessamyn Stanley
Source: Jessamyn Stanley/Instagram
Jessamyn is a feature body positivity advocate in many outlets, her Instagram account has as of today 401K followers. She is a Yoga Instructor and a writer and her message focus on the freedom to embracing yourself totally. She has stated that Body Positivity is an "antidote" to all the overwhelming body negativity adopted by society. She encourages women, through Yoga to rebel in their strength and beauty.
2. Gabi Fresh
Source: Gabi Fresh/Instagram
Gabi started blogging for LiveJournal in their fashion forums and that's where she discovered Body Positivity. She found out that there was a space for plus size women on the internet so she decided to launch her own blog. She started her blog because she didn't think there were enough resources for on-trend women sizes 14 and up so she decided to fill that void.
She inspires women to take risks and tell them, through her blog and Instagram account, that regardless of your size or fashion rules, you still can have lots of fun with clothes. She recently has launched a collection in collaboration with Playful Promises and is the co-founder of the plus size brand Premme.us
3. Dana Falsetti
Source: Dana Falsetti/Instagram
Dana is a yoga instructor that also represents Body Positivity with her inspiring yoga classes. She likes to call the movement, Body Justice instead of Body Positivity because for her is not just about self-love and self-care, it is about the way in which people of different body types and sizes are view and marginalized.
She thinks that Body Positivity helps people not only by promoting self-confidence but also by promoting self-assuredness, that's what gives people all the tools needed to keep living their lives to the full and appreciating all they have to offer.
4. Louise O'Reilly
Source: Louis O'Reilly/Instagram
Louise is an international plus-size model, she's also a blogger who writes about beauty, fashion, and travel. On her blog Style Me Curvy, she celebrates curvy women and fashion, within her blog she includes a section called online body type guide which is a super helpful resource for women because it serves as a body image encouragement and fashion expertise.
5. Megan Jayne Crabbe
Source: Mary Jayne Crabbe/Instagram
Mary Jayne aka @bodyposipanda in her Instagram account is a writer who has dedicated her social accounts and blog to posting images without any airbrushing and to encourage women to love themselves just as they are. She now writes for The Unit, and online body positive magazine, her posts are all BoPo and of varied topics like recovery, diet culture, self-love, food, exercise
Thamarr, originally from Jacksonville, Florida is a Parisian-obsessed fashionista that started her blog, Musings of a Curvy Lady based on that obsession and it grew from there, She's a body positive advocate who loves fashion and sees it in all silhouettes. In her Insta account and in her blog she voices encouragement to women, telling them to love their body and to stop being afraid to experiment with fashion.
7. Candice Huffine
Candice is a magazine cover star who followed her dream of first, becoming a model and then a marathon finisher. She's a force to be reckoned. For her body positivity is a journey, she thinks there's no magic formula or an actual tutorial on how to become comfortable in your own skin, she just knows it takes a lot of work. She encourages women to be patient, to be grateful and to step out of their comfort zone so they can challenge their limits and be amazed by the results.
She's the creator of @PSYouGotThis, a movement to get more people to start running. She also created an activewear collection for all sizes called Day/Won.
8. Tanesha Awasthi
The reason Tanesha started her blog, Girl With Curves, was to empower curvy women to wear what they love regardless of the fashion rules. She likes to share beauty tips, advice, and some inspiration. For her, Girl with Curves is more a way of life, an attitude, standards on how you should live your life regardless of your shape, weight or size.
9. Jenny Gaither
Jenny is a wellness coach, a dancer and a SoulCycle instructor who made her life mission to help women beat their insecurities so they can embrace life and get from being self-conscious to self-confident. She's the founder of The Movement Foundation, a non-profit organization to help boost people's self-worth through fitness. She also created We DareTo Bare, which is the movement's charity fundraiser.
10. Zach Miko
Zach was an actor in New York and he was always on a diet. One day his agent sends him to a modeling gig, turns out Target was looking for plus-size models. The campaign had such a good response that he is the first plus-size model to be signed in major modeling agencies. He's still modeling and encouraging men from his Instagram account and Podcast to take themselves seriously and to stop apologizing for their bodies or make jokes about themselves.
11. Mama Caxx
Mama Caxx's real name is Cacsmy Brutus, her journey started young. When she was 17 she was diagnosed with lung and bone cancer and she had to have her right leg amputated. After her surgery, she didn't think she was going to be able to love her body because of the prosthetic so she turned to social media to express herself. She now is a model who's trying to raise the visibility of disabled bodies. She talks about her experiences in her blog.
12. Mirna Valerio
Mirna is an "ultramarathoner", she's changing the way people look at runners. So if anyone ever tells you that you're weak or out-of-shape or too big for running, just look at her Insta account and at her blog Fat Girl Running. She's also the author of the book A Beautiful Work In Progress. Running hasn't transformed her physique and that's totally Ok for her.
13. Em Ford
Source: Em Ford
Em's a Londoner that developed adult acne and that's when she started to post makeup tutorials showing both sides (her face with and without makeup). She received tons of negative comments and all of them are condensed in her video You Look Disgusting, but she has a very simple and to the point message for everyone, "You look beautiful. Don't let anyone tell you differently. Even yourself."
Ragini is a plus-size fashion blogger from India. She has a fondness for the eccentric (as you'll see on her Insta photos). In her blog A Curious Fancy, she writes about fashion, she shares about brands, other blogs, and inspirations. She has never been concerned with what's flattering.
15. Jes Baker
Jes has been on the mainstream since, in 2016, she recreated an Abercombie & Fitch photo shoot (because she was outrage about their CEO comments on why they didn't sell extra-large clothing), creating Attractive & Fat which were her own ads featuring plus-sized bodies. The series had some very positive comment and some very bad ones. She has written 2 books "Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls" and "Landwhale".
16. Tatyana McFadden
Tatyana was born with Spina Bifida, but that didn't stop her to make her dream come true. Throughout her career as a Paralytic Athlete in a wheelchair track and field. she has gained 17 medals, 7 of them gold ones. In 2018 she won the Boston Marathon. For her, a positive body image is not an easy thing, still, you have to love your body because you don't have another one.
17. Chastity Garner
Chastity, a plus-size blogger, lives in California and she started her blog, Garner Style while she was working as a stylist. In her blog, she encourages women to be fearless and to love life looking fabulous, not letting size dictate their style.
18. Michelle Elman
Michelle is a body confidence coach that's always posting messages and facts about fat on her Instagram. She aims to help people realize that their bodies are enough right now, so they need to start living right now.
19. Stephanie Yeboah
Stephanie is in her '20, she lives in London and is a plus-size blogger who loves gadgets, comics and science fiction. She writes about all that in her blog, Nerd about Town, where she also emphasizes mental health, being confident about your body and loving who you are.
20. Keah Brown
Keah is a writer, she has written several essays about her cerebral palsy and about her mental struggle dealing with it. For her, body positivity means embracing every bump, scar, and bruise even when it feels impossible to do so. She always manages to find a silver lining, which is pretty inspirational.
Quotes On Body Positivity
"Hating our bodies is something we learn, and it sure as hell is something that we can unlearn." -Megan Jayne Crabbe. Body Positive Power: How learning to love yourself will save your life
"The reality was my life wasn't miserable because I was curvy; I was miserable because I thought I'd be happier if I were thinner." -Brittany Gibbons. The Clothes Make the Girl (Look Fat?): Adventures and Agonies in Fashion
"The best gift you are ever going to give someone - the permission to feel safer in their own skin. To feel worthy. To feel like they are enough." -Hannah Brencher
Body Positivity continues to rise in the company of these inspirational models and bloggers, who have embraced the movement and have given it a powerful voice.