Our lives are being turned upside down by powerful men and women pushing forward a movement of body positivity. They are in my eyes, bold, fearless and possibly, a little crazy!
The first time I discovered this new trend of the bold and the brave was through @bodyposipanda and what a babe she is! We are all guilty of putting ourselves down.
Modesty has become self-flagellation in which we are looked down upon for feeling content in our own skins. Consider a combination of those toxic friends we (hopefully) have now let go of, or partnerships we realise were not beneficial, they combine to affect a negative self-image, in which our hips are too wide, or our breasts to small. This incremental, drip-drip of self-doubt also crosses genders, as men suffer the same fate. Men regularly feel under pressure to show they are fit, muscular, and appropriately well-sized in the trouser region.
Brain v Biology
The reality is we are mammals. We are bred to compare and find a suitable mate in which physical attributes are still key. The Neolithic hunter still wants a man that can save our bacon from the attacking lion. Our pheromones speak for us long before we truly get to know someone. So, put simply our biological beings are working against us while our brains work to rationalise our decisions.
But getting naked is not about finding a sexual partner. Nor is it about finding love. These men and women are preaching a clear message – self appreciation. It all comes down to the fact that if we respect ourselves others will respect us too. But…it turns out that’s a really challenging thing to do. But why?
Body dysmorphia can be an incredibly serious issue for many, resulting in eating disorders and mental health issues. However, for others, the results are an undercurrent of insecurity. Choosing to dress in order to hide particular physical features, or dreading social encounters in which flesh might be exposed.
I will never forget becoming so hot that I dared to put on a pair of shorts at an event. I took myself off somewhere in order to change, took a deep breath, stepped out, and almost immediately heard the words “look at the state of that.” I kept on walking as my eyes welled up and I finally reached my partner crying. At that moment I was crushed. Looking back, I wish I had walked up to the male in question and said exactly what I thought about him and his comments, perhaps questioning each of his masculine traits in the process, but ultimately it would not have been a problem solver. If I’d have loved myself enough at the time, maybe I would have, or maybe I would have just worn shorts in the first place!
I’ve listed a few of my favourite bloggers and body image revolutionaries. Each have different tips, messages and thoughts about how to overcome our inability to love ourselves. We love you all but we hope you love yourselves more. The list is open to updating, so contact us if you’d like to be added:
Body Positive Sites That Inspire
@scarrednotscared Michelle Elman created her campaign Scarred Not Scared in 2015 after she noticed there wasn’t enough representation for scars. Having had 15 surgeries in the space of 20 years, she began sharing her experiences using the hashtag #ScarredNotScared and in July 2015 posted her first bikini picture online addressing the belief that “People With Scars Can’t Wear Bikinis”.
@keah_maria Keah Brown is the creator of #DisabledAndCute she is a reader, not a fighter. A lover and a writer. She has a B.A. in journalism from The State University of New York at Fredonia.
Keah is an Senior entertainment writer at ClicheMag.com. Her work has appeared in Teen Vogue, ESPNW and Lenny Letter, among other publications.
@ashleygraham Ashley Graham is an American model who has become one of the most popular faces in the modeling industry and particularly for women who classify themselves as curvy (a term Graham prefers over “plus-sized”). An ambassador of the “real beauty” movement, which celebrates what real women’s bodies look like rather than the impossible standards set by the fashion industry. She has graced the covers of the world’s biggest fashion magazines, including Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar and has walked the runway for major fashion brands and designers.
@darth_bador Emily Bador’s first body-positive post was uploaded in December and racked up more than 12,000 likes. The caption was brutally honest: Bador writes of “hating herself,” even at her thinnest, and feeling that she wouldn’t ever be good enough unless she was skinny.
@alokvemnon ALOK (they/them) is a gender non-conforming performance artist, writer, educator, and entertainer. Their eclectic sense of style, political comedy, and poetic challenge to the gender binary have been internationally renowned. Alok was recently the youngest recipient of the prestigious Live Works Performance Act Award granted to ten performance artists across the world.
You’re Welcome Club celebrates human diversity in the broadest sense. Loving all shapes, sizes and colours, being inclusive of all kinds of gender identities and sexualities, and embracing all body types. Illustrations by Hilde Atalanta (creator of The Vulva Gallery).
@mamacaxx Mama Cax, born Cacsmy Brutus is a Haitian-American Blogger, Advocate, Motivational Speaker and Model represented by JAG Models. Her innovative prosthetic leg and message of self-love has landed her features in magazine like: TeenVogue, Cosmopolitan, Essence Magazine, Glamour, Refinery29, ASOS Magazine, StyleLikeU and i-D.
@I_am_morgie Indiana-born fitness blogger, Morgan Mikenas decided to stop shaving her body hair. Her commitment to conform to mainstream beauty and traditional femininity had driven her crazy, and she bore the scars of her chronic insecurity. Morgan had been conditioned from an early age that excessive body hair was totally unacceptable for girls. She knew it, the girls at school who made fun of her leg hair knew it, in fact at some point in our lives we’ve all known it. And now it’s time to unlearn it.
@harnaamkaur Age 25, Harnaam Kaur holds the world record for the youngest woman with a full beard. A body positivity advocate, Kaur endured years of bullying before getting into anti-bullying and empowerment. Kaur says “I don’t think I believe in gender. I want to know who said a vagina is for a woman and a penis is for a man, or pink is for a girl and blue is for a boy. I am sitting here with a vagina and boobs – and a big beautiful beard.”
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