As women we are constantly bombarded with images of what we are “supposed” to look like. Many of these images reflect our hair, makeup (or lack thereof) and even up to the type of bras we wear. As a result, our natural beauty is often under attack. On top of that, for those of us who are also women of color, we are also told that we need to alter our complexions or tame our manes in order to fit into the societal standards of beauty. Well lately those ideologies fixated on fixing us up are being dismantled by gorgeous women all over the world. We may not be able to show you all of them but here are 7 of those body positive women and why we love them.
Virgie is an author, activist and a leading expert and lecturer on fat discrimination and body image. Virgie is also the creator of #LoseHateNotWeight. Her philosophy is grounded in the fact that our bodies are made amazing regardless of their sizes and therefore we should lose the hate we have for them instead of simply losing the weight we think is holding us back from enjoying life.
“Your body does incredible things every moment of everyday. It helps you remember the most beautiful moments of your life. Because of your body, you are able to laugh and experience and do and feel.” – Virgie Tovar
Why We Love Virgie
We love her because she emphasizes how important it is to rid ourselves of the hate we have for our bodies. Her view on how amazing our natural bodies are helps to motivate women (and men as well) everywhere to truly embrace their bodies for what they are naturally capable of achieving.
Pia is a size acceptance activist and blogger at Chronicles of a Mixed FAT Chick. She focuses her activism on “Loving yourself without measure.”
Why We Love Pia
We love her message about loving the body you currently have regardless of what the “standard” of beauty is, or as Pia puts it “…the thin, white, beauty ideal…” Pia believes that “now is the time to flood your Instagram feed with photos of beautiful bodies in all shapes, colors and sizes.”
“I consider myself to be a healthy person, yet other people don’t see it that way because I am in a large body. I want to help break down those stereotypes.”– Pia Schiavo-Campo
Melissa is known for her role as a body acceptance activist and sexuality scholar. Fabello is also the current Managing Editor of Everyday Feminism which is the largest independent feminist media site.
Why We Love Melissa
Not only is she an all around body positivity superShero, she educates others with “thin privilege” on the necessity of including individuals who aren’t cisgender, straight, or able-bodied in the body positive movement.
One of Melissa’s pieces of advice for embracing body positivity messages tothe world is:
“I will stop engaging in media that makes me feel bad about my body. I’ll cancel my subscription to Vogue, stop following that one Tumblr that posts thinspo sometimes, and maybe remove a few beauty bloggers from my Instagram feed.” – Melissa Fabello
Mara is actually Pia Schiavo-Campo’s sister and while the two sisters have a different view on what body positivity means for their individual lives, they both share a very common goal. Mara’s major weight loss helped spark her idea to write a tell all book regarding her journey.
Why We Love Mara
Her mission to inspire women to love their bodies in the most relaxing and healthy way is exactly what true body positivity is all about.
“Weight was something I struggled with my entire life, but this time I went about [weight-loss] in a very sane, relaxed, self-loving way. I learned that if you don’t clean up your diet and eliminate the foods that have control over you, you’re never going to lose weight. It’s about achieving a lifestyle that is healthy – mentally and physically. And I just want to share those lessons.” – Mara Schiavocampo
Jillian is a model, advocate for individuals with disabilities, and Executive Editorial Director for Nicopanda.com. Jillian’s courage to inspire others with disabilities and able bodied individuals alike is one of the main reasons why her body positivity shines throughout.
Why We Love Jillian
Jillian inspires us to be fearless in a society where people are constantly bombarded with a standard that nearly more than half of the population cannot live up to. Therefore, she is no stranger to standing out but that’s what makes her activism so inspirational. As she put it herself, “I feel like society is afraid and doesn’t want it to happen, so a lot of people who are disabled are afraid of criticism. And fashion is the most critical because everyone is looking at you. So I was like, ‘Perfect! I belong here!”
“I wasn’t sure about showing everyone my world because I didn’t know if there would be an audience. We’ve been brainwashed [as a society] not to care about someone who has a disability, or their world.” – Jillian Mercado
Laci is a sex education activist whose activism rose out of what she saw as a need for “nationwide comprehensive sex education and to adopt healthy, realistic attitudes about sexuality.”
Why We Love Laci
Laci’s message first began humbly on her YouTube channel called Sex +, but now that same message is spread across the world through a hefty subscriber list of 1,000,000 with viewers from 196 different countries. Sex education is an essential part of having a healthy society so we commend Laci on her mission to change the way it is taught throughout the nation and hopefully the entire world.
Jamie is an actress, model, and advocate for individuals with disabilities. She recently made history as the first model with Down Syndrome to walk at New York’s Fashion Week. Jamie’s advocacy for body positivity stems from her activism fighting for more legal right and recognition for individuals with disabilities. Not to mention, t she is also a curvy gal herself so she is making waves on the fashion runway left and right!
Why We Love Jamie
She is no stranger to the outside gaze which claims individuals such as herself shouldn’t be in the limelight. Regardless of the criticism that she may receive, Jamie is adamant about showing the world that beauty comes in all types of bodies with an emphasis on disabled bodies that don’t receive the proper credit they deserve.
“It’s a true inspiration being a role model for any young woman to [encourage them] in being who they ar and showing who they are.” – Jamie Brewer
There you have it collegiettes, seven body positive role models! We hope you all enjoyed reading as much as we enjoyed writing this. If there is anyone that you think we’ve missed on this list, comment below with some more body positive women and why you love them!