Body Positive Movies and TV Shows You May Not Have Heard Of

Luckily, we live in a day and age where body positivity is becoming an ever-present movement in popular culture, empowering girls all over the world in its tracks. Movies and TV shows do not always have the best track record when it comes to showing diverse body types. It often times showcases a main character with unrealistic body standards, which certainly doesn’t reflect well on young viewers. However, nowadays, more and more shows and movies are highlighting a wide range of bodies, in which having a body deemed “different from the norm” finally isn’t being reduced to a cheap punchline. While most women in this country are plus-size, they represent less than 2% of images in media. Body diversity in media still has a very long way to go, but thankfully there are some examples that stand out. There are so many shows and movies with realistic, body positive characters and premises, many which you may not have heard of, so here are a few you should definitely check out!

1. Broad City

Excited Season 3 GIF by Broad City

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Broad City is a show about two twenty-somethings in New York City who have a knack for getting into wacky and humorous situations. The show is very progressive, feminist, and empowering - all while chronicling Abbi and Ilana’s hilarious antics. The two characters embrace their bodies and their shapes remain a simple fact about them, it is never made out to be more than anything but that. You can watch it on Hulu or Comedy Central.

2. Girls

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Similar to Broad City, Girls follows a group of twenty-somethings in New York who seem to find themselves constantly in funny situations, all of whom have various body types that do not define them in the slightest. One of Girls’ shining moments is the way in which it depicts sex and plus-size women in a very refreshing way: uninhibited and shamelessly. You can watch it on HBO Go.

3. Skam

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A Norwegian treasure, Skam took the world by storm in 2016. It is understandable if you have not heard of it, but it's in your best interest to let that fact cease (I mean it!). Each season chronicles the life and daily activities of a different student from the Hartvig Nissen school in Oslo. The first two seasons highlight the all-powerful girl gang of the school, pictured above. Each character is flawed, unique, and very diverse. One character deals with an eating disorder, and in the duration of the show overcomes it with the help of her friends. You can find the episodes for free on DailyMotion.

4. Insecure

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This show, similar to Girls, seamlessly depicts sex in an uninhibited and refreshing way featuring different body types. Issa and Molly are two best friends who deal with their own flaws, and their insecurities come to the fore as together they cope with an endless series of awkward everyday experiences in a hilarious way. This show is about black women who are relatable and trying their best to get through the struggles of daily life. You can watch it on HBO.

5. GLOW

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The cast of GLOW has diversity in age, ethnicity, and body type. All the characters are equally multi-dimensional, regardless of their physical qualities. The character Carmen, played by Britney Young is highlighted as a member of the team due to her knowledge of wrestling and physical strength. She fights many stereotypes of bigger women as being unhealthy. You can watch it on Netflix.

6. Dietland

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Dietland centers on the character Plum, who, as she is trying to lose weight and is swept up in the world of dieting, actually finds body positivity. While a large part of the first season revolves around the flawed diet culture, it is also a story about a woman who is navigating her life in the financial, professional and social realm, and just so happens to be plus sized. You can watch it on AMC.

7. Girls Trip

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With its four leading ladies (Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, and Tiffany Haddish) rocking their different body types and owning their respective sizes, Girls Trip is not only a funny, but empowering movie in which the women of color are portrayed in an exceedingly fresh and gratifying way.

8. Patti Cake$

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While a comedy film, Patti Cake$ in no way reduces its main character’s size to a punchline. It is quite the opposite actually: Patricia Dombrowski is a confident and aspiring hip hop singer looking to make it big. She just so happens to be plus size, and this movie refreshingly does not make that fact into a colossally big deal, instead, it is just a fact that is neither highlighted nor ignored.

9. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

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This movie is a CLASSIC. The quintessential slumber party movie, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was the OG body positivity movie. The magical pair of jeans, in which the 4 girls with different body types seem to fit into, helps them each learn to accept and love their bodies. One of the shining moments of the movie is when Carmen (played by America Ferrera) tells her soon to be stepmother in a dressing room after she condescendingly picks out a dress for her which doesn’t fit, “We can just tell everybody that Carmen’s Puerto Rican and it never occurred to you that she might be built differently. Or that unlike you and your daughter, she has an ass.” Yaas Carmen!

All of these movies and TV shows are guaranteed to leave you feeling uplifted and more body positive. Not only that, but you’re also likely to have a laugh! It’s important to see the representation of all different body types in the media, as it is reflective of real-life women.  After checking these shows out, always remember one key piece of advice: CONFIDENCE (no matter what size you are) is sexy.