Body Positive Females Using Their Platforms to Make a Difference

In an era of diets and fitness Instas, summer bods and waist trainers, it’s hard to just stop and love your body as it is, to appreciate the glow in your cheeks and the softness of your skin. No, it’s all about how to push yourself to be something else, something small but curvy, fit but thicc.

Under the pressure of conforming to the ideal body image, I’ve taken on unhealthy eating habits and pushed myself on the treadmill until my chest hurt. Luckily, that time is (mostly) behind me—the unhealthy thoughts still try and rear their ugly heads from time to time—and that is largely due to a shift in the way celebrities and “influencers” talk about their bodies.

Suddenly the conversation is about our relationship with food and the mental toll body aspirations truly take. But this conversation would likely fade into the background if those with a strong platform hadn’t started bringing it to the forefront.

So, I’d like to shine a light on some of my most treasured body positive moments, courtesy of some strong and talented women with a killer following.

Adele

Since the beginning of her career, Adele has been noted as a bigger woman with curves galore. But, she has never discounted the beauty of her figure. In fact, one of my favorite quotes to turn to in moments of eating struggle comes from this angel’s mouth: “I’d rather have lunch with my friends than go to the gym." It’s crucial to remember the joy to be experienced when you stop forcing yourself to be something you aren’t. By this, I mean if you are not a gym rat, don’t force yourself to go more than your body tells you. Don’t shame yourself for putting joy before a flatter stomach.

Ruby Tandoh

You may or may not be an avid viewer of the most charming show to ever exist—The Great British Baking Show—but you need to look up a former baking finalist, Ruby. Young and often insecure, Ruby became known for her tearful fits and self-deprecation. However, Ruby’s using her GBBS platform to instill confidence in people and their relationship with food. Ruby has recently published a book titled Eat Up! which explores the way people interact with food. Prior to the book's release in the UK, Ruby posted multiple quotes from the book on her Instagram, including:

“'Nothing looks as good as healthy/strong/fit feels’ is exactly the same toxic, moralising message as the weight-loss industry, just in a new, lycra outfit.”

Ruby shines a light on the entire spectrum of unhealthy eating, redirecting the conversation to happy and emotionally-healthy eating—not just fitness.

Demi Lovato

Last but certainly not least, my queen and savior... Demi Lovato. I’ve always had a strong love for Demi, ever since Camp Rock. So you can imagine my heartbreak watching her struggle with her mental and physical health over the years and, ultimately, her recent documentary. Demi opens up about her battle with an eating disorder and substance abuse, how she strove to be as gaunt as Amy Winehouse and numb herself from her self-criticism. But the documentary moves away from her past and into her present, how she’s making those struggles her b*tch each and every day.

There’s a strong overtone of self-possession and healthy body practices when Demi discusses how natural sex is, how fierce she feels doing Jiu Jitsu, and the happiness she found when she released herself from those malicious self-expectations. One of my favorite Insta posts by Demi is captioned:

“So, I’m insecure about my legs in this picture but I’m posting it because I look so happy…”

This angel-voiced diva is spreading the word: the perfect post does not mean a perfect body or the perfect angle; it means you’re sharing the joy you feel as yourself, unfiltered.

As each of these noteworthy, body positive women emphasize, everyone’s relationship with their body is different. For some, a solid workout brings pure joy—and that is never to be diminished or judged. But for most, the weight in their stomach after a warm meal or the reflection of utter happiness in an un-posed photo is the best way to tell their body, “I love you. Let’s go have some fun.”