5 heroes for beauty and body image
In a world so frequently photoshopped to “perfection”, it’s inspiring, hopeful and so refreshing to see people just being themselves and being champions for loving who you are, as you are.
Here are a few of my favourite body image and beauty heroes who are challenging normalised beauty standards and offering new conversations — which is just what a beauty full mind is all about. There are HUNDREDS of other people changing the conversation and adding new loving definitions of beauty in the world. These are just five of my favourite for the moment and I’m always excited to hear of more. Tell me who your body image heroes are in the comments below – or better yet, be your own hero (and tell me what you’re doing!)
Jes Baker, The Militant Baker
Author and founder of the hugely popular blog The Militant Baker, Jes is on the forefront of all things body positive. If you haven’t already been reading her blog, head over there STAT and start. Her pieces are thought-provoking, smart and always fun, offering important and brave new insights into this fickle (and often hurtful) world of beauty. Check out her fab TEDx talk too, Change your world, not your body.
Yes, we all know about the horrible shaming of celebrities’ bodies that go on – so much so that it’s all just become background noise now. I love that Demi Lovato continues to speak about body image and her own previous struggles with an eating disorder, thereby turning the horrific incidences of body shaming into a space of encouragement and support for other young girls suffering in the same ways. (Compared to writings of other body image activists, the things that Demi says or tweets may seem oversimplified. But her words are still a step in a strong direction and are of the same cultural language of millions of young girls who are on the receiving end of this constant barrage of media messages about what it means to be “beautiful.)
— P!nk (@Pink) April 13, 2015
Coming in a bit late here, but P!nk’s recent slamming of body-shaming trolls is still as excellent as ever. I’ve adored her since her very first music video, Most Girls and well, just about every other video from then onward, for the alternative image she gives of strength, agility, fitness and a girl just really enjoying the movement of her own body. A few tweets after her reply to the trolls, she posted another photo of her herself with her daughter and the words, “Willow said to me the other whilst grabbing my belly-“mama-why r u so squishy?” And I said.. “b/cuz I’m happy baby”. Yes, and yes.
Can we all please expand our conversations to talk about qualities beyond just what we look like? To also include happiness, peace, gratitude, contentment, compassion, strength and all the infinite other things we own?
Melissa A Fabello
I first came across Melissa A Fabello through her writing and podcasts with Everyday Feminism. She does a whole lot more than just speak and work on body image issues – she also does loads of work on sex education and a broad range of feminist issues. I love that she dares to address issues that mainstream society might not like to hear (Check out this article about thin privilege) and pushes the boundaries of the body positive movement so we’re always on our toes and thinking. She’s also got loads of empowering videos over on YouTube too, where she vlogs regularly on a whole bunch of issues.
Tess made news in recent months as being the largest model to be signed by a major agency (Milk in London) as well as fronting a load of different campaigns. That’s after years of modelling with a whole host of other places and being featured in popular American publications such as People magazine. At a size 22, she’s much larger than most plus-sized models (well, when most “plus-sized” models are around a size 10 – 14, that’s not saying much) and she’s showing the world that beauty really doesn’t come within the narrow parameters we’ve been made to believe. Not just a pretty face though, she’s right up there with the best of the body-positive babes, challenging normalised (but unrealistic) beauty ideals. She runs her own blog (a great great mix of news on fat fashion, discussions on body-related issues and insights into her own personal work and life) and founded the #effyourbeautystandards movement (as a hashtag and on Instagram).