Body

6 bold, brave body-posi campaigns to set your heart aflame

 

 

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You know what? We’re all sick of being told what is beautiful and what isn’t. We’re sick of seeing the same type of body on advertising, television and magazines. (We’re not sick of those bodies in particular, mind; we acknowledge that they are beautiful. We’re just sick of the fact that it’s always the same type of body being “marketed” as the desirable one.)

We’re also tired of having our real selves — our beating hearts, our colourful passions, our fiery loves and all our stories — flattened into the 2D images of merely what we look like. Often, we don’t look even like the perfect 2D images we’re told to look like; so none of our voices are heard or celebrated.

These new campaigns are setting my heart on fire for what they are bringing into the world — honest, raw remembering and acknowledgment of all the infinite number of women who make up the world. They hold every story, every individual truth, every body sacred and real and wonderful. They remind us that every being — from the glossy, airbrushed model on the billboard, to the mummy who hasn’t slept for days, to the girl growing up with abuse, to the woman who fights a battle every single day to find love for herself — deserves space and freedom to be seen and heard and loved for who she is.

Stand up and thump the air for these six body beauty-full projects.

1. The Honest Body Project

honest body project

Imagine if we didn’t have to carry shame around with us our whole lives; imagine the freedom of being able to tell our stories and release them from the hidden, dark corners of our cells. The Honest Body Project gives women the safe, freeing space to write away their stories of body and self-shame and find their way to self-love. The stories, raw and unedited, are accompanied by portraits of the women themselves, as a celebration of all bodies, particularly those of mothers, and the incredible strength and nurturance they embody for their children.

2. The What’s Underneath Project

whats underneath project

The premise of The What’s Underneath Project is simple — individuals get in front of a camera, and through the course of their ‘interview’ remove pieces of their clothing. This is about honouring the truth that style and beauty is not what you wear but who you are, your spirit, beliefs and passions. It brings to life the age-old adage that beauty is what’s found within. In an age where there’s so much judgment on what we look like, TWUP strips things back to basics and reminds us how important it is to reconnect to the heart and minds of each other, to see what’s underneath.

3. The Raw. Honest. Loved Project

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This is for anyone who’s ever felt she’s not enough, she’s too much of this, or too little of that. Women and men who participate in The Raw. Honest. Loved Project are invited to write out their insecurities and self-doubts and are then photographed with them. That’s pretty raw, brave s**t you got there. Then, five to 10 people in their lives also write out what it is they love about this person — all the beautiful, gorgeous, strong things that s/he’s forgotten or fails to see in him/herself. We access mostly the visual side of the project (the completed photographs), but the project itself is interactive and healing, with participants reading out what they’ve written and hearing what their loved ones have to say about them. Reach for the tissues, and then remember that you are plenty more beautiful than you think you are.

4. A Beautiful Body Project

a beautiful body project

A Beautiful Body Project, by photographer Jade Beall, aims to be one of the largest source of recorded women’s voices about their relationship with their bodies, their challenges, their pains and their loves. Through unedited images, essays, podcasts and videos, ABBP seeks to give women back their voices, their bodies and their strengths, to show younger generations that mainstream medias and corporations don’t have the full and last say on our bodies and selves. Though much of the material is centred on the body, the project is very broad in its scope, encouraging discussion of all the different realities and challenges faced by women throughout the world, covering issues that include birth, aging, eating disorders, illnesses, motherhood and abuse. For what are our bodies if not the holders of all these complex, deep, old experiences and yearnings?

5. #EffYourBeautyStandards

effyourbeautystandards tess holliday

Absolutely loving this hashtag campaign started by plus-size model Tess Holliday and six other body-positive women. On Instagram, the EffYourBeautyStandards account already has more than 163,000 followers (woah!), evidence of just how many people are on board to change the way we talk about beauty and create our own “standards” and definitions. Apart from reposting lots really positive, body-confident selfies from people everywhere, the account also posts up cute memes, quotes and reminders that your body is perfect, beautyfull and worth celebrating just as it is. The movement is also on Tumblr and Facebook, and there’s even a #EffYourBeautyStandards shop so you can wear this statement loud and proud!

6. #LoseHateNotWeight

LoseHateNotWeight Virgie Tovar

Body activist Virgie Tovar started the#LoseHateNotWeight campaign not just to counteract the fat- and body-shamers, but also to help individuals unlearn the self-hatred they’ve long lived with, and to relearn how to love themselves. The hashtag been around for quite a long while now, but is just as relevant as when it started, with people constantly tweeting and Instagramming the hashtag in their personal posts as well as to link to other online body-positive movements and campaigns. It’s bolshy, it’s sassy, it’s joyful — it’ll make you realise there’s so much more to love and think about than dieting.

 

{Photos (from top to bottom): VirgieTovar/InstagramThe Honest Body Project; The What’s Underneath Project; Alana T Photography/The Raw. Honest. Loved Project; A Beautiful Body Project; EffYourBeautyStandards/Facebook; VirgieTovar/Instagram}

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