Growing up, I always was the ‘bigger’ one. I’ve fluctuated sizes in my life but have always remained a UK 12-14. In the last year, I’ve had significant weight gain and sometimes I even wear a UK 16 for my skirts/pants. I have felt embarrassed and ashamed of my size and how I didn’t look like other girls and there weren’t many people who were my size I could look up to.
Whilst, I am glad heroin/supermodel chic is not in anymore (Thank you Kardashians?), we definitely have a long way to go when it comes to body acceptance and body positivity.
Come through Lizzo! Lizzo is the ultimate queen when it comes to self-love and confidence. She is one of many in the growing movement shedding light on the importance of body positivity and body acceptance.
PS. I saw Lizzo live during a festival in Sydney earlier this year before COVID-19 (FOMO) and she was SENSATIONAL! DID NOT DISAPPOINT.
Think about how I’m gonna feel when I step up on the catwalk / Think about how I’m gonna feel when I got that ass that don’t stopLizzo from the song fitness
Thick thighs save lives, call me little buttercup / All means necessary /My ass is not an accessoryLIzzo from the song tempo
And probably my favourite
I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100 percent that b****
-Lizzo from the Song Truth Hurts
There is a slight difference between the two terms (despite them being used often interchangeably) that I wanted to point out.
Body positivity is a social (often large) movement that believes everyone should have a positive body image. It also challenges the ways in which society presents and views the physical body. The movement advocates the acceptance of all bodies regardless of physical ability, size, gender, race or appearance.
Whilst body positivity is more saying all bodies are beautiful, body acceptance is being able to accept one’s body regardless of whether one is completely satisfied with it.
Personally, to me, body acceptance is more important to the individual. This is because it involves awareness to one’s body and insecurities, acknowledging them and having the confidence and acceptance to go all Lizzo and call yourself ‘THAT B****- because you’re fucking stunning’. It involves honesty within yourself and that’s honestly such a beautiful thing.
Whilst, body positivity is still very relevant and is great to see large companies and influencers getting behind it, I still honestly think there is still pressure to conform and look a certain way even if you are plus-size. Even though the Kardashians have been influential in shaping young women body image- you can be thick but you need a flat stomach’. You’re still made vulnerable if you post a photo that shows your flaws and your bigger size. WE NEED TO CHANGE THAT.
Especially as someone who has dealt with being curvier and larger that most people, I think it’s so important we have ambassadors in the body acceptance/positivity movement. Whilst there are so many really good fitness influencers out there- most of them are just NOT relatable to me and I DON’T follow a lot of the typical fitness influencer type who drink green smoothies and preach ‘healthy’ living (when really it’s dieting- big no).
This is also because the majority of these influencers are white and as someone who is POC, I need more diverse representation not only for me but my peers and the wider community and for the many impressionable young girls out there who may be struggling with body image.
My post also CHALLENGES you to look at your Instagram feed and really be aware who you are following and if they are a POSITIVE influence to you AND are willing to CHALLENGE SOCIETAL BODY STANDARDS.
5 Accounts I Follow and Recommend to Follow on Instagram for Body Positivity/Acceptance
An Australian comedian with 7.2M followers, I definitely recommend following Celeste if you haven’t already. I especially love the challenges she does where she attempts to recreate an obviously photoshopped image of a model/celebrity. Celeste does it in a way to show that fat rolls, curves, etc are gorgeous and normalised. I love how confident she is in her own body and she is such a positive and charming role model.
Also Kim K in that first picture- honey no.
I absolutely LOVE Chloe and her content! She is so gorgeous (her style is impeccable) and she also comes across really relatable and personal. I remember commenting on one of her Instagram posts about a product she had an ad for about thigh chafing. And I was like I can RELATE to that (and she commented back – squeals-). She is a great account to follow for BODY ACCEPTANCE.
She recently posted a photo where it was her looking gorgeous (as per usual) with a reminder that it’s ok to have stretchmarks captioned ‘Second reminder: Speak to yourself in a kinder way and give yourself a break’. YES- WE NEEDED TO HEAR THAT!
You may know her as Caspar Lee’s girlfriend (lol does anyone miss 2014 British Youtube glory days?). I find her so refreshing (and also gorgeous).
Whilst she is skinny, she is doing a lot in creating a positive space for the body positivity movement. Thus, it is breaking this sort of notion that you have to be at least a UK 12 to be in this movement. You can be skinny too. Body positivity is about celebrating ALL bodies.
Ambar also educated me on that there is a difference with body positivity and body/fat acceptance (even though the two are very intertwined). So in a way- thank you Ambar for inspiring me to write this!!
Jameela Jamil is the ULTIMATE crusader and activist when it comes to radical inclusivity and not just when it comes to body image. She is a huge advocate for POC, LGBT+ and women rights and I definitely recommend following her.
I actually started following her because of her role in the Good Place but I stayed for her content. She made waves when she targeted the Kardashians (in particular) on how damaging it was to promote diet shakes to an impressionable audience. Diet/weight loss shakes don’t work!
She has another account called I Weigh which is the ultimate body positivity inspo. You need to know you weigh SO much more than your weight. Think about the amazing values you have (e.g. making a difference, being a good friend, inspiring to learn and be better, volunteering, etc).
Thank you to Ambar once again for introducing me to this account (she posted on her Instagram Story on accounts she followed and recommended for body positivity/acceptance).
This body acceptance account is probably one of my favourites and is a massive fuck you to diet culture. I really appreciate the wide use of POC models on their page which is so refreshing. Their content feed is very inspirational.
It’s ok to gain weight. It’s ok to do nothing and take time out for yourself. If you need some inspo on self-love and care, this account is PERFECT for you.
I would really like to hear your opinions and I really hope this has been informative. Maybe it has inspired you to change your mindset and see yourself in a more positive light. Remember you are beautiful and fuck anyone who tells you otherwise.
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Anyway until next time,