September 14, 2020
Summer is almost over and we thought it would be a good time to talk about…body positivity! When you’re deeply entrenched in the world of health food (as many of us are), it’s easy to be overwhelmed by images of thin, dewy-skinned folks. The messaging—both subliminal and otherwise—often equates weighing less with greater health. But that’s not always true! And the emphasis on such a philosophy can lead to plenty of unhealthy behaviors, such as disordered eating, injurious overexercising, and orthorexia.
If the idea of “body positivity” feels too vague, you may be interested in learning more about Health at Every Size® (HAES). Known by some as the “new peace movement,” HAES honors “differences in size, age, race, ethnicity, gender, dis/ablity, sexual orientation, religion, class, and other human attributes.” The founding principles are based in social justice, non-discrimination, and equality. Not everyone has the same resources. Not all bodies look the same. And not all bodies are meant to look the same! For more on HAES, check out the official site here.
Looking to learn more about body positivity? Here are some folks to follow:
Virgie Tovar is an activist, the author of the book You Have The Right to Remain Fat, the originator of the hashtag campaign #LoseHateNotWeight, and she travels all over delivering lectures on weight-based discrimination and body image. She also hosts the Rebel Eaters Club, “a podcast about breaking up with diet culture—one corndog at a time!” You can follow along here.
Jessamyn Stanley is a self-described “yoga enthusiast and fat femme,” who originally started her practice to combat depression. After posting a few photos of herself doing yoga, she was surprised to receive positive feedback from strangers saying she made them feel like practicing yoga as a non-skinny person was possible. Today, Jessamyn has nearly 450K followers, her own podcast, and is the author of Every Body Yoga. You can follow along here.
Schuyler Bailar is the first trans D1 NCAA men’s athlete and an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion. His posts enlighten followers that people don’t need penises to be men, that eating disorders affect people of all genders, that online harassment is unacceptable, and much more. You can follow along here.
Angel Giuffria is a self-described “cyborg” who uses her platform to talk about her life as an actress, LA resident, and someone living with limb difference. Her photos are beautiful and her captions a lovely mix of honesty and charm. You can follow along here.
Tiffany Ima is a wellness content creator who preaches a philosophy of “simple body confidence.” Her account, delivered in a calming wash of pastels, reminds her followers that they don’t have to eat less to be beautiful, that everyone is valuable exactly as they are, and that being thin isn’t always the same as being well. You can follow along here.
Libby Phillips is the body-positive illustrator behind @libbyshappyproject, an Instagram account that celebrates life in all its forms. “I like to draw about being alive and all the stuff that comes with it,” writes the artist in her bio. She creates soothing images of women with curves, rolls, and body hair reading, lounging, communing with animals, and just being themselves. You can follow along here.
Tarik Carroll is a photographer, body positivity activist, and the founder of the EveryMAN project, “a visual conversation about diversity.” He created EveryMAN to “challenge society’s obsession with hyper masculinity and perfection by capturing men/male identifying from all backgrounds, orientations, gender identifications, personal classifications, races and colors.” You can learn more about the project and follow along here.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our round-up of body-positive influencers. There are plenty more people to follow if you choose to explore this rich, boundless world on your own. And remember: every single body is a good body!