Hey Fab Bats! Been grammin’ on the Insta and, as every glance goes, was bombarded by the many fitness gurus promoting “healthy living”. These users usually don politically correct curves, live off glorious platters of raw rainbow veggies and preach semi-permanent positivity.
But they don’t always walk with their glutes out and their guts in. No one is at 100% battery power on the daily 24. Healthstyle accounts promoting the popular bikini body aesthetic can be damaging to people who only see the profile rather than the 3D image. Now put down your hex material, we’re not here to hate. If you take them with a grain of salt and know that these users are just like you (a.k.a human, I think…) then it is easy to imagine that presenting oneself as sunshine-on-legs takes a lot of work. Hey, for many, it’s their job.
Moving on to the good stuff…
Here are some accounts that embrace the Body as is or as ‘shall be’. Some are recovering from eating disorders and strive to live through past and current insecurities. All take an attainable approach to daily health. Use these as a complement to “traditional” fit accounts or instead of. Enjoy and – once again – add your own favorites!
The committees up top (mind talk) can be so f'ing toxic. While at yoga, I was extremely hot in class and debated if I should take my shirt off or not. I noticed everyone was fully clothed even the "skinny" girls, which made me feel like I couldn't take my shift off. Big girls are supposed to be covered… Byeeee! ✨ I did it though. I did it with lots of positive self talk. ✨ I have to remind myself that my body is GORG and enough. That I can flaunt my "extraness…" extra curves, stretch marks, stomach, breast, and everything else. I don't have to hide myself because I am extra. My size is beautiful. #BeautyIsNotASize! ✨ It is amazingly disturbing how society has pinned many communities against one another or told us we are not good enough if we are not a white male. It is heartbreaking how many of us work extremely hard to accomplish what society tells us is right and/or beautiful. ✨ I've been a #fatbabe most of my life and many of those years, I was told I needed to lose weight, I could never be a model, pageants aren't for me, or my size is obesity. I couldn't wear a bikini, shorts, halter tops, strapless bras, crop tops, and the list could go on and on! #TakeASeat ✨ FUCK that. If I want to wear my bra and cootchie cutters I can. It is my body and I am free to do what I want with it. ✨ I must continue to challenge my inner dialogue and society about who has a right to show off their bodies. I have the right to be comfortable shirtless or not. I have the same rights as my skinner sisters. Society, I will not let you control my existence. ✨ Sisters, love your bodies. You too, brothers! Our bodies are beautiful! Our bodies are needed. Our bodies belong! #HaveYouLovedYourBodyToday? #SoulSistersSunday
The first time I came across Janny on Instagram was through this very photo. Embracing every bit of herself, her bio states a bold mission: “encouraging women to be unapologetically and authentically brave, bold, & beautiful souls while building a sisterhood.” Now you know I’m all about that. It’s always refreshing to follow a true smile who is not afraid to show vulnerability. Janny admits to the occasional emotional depletion, which she immediately follows up with a constructive plan for spiritual renewal (such as meditation). One strong recipe for an immediate follow!
If there is anything that helps to advocate for self empowerment it’s the prospect of not giving into [template:: CORPORATIONS]. Ana, fueled with life force, does something very important: she notes that while a Mother, she is first and foremost a human being and should be treated as such. Showcasing her beauty within, she turns away from the media’s effort to reinforce consumerism through insecurity. Her body serves as a living example that one can strut the streets sans shame. One of her posts regarding her PCOS captions:
“I would be remiss if I didn’t share my feeling with you all today. This account it NOT about being positive all the time. It’s about being ok with being ourselves.
It’s recognizing that we are all so incredibly and wonderfully unique that we shouldn’t feel a need to be anyone else.
Mental health is super important to me and the stigma of talking about it has got to go away. For our own sake.
Here on social media I control everything you see about me and my life. People have curated a perception based on editing and removing instead of embracing completeness. My wholeness depends on being able to see myself as the whole human that I am and that you are and none of it has to be the same.”
Jeffrey Marsh, established viner, LGBT activist and author of How to Be You uplifts minds through self validation. Speaking to ever evolving Identities (of all ages and walks in life, with a special focus on young people learning the new use of labels), Jeffrey uses their own self-acceptance to create a home for others and lead through education. Please watch their interview on Huffington Post Live where they explain the importance of “talking frankly and clearly about who we are”. Jeffrey takes steps to “normalize” genderqueer, being the first non-binary model in a bridal lookbook. Their ability to reach out, listen and comfort people truly warms the heart. On the subject of self-judgment, they stress that “only loving messages are allowed” within their head. Jeffrey’s genuine interaction with fans makes them among one of the most inspiring spokespeople I have seen online. If you have not done so yet, I urge you to flock on over to their work!
This beautiful bearded dame is Harnaam Kaur. Crowned the “Youngest Woman with a Full Beard” by Guinness World Records, she exemplifies what it is to overcome bullying, suicidal thoughts and extreme depression all symptomatic of physical attributes. The fear of “difference” can drive some to extreme lengths. Kaur fights back with a serious sense of self. A model, life coach and activist, she shows us what it’s like to have a choice. She could shave it, which would be just fine too. But, instead she has decided to rock it. Because it is just that, her choice. A real kick and a punch to a strict society, this is the strength body positive advocation needs. I love following her journey and can’t wait to see more.
These are all me. They are all different, and they are all beautiful in their own way. I am not ashamed of who I've been, and for different reasons I am proud of every one of them. I adore who I am. I love who I've been. Human beings are always a process, and there's no reason to hate who you were were just because you're a step further along than they are. #beforeandafter #bodypositive #bodypositivity #throwbackthursday
Writer, Public Speaker and Youtuber, Matt Joseph Diaz recounts the aftermath of losing 270 pounds after 6 years. The excess skin, the surgery, learning to reflect identity through personal style… all are part of his ongoing journey. Adding to the quote “you should love yourself before you can love anybody else”, Diaz states, in his Why Self Love is Important Video, that “you should love yourself because you should love yourself“. His stance on weight loss is one to be remembered: do you want to lose it for your Self or the Other? He encourages reflection on the subject of change through shame. His personal reason for such radical weight loss was – as reflected in his bio – the will to lead a healthier and more social life. I found one quote of his to be particularly powerful:
“I want them to know that you don’t have to like everything about yourself, but you should refuse to hate yourself.”
I can’t wait to see the ripple effect his impact will make outside the online world.
Lolo describes herself as a Disability Lifestyle Influencer. I could not find a more suitable term. Her content showcases not only fashion and style, but also resources as those found on her Youtube channel (e.g How to Wheelchair Transfer). The announcement of her “Sitting Pretty” Youtube project mentions:
“The purpose of the series is to open the doors for others to see what my life as a physically disabled woman looks like. And I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Lol. But it further shows that life is meant to be lived on your own terms and that nobody can stop you, but YOU.”
All I can say is she owns it.
To top off this Sweet Self Sundae, here is a bite from Gina, @nourishandeat. There are a host of recovery Instagrams, but this one resonated strong.
Any off-the-list favorites? Which one spoke to you most? If the length of Rapunzel’s hair is heavier than her upper body mass then would she not be unable to support it while standing up?