“Body positivity” is a phrase that’s been floating around in the past few months, but what exactly does it entail? Body positivity is the idea that recognizes all body types are attractive and equally valuable, destroying and unlearning the often-unrealistic standards of beauty.
The idea of modern body positivity is for people of all sizes and genders, so body shaming is definitely off the table. Especially in a society that often focuses on Barbie-like standards for women—exposing young girls to expectations that barely anyone can live up to—the Body Positive Movement is becoming more important than ever. It encourages people to improve their overall health and well-being without sacrificing or succumbing to the media’s idealization of what people “should” look like.
More celebrities are fighting back when they see their faces and bodies extremely Photoshopped. Even magazines like Seventeen and Women’s Health are being proactive, with the former no longer airbrushing models and the latter banning phrases like “bikini body” and “drop two sizes” from their cover titles. Even Sports Illustrated made a bold move of putting plus-sized model Ashley Graham in the 2016 Swimsuit edition.
It’s not just magazines finally celebrating women’s strengths beyond the physical. In 2016, Miss Teen USA got rid of their swimsuit competition. Products like Dove, Victoria’s Secret, and Aerie have become more inclusive especially with their recent advertising campaigns.
Buzzfeed’s latest spinoff As/Is recently launched as the website’s beauty and style section, is focusing on body positivity as well as individuality. “BuzzFeed plans to put its own spin on it by positioning As/Is as millennial women's non-judgy older sister,” explained Laura Henderson, Buzzfeed’s senior vice president of marketing. “It will feature content that empowers women rather than tells them who they should be.”
Today, countless people are leading the body positivity movement, and these seven women are at the frontlines in this war against unrealistic beauty standards: