Leaders of Body Positivity
Author: Samantha Thuesen
We’re always told that “confidence is key,” but in today’s world, confidence is difficult to gain, especially for women. With appearance on social media becoming a priority in so many people’s lives, we’re constantly bombarded with the image of the “perfect body.” It’s crucial that women, young girls especially, have strong female role models who promote healthy bodies rather than “perfect” ones. Thankfully, there’s a good list of celebrities who are determined advocates for body positivity.
Jennifer became widely known after being casted as Katniss in The Hunger Games. Many people in Hollywood commented on her weight, arguing that with society’s standards, she was too full-figured for the part. Here are a few statements made by Jennifer regarding her appearance, provided by an article from People.com:
“I’m never going to starve myself for a part … I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner.’ That’s something I was really conscious of during training, when you’re trying to get your body to look exactly right. I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong – not thin and underfed.” – to Elle
“The world has a certain idea – we see this airbrushed perfect model image … You just have to look past it. You look how you look. And be comfortable. Like, what are you gonna do, be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That’s just dumb.” – to Yahoo!
“Shows like the Fashion Police and things like that are just showing these generations of young people to judge people based on all the things that are wrong, and that it’s okay to just point at people and call them ugly and call them fat. They call it ‘fun’ and welcome to the ‘real world,’ and that shouldn’t be the real world. That’s going to keep being the real world if we keep it that way. It’s not until we stop treating each other like that and just stop calling each other fat … with these unrealistic expectations for women. It’s disappointing that the media keeps it alive and fuels that fire.” – to Yahoo!
Jennifer is saying that this world needs more confidence and kindness. We need to prioritize health over perfection, so younger generations can do the same. We need to see others for who they are rather than how many flaws they have. We need to live by the mantra “don’t care about what other people think,” but at the same time, we need to change the negative way those people are thinking.
Amber is best known for her role as Mercedes Jones in Glee, as well as her win on the 17thseason of Dancing with the Stars. Krislyn Domingue from For Harriet writes, “…Amber Riley has exhibited a continued commitment to body positivity throughout the years. Whether in magazines, interviews, in the studio, or on-air, Riley carries a positive and powerful message of self-love.” Here are a few inspiring statements made by Amber, provided by an article written by Jessica Torres from Revelist:
“I will never forget to walk tall ever again. No matter what is said or done to me that might want to cower me.”
“I am a beautiful, courageous, black African queen with more curves than highways and more lumps than my mother’s potato salad and you will deal.”
“Sometimes they don’t recognize your value, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prove them wrong.”
“I love myself and that’s enough.”
Amber shows everyone how to be confident. She’s a beautiful, successful woman who is happy with herself, and that’s exactly the kind of person women everywhere need as a role model.
Sonya Renee Taylor
Sonya is an author, poet, and the founder of The Body is Not An Apology movement. Here’s an excerpt from the website: “The Body Is Not An Apology is an international movement committed to cultivating global Radical Self Love and Body Empowerment. We believe that discrimination, social inequality, and injustice are manifestations of our inability to make peace with the body, our own and others.” You can watch a performance of Sonya’s spoken word here. Here are a few excerpts from her empowering poem:
“The body is not calamity. The body is not a math test. The body is not a wrong answer. The body is not a failed class. You are not failing.”
“The body is not an apology. Do not offer the body as gift. Only receive it as such.”
“The body is deity, the body is god, the body is god. The only righteous love that will never need repent.”
Sonya takes body positivity to the next level, creating a haven for people who want to experience “unapologetic self-love and body empowerment.” She saw a problem and did not hesitate to become a leader.
Demi is a singer, songwriter, and actress, starring on Disney channel before rising to have an extremely successful singing career. After being bullied in school, she developed an eating disorder. In 2010, she admitted herself into Timberline Knolls, a “residential treatment center in Illinois for women battling addiction and eating disorders.” (Source: ABC News)
Since then, she’s become one of the most outspoken celebrity advocates for body positivity. Here are a few of her profound affirmations, provided by an article written by Abigail Cardi from Bustle:
“We all have problem areas. I’m always going to have thick thighs. I can’t change that, and obsessing over it will only make me miserable. Learning to be grateful for our bodies and taking care of them are the best ways for us to empower ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually.”
“Love is louder than the pressure to be perfect.”
“It helps to even look in the mirror—and it sound so cheesy—but if you just say, ‘You are beautiful,’ and ‘You are worthy,’ those things really help you.”
“You can’t love other people until you love yourself.”
Demi has shown everyone that light can be found in the darkness. She has so openly shared her personal struggles in the hopes that people everywhere will be inspired to practice self-love, and she’s succeeding.
Self-love is so important, and these are just a few of the many women who truly embody it. With their influence, along with the influence of everyone they inspire, the world can be a beautiful, compassionate place for everyone.