In an age where social media perpetuates unattainable levels of beauty and perfection, making friends with your body is a radical act of self-love.
Instagram can be a hotbed for comparison & self-deprecation. It seems like everywhere we look, we’re being told we’re not enough: not thin enough, smooth enough, not loveable enough – and we’re so over it.
But the tide is slowly changing, and a growing number of women and men are reclaiming their body image, rejecting false ideals of what a socially acceptable body looks like & dismantling the narrative that says our physical appearance and our weight determines our worth.
Give us people living their best life with their stretch marks, battle scars, cellulite, rolls, hair, bloated bellies, hyperpigmentation on show for the whole world to see. To see all those delightfully normal, human things is a powerful reminder that your body – and all the unique parts we’ve been conditioned to hate – is something to be proud of.
Your body is always good enough and you are its greatest opportunity for happiness. Read that again. Put it on a post-it note. Write it on your mirror in your favourite red lippy. Your body is a bloody wonderland and no one else gets to tell you how much it’s worth. There is more than one way to be beautiful and thinness is not the benchmark for human achievement.
No one celebrates self-love and acceptance better than these beautiful people. So, if you ever need a daily reminder that you are shake-your-tits fantastic just as you are, this is the crowd you want to follow.
Stephanie has been a part of the fat acceptance body positivity movement since 2014. Her Instagram account serves as a space to share her personal style and talk about important issues such as body confidence, mental health and loving yourself unapologetically. She’s just published her first book Fattily Ever Afer – a love letter to plus sized black women. Basically, she’s just out here doing all the things and changing the narrative around body image. What a woman.
In her own words, Beck is just an ordinary woman who poops in a bag. She’s on a mission to raise Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) awareness and normalise stomas by documenting her life after ileostomy surgery. She reminds us that our bodies all have a different story to tell, and that’s what makes them beautiful.
“Reminder – You are Art 🎨
Disabilities whether they’re visible or invisible.
YOU ARE YOU and YOU ARE ART”
If you like your body confidence served with a delightful dose of Welsh wit, Callie is your dream match. She talks openly and honestly about her relationship with her body and we’re not afraid to admit that we want all her chub in the tub photos on canvas immediately. Kindness is her agenda and we are here for it!
Beauty journalist & a passionate member of the anti-diet culture club, Alex has long been documenting her recovery from an eating disorder across her Instagram, blog and podcast. Her carefully considered captions never fail to inspire us to give our ever-changing bodies a bloody break. If we all had the inner voice we really deserved, it would sound like Alex.
FP’s account is a mixture of dreamy pastel outfits, cracking personality and 10/10 humour. She makes scrolling those little squares an all-together better experience, just by being her. The world needs more Frans in it.
One of the first champions of body acceptance, Megan overcame anorexia and now uses her platform to encourage other women to fight h-a-r-d for the self-love they deserve. Her thought-provoking captions always come through with the truth.
“You do not owe the world thin. You do not owe the world thick. You do not owe the world a body that you have to sacrifice your mental health for. Your purpose on this planet is not to be visually appealing to other people. You are made for more than that and always have been. You’re allowed to own your space here without thinking that you constantly have to earn your existence with pretty.”
When Nyome Nicholas-Williams shared an incredible photograph of her sitting in a chair, covering her breasts with her arms, the posts were swiftly removed for violating Instagram’s semi-nudity guidelines. What followed was a viral campaign under the hashtag #Iwanttoseenyome.
Her followers rallied, a petition was launched and signed by just under 17,000 people and Instagram reinstated the images. But that was just the beginning. Thanks to Nyome and the help of fellow activists and content creators Gina Martin and Stephanie Yeboah, Instagram is now reviewing its semi-nudity guidelines, particularly in relation to the censorship of black plus size bodies. So as well as model, content creator and body positive advocate, she can now add policy change maker to her major list of accolades. Not all heroes wear capes.
“Why are white plus sized bodies seen as “acceptable” and accepted and black plus sized bodies not? Let’s shift the narrative that the media and fashion has upheld for too long that depicts our bodies as somehow being wrong when that couldn’t be further from the truth! I will continue to challenge and break down those societal and fashion “body standards” that have been upheld for too long.”
The Sheffield-based beauty blogger lives with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 2, a rare genetic condition that weakens muscles, meaning she has to use a motorised wheelchair on a daily basis as she cannot walk or stand. Growing up, Tess never saw anybody like herself represented in the beauty or fashion industry and has since made it her mission to change that.
Body confidence champion Jules Von Hep may have created the cult self-tan range Isle of Paradise but his real raison d’être is to encourage us to stop apologising for our bodies and start appreciating everything they do. He’s all for working with your body rather than against it.
This lady needs no introduction! An award-winning creator, presenter and Happiful Magazine columnist, Grace is predominantly known for her inspiring words and her refusal to bow down to societal expectations. Her content focuses on plus size fashion, healing the mind, body and spirit and the importance of self-development in a world determined to shrink you.
Having been through her fair share of mental health issues concerning body image, Megan is now using her platform to build confidence in other women. Part affirmation, part motivational poetry, her words will forever leave you feeling empowered and determined to be on better terms with your body. To fall in love with Megs is to fall in love with yourself!
Consider Nicole your one-stop-shop for all things mid-size style. Her smile is infectious, and her imagery radiates those wholesome posi vibes. If you’re looking for someone to serve you pure joy on a daily basis, leave it to Nicole.
There are so many more incredible accounts out there inspiring us to make self-love the goal. Drop your favourites in the comments below so we can continue to curate our Instagram feeds with kindness, love & body acceptance!