7 Important Body Positivity Moments of 2019 So Far
In less than two months, we would say goodbye to 2019. The incredible year which has given us VSCO girls, James Charles-Tati Westbrook drama and Keanu Reeves’s incredible resurgence.
But more importantly, this year has been exceptional for body positivity. Magazines are continuing to feature plus-size models. Brands are celebrating women that don’t meet the conventional ‘beauty’ standards. Even superstars like Serena Williams are appearing in commercials that give out a body-positive message.
It can be said that body positivity has never been this mainstream. In fact, looking back, it’s absolutely amazing how far this social movement has come.
Some Background on Body Positivity
Body positivity has its roots in the fat liberation movement of the 1960s. Started by queer black women, the movement gave voice to women who faced discrimination or were cast aside for not meeting beauty standards of those times.
The struggle for acceptance of “imperfect” bodies continued but remained on the fringes. That was until social media arrived. The emergence of online platforms allowed people to voice their discontent at unrealistic standards of feminine beauty and express outrage against brands that reinforced them.
Fast forward to 2019, body positivity is now an influential social phenomenon. Make no mistake, plus size women still face challenges in everything from buying activewear to getting adequate pay (LinkedIn reports that “obese” workers are paid less an average of $2,545 less than their colleagues).
Still, the body positivity movement is continuing to make strides.
7 Important Body Positivity Moments of 2019
From celebrities speaking up against fat-shaming to brands organizing events that highlight women with all their glorious imperfections, there have been several important moments for body positivity this year.
Let’s take a look at some of them below.
1. Jeyza Gary becomes the First Model with Lamellar Ichthyosis
It’s difficult for someone who looks different to find a place in society. Especially if that someone happens to have an extremely rare skin condition. But Jeyza Gary’s lammer Ichthyosis doesn’t stop her from entering into the spotlight. She chooses to embrace the condition that causes her skin to shred away every two weeks.
Jeyza is a professional model and has been featured in magazines such as Vogue Italia. Her presence has inspired others with similar conditions to be more confident with themselves. And this makes her modeling career all the more meaningful.
2. Chrissy Teigan Shuts Down Body-Shamming Tweet
Chrissy Teigan is usually extremely outspoken on her twitter. So when she was body-shamed back in July, the supermodel immediately clapped-back. Chrissy was vacationing in Portofino, Italy with her family when a paparazzi pic of her with a body shamming caption went viral.
However, the Lip Sync Battle presenter was having none of it. Hitting back at the trolls, Chrissy spoke against superficial depictions of women on apps like Instagram while also calling out the culture of body shaming in general.
3. James Corden Answers Bill Maher’s Ridiculous Pro Fat-Shaming Rant
In September, Bill Maher did a segment calling for the “return” of fat-shaming. He claimed the reason behind increasing obesity in America was political correctness, which had made fat-shaming obsolete.
James Corden, who hardly dives into social commentary, gave an apt reply. “If making fun of fat people made them lose weight, there’d be no fat kids in schools. And I’d have a six-pack right now”
Corden took several digs at Maher and explained that a toxic practice like fat-shaming is still alive and well.
“Fat-shaming never went anywhere. Ask literally any fat person, we are reminded of it all the time,” Corden retorted.
4. Artist Promotes Body Positivity through Visual Art
Art has always had an important role in body positivity. Peter Paul Rubens’ “Venus at a Mirror” painting is used as a symbol by the fat acceptance movement. Visithra Manikam continues the tradition of using art as a tool against oppressive body image standards.
Blending culture with social commentary to create beautiful masterpieces, Visithra hopes to spark a dialogue about acceptance and BoPo through her art. Although she’s been depicting beautiful curves through her paintings for some time now, 2019 has been the year where her message has taken off.
5. Nike Introduces Plus-Size Mannequins
Nike continued its mission of making sportswear all-inclusive by unveiling plus-size mannequins this year at its outlet on Oxford Street, London. Dressed in the brand’s activewear, the mannequins were placed to highlight diversity and inclusivity in sports.
The move earned the American corporation praise on social media with loads of people commenting that this gesture made them feel empowered. Nike has further plans to make its attires accessible to sport-lovers of all sizes.
6. EveryBODY Fashion Show Promotes Inclusivity
Usually, there’s a complete lack of diversity when it comes to fashion shows. However, this one-of-a-kind fashion show highlighted people of all shapes, sizes, ages, and genders. The show was organized to honor Danielle Peters, a student who passed away due to complications caused by bulimia in 2012.
Speaking to The Jambar, one of the organizers said the fashion show was put together to raise awareness for positive body image. Hence, the unconventional fashion show had a diverse group of people walk the runway.
7. Hunter McGrady Graces the Cover of The Knot
Hunter McGrady is one of the top models going around. Not only that, she’s an incredible advocate for body positivity. This year saw the model make headlines again as she graced the cover of The Knot’s fall magazine cover.
The 26-year-old teamed up with the wedding magazine to tackle size inclusivity in wedding fashion. Aside from her work with different magazines, McGrady promotes visibility for women of all sizes on her social media through the hashtag #AllWorthy.