The world is undoubtedly blessed to have the faces of so many well known body positive activists — from Tess Holliday to LoeyLane — on its radar. This is a movement that ranges from online to offline, and a movement for all different types of shapes, sizes, races and genders. This means that the representatives for our movement should be just as diverse as the kinds of people and marginalized groups we're championing. Although models and vloggers with huge followings usually have them for good reason, there's still inspiration to be found in the lesser known body positive champions out there.
This varied group doesn't just celebrate and promote body positivity and self love. Each person does so in their own unique and intersectional ways. Maybe sometimes it's on a big platform to a large audience. Maybe sometimes it's just from the comfort of their parents' house. It doesn't matter, though, because the goals are always the same: Accepting all bodies for how they are, removing shame and anxiety from how we view ourselves, and teaching people that self love is vital for survival in this existence.
Of course, this is just the tiniest tip of the iceberg. For every activist I could write about, there are likely 1,000 more I've not discovered yet. I hope these beautiful, body positive people will achieve all the recognition their inspirational work deserves and I hope that the same happens for anyone not on this list as well.
1. Velvet D'Amour
Velvet D'Amour was a body positive icon long before the term reached buzzword status. Her work as a "super plus size model" (a term that typically refers to plus size models above industry standards when it comes to size) has been inspiring people since 2007. These days, she works endlessly on her diverse, all inclusive publication Volup2.
2. Marquis Neal
Marquis Neal is the queer icon behind Tumblr blog Marquismode and owner of one of my favorite Instagram accounts ever. His androgynous style gives me life, proving that fat people can be androgynous and that individualistic style isn't solely for the slender.
3. Stacey De L'oubli
I've professed my love for Stacey De L'oubli's alternative plus size fashion repeatedly, and her blog continues to be a mash-up of body positivity and amazing outfit posts. De L'oubli is paving the way for alternative style in the plus size community, showing us all that you don't have to go the rockabilly route to be beautiful when fat.
4. Carol Rossetti
Carol Rossetti is a feminist illustrator who garnered fame for her totally body positive, anti-shaming series "Women in English." Although that project has come to its end, her artwork still preaches body positivity and feminism.
5. Jessica Luxery & Majestic Legay
I found Jessica Luxery and Majestic Legay through Tumblr (where else?) and I've been obsessed with their personal brand of body positivity for years. This married couple is totally in love with each other, in love with social justice, and in love with being fat. Their unique style and queer relationship champions diversity in all forms, just through being true to themselves. They also have a really helpful sex and relationships advice blog called Heavy Petting.
6. Ragini Nag Rao
Ragini Nag Rao is arguably of the more known humans on this list, but her work deserves so much more praise. Nag Rao has written beautiful pieces for xoJane while also running her fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and body positivity blog A Curious Fancy. Her adorable style is often paired with feminist body hair and a fierce attitude regarding self love.
7. Tati-Ana Mercedes
I also found Tati-Ana Mercedes on Tumblr about two years ago, and she's been educating me ever since. Her queer, intersectional feminist point of view takes no prisoners and the casual way she discusses serious issues makes you feel included. Plus, it's way easier to understand, IMO, than an academic paper.
What's great about all these body positive badasses is that they're promoting the messages of the movement in their own ways — ways that can and will hit home with all different types of people and make them feel understood. Their diverse, inspirational methods of teaching and representing body positivity are constantly impressing and educating me.
Images: Hantise De L'oubli (2)