As much progress as we've made in body positivity, we live in a world where the word "fat" something a lot of people unreasonably fear — a world where people use the word as an insult rather than as a descriptor, unconsciously conditioned by a culture reinforces this fact. Well, if these body positive activists have anything to say, this is going to be a thing of the past sooner rather than later.
Body positivity is essentially the understanding that all bodies are good bodies, while recognizing that certain body types are subject to marginalization in ways that others are not. People who abuse and shame those whose bodies aren't straight, thin, cis and groomed "properly" are conditioned to think that way without even knowing they've been. (You aren't born shaming the way other people look. It's something you learn.) Yet, the idea that any body would be a "bad" body is simply a product of the flawed notion that certain bodies can "look" unhealthy. That's really all there is to it. Whichever way you spin it, being cruel to someone about their body isn't going to help their health. In fact, it worsens it: it's the mindset that creates low self-esteem and eating disorders. Rather than "fixing" anything, it keeps us shut off from the idea that anybody who doesn't look or behave the way we want them to, or the way that would make us most comfortable, is somehow a lesser being.
Forging the path for healthier, happier self-image are the YouTubers below, along with other writers, speakers, teachers and activists. Yet, what's incredible about these women is that they're willing to put their faces out there, and let themselves be heard and seen. What's more inspiring than that? Check them out below:
1. Loey Lane
Loey is one of those people who radiates positivity no matter what she's talking about. She's one of the most popular YouTubers to talk about really important (and sometimes difficult) things like dating as a fat girl, or why fat-shaming "works" (aka, upsets people to the point where they'll lose weight). She's an incredible woman, and her self-love and confidence honestly radiates through the screen.
2. Meghan Tonjes
You may know Meghan Tonjes as the woman who started the #bodyrevolution when a photo of her in her underwear was taken off Instagram. She fought to have it put back up, and it was truly a moment to celebrate for no longer marginalizing bodies. She's smart, and her commentary is always razor sharp and spot on.
3. Trisha Paytas
Trisha was one of the OG body positive YouTubers in that she was posting videos long before the movement started accelerating. Though she has been a pretty polarizing (if not controversial) figure for other reasons, she's admirable in her total honesty about what it's like to be a fat person who unapologetically loves themselves.
4. Alexandra Airene
Alexandra (TryingToBeFearless) covers the full spectrum of body positivity: she does videos on everything from [how to dress] STYLING ADVICE to how to do your makeup to how she's learned to live, love and even change her body, and her message is clear: your body. Your rules.
5. Sarah Rae Vargas
You may know Sarah from the "Dear Fat Girl" series, but even if you don't, she's someone you want to keep on your radar. She's a mom, a body positive activist, and an overallbadas$. She's not afraid to delve into the hard questions (Dating while HIV+? Being bigger than your boyfriend? She's got you covered.)
6. Laci Green
Laci is an actual superhero, so we saved her for last. She teaches body positivity not only through learning to love how you look, but how to take care of yourself, have safe, consensual sex and happy, healthy relationships. She talks about everything from pubic hair to sex with disabilities, and she's truly a voice the world desperately needs.