9 Bloggers To Turn To When You Feel Like Giving Up On Body Positivity — PHOTOS
"Body positivity" is a hashtag used loosely and freely these days, with anyone and everyone applying it to their lives and selfies. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it could be argued that it detracts from the political roots of the movement. Luckily, there are radical plus size bloggers and body positive activists you can turn to if ever you lose faith in body positivity.
Fat activism and body positive activism mean so much more to a lot of folks than just taking a selfie. They means fighting cultural, social, and media-based discriminations that affect bigger bodies in more ways than not feeling comfortable in shorts. Considering that being fat can still lead to decreased employment opportunities and insufficient healthcare, fat activism — and in turn, body positivity — should focus on more than just our self-esteems.
Of course, there are plenty of inspirational body positive bloggers who only focus on aesthetics, beauty, and self-love, and that's OK. But for the more politically-focused among us, the bloggers who tackle issues of diversity, race, gender, and so much more are the types we need most. If ever I feel disheartened with how body positivity has changed in mainstream incarnations of it, these bloggers are the ones I turn to. They always remind what body positivity is all about.
1. Amanda Levitt
Amanda Levitt of Fat Body Politics has been blogging about body politics, fat activism, and anything that intersects with these issues for years. Her Tumblr account is updated more frequently than her long-form blog posts, but fascinating points about body positivity can be found on both. (Also, her service dog Itty Bitty is totally to die for.)
2. Substantia Jones
Substantia Jones' Adipositivity Project is something I want to look at whenever I feel low in the self-esteem department. Seeing such diverse types of people in the nude or partially nude — all of whom I find beautiful — is refreshing, particularly given the way body positivity has been co-opted by mainstream media and fashion campaigns. Although this photo series arguably focuses on the aesthetic and self-love side of body politics, Jones shows us how to present these issues poignantly. Her work is all about inclusion and celebration of marginalized bodies, and a way to de-stigmatize fat nudity in particular.
3. Virgie Tovar
Virgie Tovar is the definition of a fat activist. From blogging and lecturing about body image as well as publishing the anthology Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls On Life, Love, And Fashion, she is "one of the nation's leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image," as her website reads.
Her blog doesn't just stop at covering the many issues that affect the plus size community, though. It's about a myriad of social justice conversations. Tovar reminds me that intersectionality doesn't just mean recognizing the issues that align with your own experiences, but actively taking part in helping end the marginalization of identities unlike your own. That's what true activism is arguably all about, the fat kind or otherwise.
4. Lesley Kinzel
Lesley Kinzel came into my life with her recent blog post "Falling Out Of Fatshion: How I Lost My Appetite For Writing About Fat Politics," which succinctly explained the issues many activists have been having with the current "trend" of body positivity.
Since then, I've read almost everything I could by this amazing woman, and I highly recommend you do, too. Her work will remind you that your concerns are not unfounded.
5. Pia Schiavo-Campo
Pia Schiavo-Campo of Mixed Fat Chick shares many outfit posts and self-love images on her blog. But at the same time, she uses her experiences as a fuller-figured woman of color to analyze current topics and social justice issues. Her feminist writing for Ravishly also explores the intersection between race and body image.
6. Aarti Dubey
Aarti Dubey is a blogger, writer, and feminist activist who involves herself in social justice campaigns often, including Tess Holliday's Eff Your Beauty Standards and her own initiative Samosa Sisters, which aims to discuss diaspora, intersectional feminism, and body positivity for South Asians. Don't let her amazing outfit posts distract you from her insights on many regularly ignored issues of body positivity.
7. Jes Baker
Jes Baker, also known as The Militant Baker, is an activist, feminist, TEDx speaker, and author of the highly-acclaimed book Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook For Unapologetic Living. Her work for fat acceptance and body politics is not limited to the Internet, but that fact doesn't make her blog any less rewarding to read. By placing feel-good lists and outfit posts alongside hard-hitting perspectives on the state of our society and media, Baker creates a space that is equal parts comfortable and unnerving.
She proves that body positive activism doesn't have to take over your whole life if you don't want it to, but urges us all to remember that body shaming can unfortunately affect every part of your life when you live in a marginalized body.
8. Stephanie Yeboah
Stephanie Yeboah of Nerd About Town is a British plus size blogger who seamlessly ties body positivity in with her fashion and beauty posts. This activist isn't afraid to take her beliefs to the streets, either. Only recently did she recreate an Evans marketing campaign to show what actual diversity looks like. The Style Has No Size recreation further put Yeboah on the map as an amazing feminist activist to follow. I personally find her actions a prime example of how fat activism needs to be more than just an Instagram selfie.
9. Corissa Enneking
At the end of 2015, I dubbed Corissa Enneking the most body positive blogger of the year, and I stand by that statement. Her blog does so much more than preach and practice body positivity. It provides new angles and helpful insights that the plus size community truly needs.
From producing a slow-mo splash video in the hopes of further normalizing fat experiences to publishing an extensive list of places to shop for people over a size 28, I find Enneking's work for body politics to be much-needed and almost selfless. Her blogging doesn't feel like a celebration of herself or her personal self-love, per se, but a means to inspiring other people.
These plus size bloggers keep their feeds interesting and insightful, without ever dismissing the body positivity of other people. Personally, I would never want to belittle anyone's self-love selfie, but I do want to read more hard-hitting material alongside it, and take part in hard-hitting fat activism, too.