You may have heard about the popular #ImNoAngel campaign created by plus-size retailer Lane Bryant with the goal of encouraging real women to redefine what they consider to be sexy and to feel confident in their bodies. Local Singaporean plus-size store owners Priscilla Boh and Kayde Ling collaborated to bring this powerful campaign to Asian women, by creating the "I AM" campaign in support of #ImNoAngel. The spin-off of #ImNoAngel is meant to address the fact that Asian women face some unique challenges in regards to positive body image. As Ling told me via email, "Being Asian with conservative upbringing, Singaporean plus-size girls often lack body positivity and confidence of their physical appearance. These ladies who suffer from low self-esteem end up hiding and being afraid to show their true self and beauty. The purpose of this project is to encourage the girls to accept and love themselves for who they are."
Ling and Boh are both involved in fashion blogging: Boh runs I AM, a YouTube channel started as part of the Plus Initiative, while Ling also runs her own blog. Ling has been recognized as being the first Singaporean plus-size label to have her line of clothes showcased during New York’s Full Figured Fashion Week in 2013. Since the premise of I AM is to provide a webspace for the Asian plus-size community to engage, share ideas, and exchange information, Boh saw this partnership as a perfect fit.
The original concept for the campaign was conjured up by the women during a spa retreat, since they discussed appreciating the body positivity of the #ImNoAngel campaign and wanted to bring this message to Asian women directly. "We wanted to show our support for a campaign that is body-positive and we also wanted our fellow Asians to know that being body-positive is important," they wrote in their press release. They added that the body image pressure is being imposed onto girls at younger and younger ages, which they want to combat. "We wanted to let our fellow Asians know that every body type is beautiful and we hope that with this video, they too can see what we see — Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes."
In order to create their own campaign, they used the same monochromatic images as Lane Bryant, which they emphasized showed the "raw beauty" of the women's bodies, with all of the stretch marks, fat, and cellulite that society considers to be unsightly in plain view. They used women who were all plus-size, but who each had different body shapes and sizes, in order to feature as much diversity as possible.
The video is filled with body positive affirmations, with some of my personal faves featured below:
1. "Your body is your own"
This message embodies the spirit of positive body image, which is that your body is yours alone and no one else has the right to judge or shame you for how you live within it.
2. "Be kind to your body"
Think about how you typically talk about your body: Do you praise it for serving you so well or condemn it for all of its supposed flaws? Treat your body like your best friend and become BFFs with it. Your body is your home on Earth. After all, would you tell your best friend that she's ugly or needs to lose weight in order to be attractive? I didn't think so.
3. "Love yourself"
Self-love is one of the most important aspects of body positivity. Loving yourself is the key to unlocking your own true power and can empower you in ways you didn't even know were possible; I speak from experience!
4. "Any body type is beautiful"
Beautiful bodies come in all different shapes and sizes, but beauty isn't defined by your size. Beauty lives in all of us and being a larger person doesn't make you any less worthy.
To see the full campaign video and feel even more inspired to embrace your bod, click below:
Images: I AM/YouTube