Body-Positivity Is In: 7 Giant Leaps We’ve Made Toward Self-Love Lately

Let's all take a #BoPo victory lap.

-By Amanda Bell

We’re all about putting bad fashions on blast and savoring every juicy morsel of the latest Twitter beef — especially if Kanye’s involved because that means (1.) it’s gonna be epic AF and (2.) the whole world’s gonna be involved.

But we keep one eye open to the bigger picture too, because society’s going through a lot of changes right now — some good, some … not so good.

The recent body-positivity movement falls squarely in the dope department because there are a lot of self image-supportive situations going on right now. Here are all the latest hug-yourself-because-this-is-major key pieces of 411 to keep you happy/informed/optimistic about our collective future as a maybe-kinder culture.

  1. Sports Illustrated’s realer swimsuit edition

    SI’s annual swimsuit issue is buzzing like cray at the moment because they just revealed their first “plus-sized” model for the 2016 spread’s rookie crew. Ashley Graham, a size-16 model who was featured in the fist-pumpy #CurvesInBikinis campaign ad last year, was chosen for this year and she’s using her new platform to say that shapely baes are here to stay.

    “Curves are not a trend,” she said of her ground-breaking inclusion in the mag. “The average size American woman is a size 12 to 14 … women want to see themselves in magazines [and] men want to see similar types of things they have at home.” Truth.

    Also happening with this year’s swimsuit issue is swimsuitsforall’s new #SwimSexy ad campaign which includes Graham as well as a 56-year-old bikini model Nicola Griffin (the oldest ever to appear in a swimsuit issue) and another self-proclaimed “curve model,” British-Ghanaian model Philomena Kwao. Just look at these stunners glow.

  2. Barbie’s finally joining the 21st Century

    Barbie.com

    We’ve seriously needed this upgrade to happen for decades, but better late than never. Curvy, tall and petite finally joined the maddeningly unrealistic “original” Barbie on the list of the doll’s four body types this year, and soon the iconic doll line will boast a total of seven different skin tones as well as an array of 22 varying eye colors and 24 hairstyles to match the uniqueness of individual girls and women in society.

    “This is radical because we’re saying there isn’t this narrow standard of what a beautiful body looks like,” explained Senior Product Designer Robert Best of the clutch updates. “We have to let girls know it doesn’t matter what shape you come in, that anything is possible,” added Director of Consumer Insights Tania Missad. All we can say is: f–k yes and FINALLY.

  3. Scars ain’t scurry

    Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

    Modern Family star Ariel Winter has pretty much always been the one to watch from that show because, just like her on-screen alter ego Alex, she’s got a damn good head on her shoulders.

    For real tho, Ariel/Alex for Prez.

    Anyway, the 18-year-old actress — who had to grow up way early thanks to physical and emotional trauma with her mama which she eventually emancipated herself from — had a breast reduction procedure last summer (sizing down from 32F to 34D). And although she’s made no secret about her decision to go under the knife, people were still surprised when she showed up to the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards with her surgical scars in plain view.

    (Which is pretty f–ked because what’s she supposed to do, wear concealer on her arm pits? A dress with exactly zero oomph factor?)

    Ariel fired back at the people making random remarks about the marks the next day, though, writing on Twitter, “Guys there is a reason I didn’t make an effort to cover up my scars! They are part of me and I’m not ashamed of them at all.” PREACHHHHHHH.

  4. Stores are starting to recognize

    Back in the day, American Eagle’s clothes used to be mortifyingly inaccessible to anyone who couldn’t claim XS as their shirt size (seriously, it was like “walk on by, Miss Medium” was hidden in the entry bell-tone amiright??).

    But now the brand has transitioned into something of a pioneer for attainable attire aesthetics. Their Aerie Real campaign promises no photo retouching of its promo images, and they’ve chosen to bring on young size-12 and size-14 models Barbie Ferreira and Iskra Lawrence to serve as their Role Models. Many snaps for the advancement, AE.

    They’re not the only major retailer making clutch changes to their line-up right now, either. TopShop recently committed to displaying less spindly-legged mannequins after a social media slam-gone-right; Forever21 launched its first plus-size activewear line; and even high-brow designers are expanding their size offerings. Anyone else have the sudden urge to shop?

  5. Bye bye, “Bikini Body”

    Another major player in the game of spreading respect for *real* beauty via the magazine machine are those lifestyle publications which have long championed impossible perfection as the norm (and, of course, the rag mags which tend to humiliate celebs with unflattering butt-shots and such, tsk tsk).

    Recognizing their own hand in the matter, Women’s Health Magazine vowed to turn over a new cover leaf in 2016, resolving to put the kibosh on its previously prolific phrase “bikini body” once and for all. Yaaasss. Instead, they’ve opting for more approachable health-related terminology like “sexy curves” and “strong” on their covers, and it’s a moonwalk-sized step for womankind. ???

  6. Zendaya and other celebs spitting self-love

    Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

    Zendaya has got to be the world’s most with it 19-year-old because this lady is adulting like a boss and putting image-shamers of all varieties in their rightful spot (uh yeah, the trash).

    First, she bawled out the Fashion Police for their whack (and ignorant as f–k) commentary about her dreadlock ’do smelling like weed. Then she fully flipped the script on a hateful Twitter meme and shut sh-t right down when another foul troll tried to talk smack about her parents. And let’s not forget the time she publicly called out a magazine for photo-shopping her to even slimmer proportions, and there’s the amazing fact that she’s got her very own look-alike Barbie (which has ’locs too, thankyouverymuch) to help usher in a new era of “diversification and expansion of the definition of beauty.” So much win.

    Embedded from www.instagram.com.

    Z’s not the only celeb who’s been speaking out against the negative nellies of the ’net. Demi Lovato’s Confident self-esteem-a-thon and her makeup-free Mondays are legit inspiring. Meanwhile, Kylie Jenner’s virtual pledge to make this year her most body-positive yet is YES, and stars like Gabourey Sidibe, Orange is the New Black’s Danielle Brooks and Lena Dunham (to name a few) have been giving us body-positivity goals on the reg. Everyone, bow down to these qweens because they are ruling so hard.

  7. Mammaries going mainstream

    Embedded from www.instagram.com.

    Boobs, breasts, knockers — whatever you wanna call ’em, a lot of people are finally ready to say “so long” to all the stifling stigma surrounding ladies’ nipples and let the gal goodies shine through once and for all.

    The Free The Nipple movement has gained some pretty high profile supporters over the past two years, including Rihanna, Chrissy Teigen, Cara Delevingne and Miley Cyrus, all of whom have been affected by censorship in some form or another. But now there’s even a movie devoted to the cause, which boosts not only liberating ladies on social media and such but also supporting wider situational acceptance (like with public breastfeeding rights of mothers).

    Translation: Topless Tuesdays is this close to becoming a virtual reality, kids.