Look up “body positive influencers” and you’ll find a ton of people as a result, who may or may not actually be body positive influencers! Body positivity has become a hot topic the last few years, focusing on the fact that all bodies are beautiful, no matter how they look.
While body positivity isn’t perfect, as it can be overly positive, it can be a helpful tool in shifting your mindset about how bodies “should” look.
What is the body positivity movement?
The body positivity movement started with the fat rights movement of the 1960s when the National Association to Aid Fat Americans (NAAFA) fought for equal rights for people in larger bodies and disapproved of the diet industry.
Eventually the fat rights movement turned into the body positivity movement and is popular on social media, with 13 million posts created by 2020.
One study from 2019 says that body positivity has a goal of challenging society’s appearance standards. It encourages acceptance of all body shapes, sizes, genders and skin tones.
But, unfortunately many people post edited pictures on social media under the body positivity movement, which makes it impossible to know which photos are real and which are fake.
The movement can also be toxic, with messages like “love your body no matter what!” or “I love my body.” The reality is that we live in a society that encourages us to dislike our bodies, always telling us they aren’t good enough. That’s why it’s not likely that you’ll love your body quickly (and maybe not ever, but you can get to the point of accepting it).
However, there are body positive influencers who post real pictures and send messages around body positivity that aren’t toxic. You won’t find these five influencers telling you to love your body unconditionally. They keep it real, and you may find it helps your own body image as well!
Body positive influencers to follow
Bri Campos is a body image coach and educator who helps people make peace with their current bodies. She offers memberships, courses and guides as a way to do that. Bri is very candid about her own experience with weight and the process of grieving her body, and is a refreshing person to follow on social media.
Shira Rosenbluth is an eating disorder therapist and licensed clinical social worker who is Health at Every Size-aligned. She shares her story on social media of having an eating disorder for many years, and talks about her life now as she is living authentically. In addition, she calls out weight stigma and the diet industry while educating about eating disorder recovery.
Anna Sweeney is another body positive influencer I recommend following. She is a registered dietitian who talks about eating disorder recovery, body image issues and the importance of eating enough to meet your body’s needs. She also identifies as a person who is disabled, and shares about chronic illness on Instagram.
Vinny Welsby goes by fierce.fatty on Instagram and helps people unlearn anti-fat messages. They call out fatphobia, weight loss medications, diet culture and the relationship between weight and health. They also are the host of the Fierce Fatty Podcast and the author of Fierce Fatty: Love Your Body and Live Like The Queen You Already Are.
Finally, Maggie Landes is a Health at Every Size-aligned physician who is now a high school science teacher. She calls out problems with the BMI, various diet programs and weight stigma, and is the host of the Health Can’t Weight podcast.
Body Image Work
Following body positive influencers can help expose you to different ways of thinking about body image. Instead of constantly being surrounded by diet culture’s messages that bigger bodies are bad and weight loss is needed to improve health, absorbing the content put out by people with a body positive lens can give you a different outlook.
If you are looking to improve your body image and relationship with your body, working with a registered dietitian such as Erin can be a step in the right direction! Improving body image isn’t easy, and having someone in your corner who understands your experience is crucial in making progress.
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