Gone are the days where "beauty" meant one look. While there are still a lot of pressures for people to look a certain way — women to be slim yet curvy and men to bulk up — there is a lot of movement by celebrities who are changing beauty standards.
Luckily, a lot of that conversation is coming from big names in Hollywood who can act as examples for those watching to set our own standards of beauty and to break the status quo.
Demi is no stranger to talking about beauty standards. After overcoming an eating disorder, she has become an advocate for healthy body image and finding self-worth.
Best quote: "I'm finding beauty from within. It doesn't matter how thin or how pretty or whatever. If I don't feel it, I'm not going to see it in myself. So that's what I'm focusing on now."
Mindy Kaling has been known to rock her beauty, seen through both her character in The Mindy Project and in her two successful memoirs. She's funny, smart, hard working and unapologetic when it comes to who she is — and that's why I love her.
Best quote: "If someone told me that I was stupid or that I wasn't a leader, or that I wasn't witty or quick or perceptive, I'd be devastated. If someone told me that I had a gross body, I'd say, 'Well, it's bringing me a lot of happiness.' Like, I'm having a fine time of it. Having my priorities aligned like that has helped me have a happier life, I think."
Everyone's favourite TV doctor has recently spoken out about how the the criticism of her thinness and aging has had its effect on her self confidence. With time however, she has learned to accept all the "flaws" that make her unique and beautiful.
Best quote: "I have the wisdom to know that growing old is a privilege that not everyone is afforded. If my physical beauty is the only thing that leaves me and my health and my family stay, then that is what's really important to me."
There is nothing better than a guy with a sense of humour. Despite society's obsession with men's height, Kevin Hart rocks his 5' 4" stance. He continuously owns the height difference between him and most of Hollywood and refuses to let it hold him back.
Best quote: "The quote-unquote 'description' of a leading man was once your tall, handsome man with the build of whatever, almost a trophy to some degree. I think now it's about making a leading man what you want a leading man to be. In this day, you can't deny talent. You look at Jonah Hill, you look at Zach Galifianakis, you look at myself."
An icon is changing beauty standards. Ashley Graham has literally smashed glass ceilings for plus size models as the first ever to be featured in, let alone be the cover, of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and was featured in DNCE's Toothbrush music video. Even better? She has done TedTalks and charity work focusing on promoting positive body image.
Best quote: "The thing that I really want to promote and that I want women to understand is that it’s not about wanting something else; it’s about being self-assured about your size and also just loving your body."
Bow down. The Queen B is iconic for her level of confidence and self-worth, and she discusses the pressure to be perfect in her songs like Pretty Hurts and Flawless. She constantly reminds her fans to love themselves through the confidence and strength she embodies.
Best quote: "The most alluring thing a woman can have is confidence."
The beautiful Adele has been pretty vocal about the criticism she has faced under the spotlight. She reminds critics that she is here to make music, not conform to any standards they set, and she continues to blow us away with her talent. Her kind heart, witty humour, stunning voice and radiant beauty continue to make her shine.
Best quote: "There's only one of you, so why would you want to look like anyone else?"
Ruby Rose got our attention (and slight obsession) after appearing on OITNB. She has smashed through gender standards and is a great example of how to be your most authentic self.
Best quote: Pretty much her whole Break Free video — screw your gender roles.
Ed Sheeran has been open about his struggles with body image in a way many men feel ashamed to be. His journey to find health, eat better and be active in ways he enjoys has brought him to a happier place, but he reminds fans to strive for health and not vanity. He is a role model to men and women, reminding us you don't have to meet any standards that are set out for you.
Best quote: "The idea that a man needs to be strong, tough, masculine and devoid of emotions means there are too many males who suffer behind closed doors, and don’t have the role models and mentors that women have to be able to empathize with them."
Selena has been a role model for self love since her early single, Who Says. Open about her struggles with criticism, she is an advocate for taking time for yourself and to love yourself as you are. Most recently, she made waves with her AMA Acceptance Speech for Female Artist, emphasizing the importance of what's inside and not needing external validation.
Best quote: The fire Instagram caption, "I love being happy with me y'all #theresmoretolove"
An icon in self love. Amy Schumer refuses to let body shammers or the media tear her down. She has emotionally discussed her body image struggles, but emphasizes the importance of dressing and living in ways that make you feel great and strong so that you can continue to shine through.
Best quote: "No, I’m not going to apologize for who I am, and I’m going to actually love the skin that I’m in. I’m not gonna be striving for some other version of myself.”
The third man on the list — and honestly, there should be more. Though they talk about it less, men are put to the same amount of pressures that woman are. The OITNB and How to Get Away With Murder star is not afraid to speak up about issues he feels passionate about including body image. Matt's openness makes him a role model for men and body acceptance.
Best quote: "I still love working out, and I think it's good for my health, and I feel good doing it. But I think with mental health, allowing myself to be who I am naturally in terms of my body, I think that's sort of practicing more self-love that way."
The third OITNB star on the list, (and honestly they could all be on it) Laverne Cox is all about breaking barriers in Hollywood. Through her professional portfolio and advocacy work, she stands up to prove that both black and trans woman are beautiful and strong, and deserve to believe so.
Best quote: "Black women are not often told that we're beautiful unless we align with certain standards. Trans women certainly are not told we're beautiful. Seeing a black transgender woman embracing and loving everything about herself might be inspiring to some other folks. There's beauty in the things we think are imperfect. That sounds very cliché, but it's true."
Rihanna has spoken out about the fashion industry's influence on promoting unhealthy body sizes in women. Speaking of fashion, Riri also is fearless in her fashion choices, rocking any outfit she wears. An inspiration in being true to yourself.
Best quote: "You have to just accept your body. You may not love it all the way, but you just have to be comfortable with it, comfortable with knowing that that’s your body."
Whether through her TV show Girls, her writing, social media or interviews, Lena Dunham is continuously promoting self acceptance and breaking beauty standards. Using her art and creativity to break standards of how girls should look and behave is exactly the reason she makes a great role model.
Best quote: "We’re one weight one day, we’re one weight another day, and some day our body just doesn’t even exist at all! It’s just a vessel I’ve been given to move through this life. I think about my body as a tool to do the stuff I need to do, but not the be all and end all of my existence."
Tyra was not only the first African American on the cover of GQ and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, she also has paved the way for diversity in all models. Through her show America's Next Top Model and the Tyra Banks Show, she has given a spotlight for plus size models, models of all races, and male models alike, all while shutting down her own body shammers.
Best quote: the emotional and iconic moment on the Tyra Banks Show, "kiss my fat ass."
And that's just to name a few. The list of Hollywood stars who spread positive messages and act as an example of body acceptance is long — thankfully. Personally, I love these celebrities just the way they are, and hopefully they can help us see the beauty in ourselves too (*cue the group hug*).