A couple of months back I subscribed to a zine called Bright by three incredible women. The magazine is about all things vegan – vegan products, vegan establishment, vegan tips... The latest issue included a six page spread entitled Vegans, Let’s Talk About Bodies. This sparked a conversation in me (yes, I talk a lot to myself — don’t we all?), and I decided to share my thoughts with you.

And because of this, I ask you to think: what does a vegan body look like to you?

What Does My Body Look Like?

Andreina Cecchini

There is no denying that when people hear that I’m vegan, I’m not exactly what they expect. I’m not slim, athletic nor do I only eat healthy, organic foods. I’m quite the opposite, actually. But this is my body: my vegan body. I’ve led a happy vegan life for the past year and a half and my body hasn’t changed a bit. I didn’t lose a ton of weight because of it; I didn’t transform into the fitness-guru-version of myself. But I realise now that most of the vegan people I follow on social media really do fit into these stereotypical categories.

The Obsession With Working Out and Healthy Eating

Katrina Yeung

Hannah, one of my fellow writers here at Spoon, has already talked about the dangers of obsessing over healthy/unhealthy eating. But how does it relate to being a vegan? Well, you may see a common factor between the most successful vegans on social media: they all seem to be yoga instructors, athletes or weight-lifters.

I realise that most of these people are also trying to fight another stereotype — that vegans are weak and are soon to be dead for lack of proteins. But in doing this, they’re raising another — that being vegan means you have to be fit and healthy and the happiest person on Earth. Sadly, this is not the case.

My Relationship With Fitness

Katrina Yeung

Unfortunately, I’ve been victim of this obsession myself. I guess it comes with the fact that there is a very specific representation of vegans on social media. The people that you find inspiring because they are vegan are also posting about their new LuluLemon outfit and Wholefoods grocery shopping. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with them. The problem is that there’s nobody else. Vegan people who are not fit may think there is no space for them on social media, and it becomes a vicious circle. But we need you. I need you. 

So What Does a Vegan Body Look Like?

It looks like yours. And mine. And they’re all bodies worth showing. So let's make them see! I’m not telling you to take off your shirt and post a picture of yourself in a bra on Instagram (unless that’s what you want to do — in which case, you do you!), but let’s post about that tub of vegan ice cream we’ve eaten for lunch! Life as a vegan is so much more than just salads and joining your local gym!

We need to break free from these ridiculous stereotypes. I’m not less of a vegan because I carry more fat than a personal trainer. You're not less of a vegan if you despise kale and eat chips instead! All bodies are beautiful and they’re entitled to be how they are. If that’s also who you are inside, then please share it with the world! We need you!