Body image has gotten progressively worse in these past few years. Her Campus studies show that over 40% of college women feel that they have exhbited some sort of behavior implicative of an eating disorder, but only 8% have actually been diagnosed with one. The stigma that we must be tall, fit, and skinny has not ceased yet — but it needs to.
Girls around the world need to stop changing what they look like to fit the standards of the tiny percentage of women that look like Candice, Behati and Elsa. These women are insanely beautiful in their own way, but they fit into a small percentage of women who actually look that way — in fact, they’re paid to maintain those looks.
We instead must look for inspiration past Victoria’s Secret Angels and the multitude of “fitspo” instagrams. Every single person on this planet has a different body type and every single person should flaunt that body, not go through the means to change it – as these 12 lovely ladies preach time and time again. It’s time we started listening.
1. Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence told Harper’s Bazaar just the other day that it’s about time we “[made] a new body type.” We’re so used to the person who is underweight that when we see a person considered ‘normal’ we begin to make side comments. In 2013, after being told that she had to lose weight to fit the scene after being signed on to play Katniss Everdeen, she spoke up.
“This is a person that young girls – well, all women, but mainly young girls – will be looking up to and are going to want to look like her, and we have control over it, so why not make her strong? Why not make her beautiful and healthy and fit? I was very adamant about that, because I think that our industry doesn’t take enough responsibility for what it does to our society, about having these unrealistic expectations, and I don’t want to be part of that. I remember what it felt like to be 14 years old and looking at a Victoria’s Secret model, and thinking, ‘I’ll never look like that.’ I don’t want to make someone feel like that.”
2. Lupita Nyong’o
In Lupita’s 2014 Oscar speech, she spoke her mother’s words: “You can’t eat beauty, it doesn’t sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion, for yourself and those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul.”
Looks cannot define us – it is the love and warmth that we feel for this world that will truly determine how beautiful we are.
Adele has struggled with body image for years but that doesn’t make her forget that it is her uniqueness that makes her beautiful. In an interview with Jenny Eliscu, she says “There’s only one of you, so why would you want to look like everyone else? Why would you want to have the same hair style as everyone else and have the same opinions as everyone else?”
Flaunt what you got, there’s only one of you.
4. Kate Winslet
On an episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls, Kate admitted, “When I grew up, I never heard positive reinforcement about body image from any female in my life. I only heard negatives. That’s very damaging because then you’re programmed as a young woman to immediately scrutinize yourself and how you look.”
She preaches to her teenage daughter Mia that “‘We are so lucky we have a shape. We’re so lucky we’re curvy. We’re so lucky that we’ve got good bums.’ And she’ll say, ‘Mummy, I know, thank God.‘”
And something that we all must begin remembering in Kate’s wise words, “I believe it is important to go on insisting that normality is not what we are exposed to.”
5. Emma Watson
Emma’s understanding of her beauty and her body have changed immensely over the past few years. In an interview with Glamour UK, she admits “I’m a human being, an imperfect human being who’s not made to look like a doll. And that who I am as a person is more important than whether at that moment I have a nice figure.”
6. Drew Barrymore
Drew stresses the importance of prioritizing her family and friends before she prioritizes shaming herself in any way. She tells InStyle “I am who I am and I just don’t have a bikini body,” she says. “I don’t even have a one-piece body anymore! But I am loving the long rash guard, board-shorts look.”
Beyoncé’s brilliant words could start a revolution. She says “We do not value ourselves enough. Especially young people, [who] don’t really appreciate, how brilliant our bodies are. I’ve always been very, very specific, and very choosy—very choosy—about what I do with my body, and who I want to share that with…Happiness comes from you. No one else can make you happy.You make you happy.”
8. Karlie Kloss
Even Karlie Kloss, a Victoria’s Secret model who is subsequently everyone’s #goals has not always loved herself and how she looks. She flaunts that being yourself, being weird, and loving what’s different about yourself is the key to feeling beautiful. She admitted to New York Magazine that:
“My sisters have always been these gorgeous glamazons, and I’m, like, this tall skinny stick in the family. And I still am the tall girl, even on the runways. Every time I see Karl Lagerfeld, he’s always, like, ‘Karlie, have you stopped growing yet? Are you taller?’ It used to be something that I really disliked about myself, being tall and lanky, but it turned out to be the greatest asset I have—how uniquely weird I am.”
9. Tyra Banks
America’s Next Top Model host Tyra Banks flaunts that we are all different – and that is what she preaches to her girls: “They go back in the crazy world of attacking, or looking in the mirror and not feeling good about themselves. So what I tell my girls is, health is important, and we need to get our shapes in shape – not looking like somebody else.”
10. Lena Dunham
About a month ago, Lena Dunham spoke out in her newsletter, saying “I am done with allowing images that retouch and reconfigure my face and body to be released into the world. The gap between what I believe and what I allow to be done to my image has to close now.”
“I don’t feel like my work is dependent on my size. I feel like my work is dependent on the fact that I’m an everywoman. I’d be an everywoman if I lost 20 pounds or if I gained 50 pounds, because of my attitude and it’s my relationship to the world and the fact that like I have two front teeth that are bigger than the rest of my teeth.” Be yourself, everyone else is taken.
11. Tina Fey
In the wise words of Tina Fey, “If you retain nothing else, always remember the most important rule of beauty, which is: who cares?”
Essentially, fuck anyone who tells you otherwise.
12. Amy Poehler
In Amy’s ‘Bodies: Ask Amy’ YouTube series, she reminds all of us that we are not alone. Even she resonates with us and the way that we are feeling about ourselves and our bodies.
“I feel what you’re feeling, and I feel most woman do. Sometimes a good way to help yourself get out of it is to have some gratitude. What I mean by that is, if you can go around your body and kind of thank it for what it gives you and thank yourself for your great eyesight, or your thick hair, or your nice legs, or your strong teeth, or whatever it is that you have that you were given. And make friends with those parts of your body and not try to focus on the parts that will never change.”