Body positivity is having its time in the sun – the media is filled with messages of self-love. Simply put, body positivity is the social movement that advocates for everyone (of every shape, size and colour) to have a positive body image. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin, no matter what. Here are some body-positive influencers you simply have to check out.
It seems only fair to start the list with the woman who kind of started it all… As she’s credited with shaking up the plus-size model debate back in 2016. By that time, she’d been modelling for over a decade but often didn’t book jobs because of her size.
In 2016, Ashley told Vogue: “For so long, curvy women have been a token in the fashion industry. Maybe we saw one curvy model in one editorial in an entire year, or we were limited to a magazine’s shape issue. [And] that’s no longer our reality.”
Now, Ashley, 32, is a big name in the fashion industry. You can see her on the runway, in magazines, on billboards, and hosting television shows. Most recently, she also launched her own podcast.
Marciel is a model, former Miss SA finalist, and motivational speaker. Motivated to redefine the concept of a ‘bikini body’, she is open about her past eating disorder online.
Focusing on health as opposed to thinness, Marciel has become a popular figure in local media. Speaking to Cosmopolitan, Marciel says: “Being body positive means that I can embrace the body that I am in today, without wanting to change and improve it all the time. It means I can focus on being healthy, instead of trying to live up to the world’s idea of ‘beautiful’.”
She’s garnered fame overseas and has branched into TV hosting. So it seems like Marciel’s future is bright – and she’s all about following her dreams without compromising her health. This body-positive influencer is an asset to any digital scroll.
Pretoria native, Yoliswa Mqoco, is taking the fashion world by storm. This stylist is making waves in our country’s media landscape with her bold looks and unapologetic self-love.
Yoliswa is open about her struggles with bullying and body shaming. She’s also candid about her journey of overcoming depression. What you see is what you get with Yoliswa. She’s all about self-expression, self-acceptance and tolerance – and good silhouettes.
She formed part of Jet’s Love Yourself campaign in 2016. The campaign was aimed at encouraging women to love themselves, no matter their size. Jet’s campaign was hugely successful and was an enormous win in the court of popular opinion. Above all, Yoliswa took part in a celebration of body confidence and self-love.
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This 28-year-old fashion model is an outspoken advocate for plus size women. She is super successful, having fronted campaigns for Fenty Beauty, H&M and Nike. She’s also appeared in editorials for Elle and Teen Vogue magazines. So needless to say, she’s a powerhouse.
In an interview, Paloma mentions that she “didn’t even know plus-size modelling was a thing.” She explains, “growing up, people would always say, ‘You have such a pretty face.’ It’s kind of backhanded. That’s the kind of thing we have to stomach.” Her initial reluctance prevented her from committing to modelling full-time. But she was approached by an agent at a music festival and the rest is history.
She is outspoken, successful, and working hard to achieve diversity in fashion. As a result, we love her – and everything she stands for.
Self-described as a “cyborg”, Angel is breaking boundaries in the film industry. She is involved in policy-making and discussions of representation in the media. You might recognize her from The Accountant. How cool is that?
Also, Angel is an advocate for medical advancements that will help people who are differently-abled. Because she was born with only one arm, she’s been using prosthetics her whole life. Apparently her bionic arm has helped her land parts since 2011.
Furthermore, Angel uses her platform to encourage others, share success stories, and destigmatize disability. Therefore Angel is one of our favourite body-positive influencers because of her focus on equal representation for all.
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416 days ago @z.ochinko took this photo of me. I loved it from the moment I saw it. Everything about it. And for the last year and change, I’ve gotten ready to post it and then backed down. I’m honestly not sure why. Whatever negative self talk that was going on in my head to keep me from posting it is taking a hiatus today (and hopefully from here on out). Happy Friday 🙂 – 📷: @z.ochinko – – – #fridaymood #amputee #bionic #cyberpunk #bodytech #alleles #alleleswomen #prosthetics #prosthesis #feelingmyself