With photo filters available at our fingertips, it’s hard to not use one to conform to mainstream beauty standards but women are taking a stand against fabricated beauty ideals. Jennifer Lopez, Denise Bidot, and Lizzo are some of the celebrities who have been vocal about loving their bodies as they are, raising awareness of the need for body positivity in the face of fatphobia. Body positivity is a movement that continues to rise, uplifting women of all shapes and sizes and reminding us to embrace our bodies as they are. Finding self-love and acceptance can feel like a life-long journey and we’ve rounded up 8 amazing women who can help you along the way to loving yourself just as you are.
Crystal Maldonado is the author of Fat Chance, Charlie Vega, a story that’s centered on fat brown girl love after she grew up never seeing girls like her in a positive light in mainstream media. She has been spreading body positivity since 2013 when she co-founded the online magazine, Positively Smitten and feminist blog Things I Learned from Cosmo. Now with her debut novel she’s showing how brown fat girls can find romantic love and self love in the face of fatphobia.
Jenny Viveros is a licensed clinical social worker and Latin burlesque dance instructor. She collaborates with local organizations to created a space for self love, empowerment, and collective healing. You don’t need any dance experience to participate in her classes, all you need is an open heart and a sexy outfit. Her mission is to inspire women to love themselves and spread la magia de burlesque.
Rosie Mercado Flores
Rosie Mercado is a TV personality, author, and life coach whose own weight loss journey and voice for women’s empowerment after she’s opened up about her own weight loss journey. In an interview with People in 2016 she shared that her a-ha moment was when she weighed 410 pounds and she was asked to purchase a second airline seat. She had gastric sleeve surgery and lost 200 pounds after changing her lifestyle and diet. “There’s no goal for me to be a size 6,” she told People. “I just want to be healthy and fit. Being obese is putting your life at risk every single day.” Her podcast, The Girl with the Self-Esteem Issues, features conversations with influential figures covering topics such as relationships, health, and advocacy.
Darlene Lebron is the founder of the blog Suits, Heels and Curves and The Blogger House Curvy Closet dedicated to curvy fashion. She is passionate about creating a safe environment to have conversations surrounding self-acceptance, self-love, and health and wellness. Through The Blogger House she invited women to share stories, connect and find support in one another via social media. She is a plus size boss who is reaching many women through the incredible work she does.
Storm Marrerro, aka Hips McGhee, is a singer/songwriter, entertainer and pro-LGBTQ+ activist. She garnered praise after her amazing tribute show for American Idol winner Fantasia in New York. Since then she has starred in many productions in the big city but most recently she became the first Afro-Latina to “take the helm” as the Ringmaster at New York City’s iconic Big Apple Circus. She has dedicated herself to bringing back a unique brand and style of singing and plus size women admire her for her bold and confident attitude on stage. She continues to wow people with her talent and prove that women of all sizes are capable of making it big in the city that never sleeps.
Gia Natalia Narvaez
Gia Natalia Narvaez is a transgender Latina and body positive fashion blogger who recognizes that her body type isn’t the “norm” but she is okay with that. She makes it known on her social media that her happiness is more important that fitting in. She is constantly posting everything from glam outfits to casual looks and inspirational quotes, reminding women to be themselves, and showing them that she is thriving in a world that tells women like her to hide and live in secrecy. You go girl!
Denise Marie Bidot
Denise Bidot is a curvy model who is at the top of her game at the moment and she is using that spotlight to empower others. One of her biggest accomplishment is her campaign called “There’s No Wrong Way To Be A Woman.” Through this campaign she encourages others to live unapologetically and she credits social media for allowing her to have a voice and have conversations about who real women want to see represented. Her movement, #NoWrongWay, creates scholarships for young women and provides them a place where they can be embraced for being themselves.
Marie Southard Ospina
Marie Southard Ospina is a feminist plus-size queer Colombian writer who is constantly uplifting and empowering fellow gordas on her Instagram. In a recent post she shared that she intentionally chose to pose with food for the 2021 Fatzine calendar to make a statement. “Once upon a time, I would count every calorie and burn every calorie and grow full of self-loathing whenever I ingested the bare minimum of calories I needed in order to live. Now, I delight.”