As we move into January, we’re inundated with diet talk. “New Year, NEW YOU!” posted across billboards and businesses, and even slinking into our homes and phones via Facebook posts.
Sometimes it feels as though the rest of the world thinks that we are aliens walking around in fat costumes.
With the “right” amount of exercise and dieting, the drive and desire to make a change, to “just work hard enough” to be different… we could just unzip our fat selves and a thin, “whole” human being would simply step out: sparkling, new, and perfect.
But what about those of us who are content in our bodies, or want to be happy and content simply as who we are? These constant messages of inadequacy erode at even the strongest resolve and the happiest people. Over and over again, we have to rebuild our confidence and protect our psyches against both subtle and blatant attacks telling us that we will never be enough. That we must consume, but don’t consume too much.
Shrink, but not the “desirable” parts.
Because we are too much but also never enough.
This week, we strip away the fancy clothing and fashion options that we adorn ourselves to celebrate our outer as well as inner selves.
This week, we embrace “New Year, NUDE You” and celebrate bigger bodies and their resilience and beauty.
1. Saucye West’s Fat and Free Campaign (@saucyewest)
This year, plus-size model Saucye West kicked it into high gear with her #FatAndFree campaign. One of her most recent shoots was a topless shoot in Oakland’s redwoods, celebrating the power of the body.
2. Dana Falsetti (@nolatrees)
Dana reminds us of our natural beauty, one gorgeously vulnerable snapshot at a time. She says, “I've benefited hugely from seeing fat bodies in all forms, powerful, fulfilled, sexy, confident, vulnerable, human. Finally I get to see people who look like me, and I get to see people who like to all beautiful versions of people. People who weren't represented before, we now have this awesome platform to represent ourselves. Not just existing, but thriving. I guess I'm saying I see y'all and I appreciate you and I am rooting for you. Excited for the come up. “
3. Lizzo (@lizzobeeating)
Musician Lizzo saw her own star rise in 2017 with her incredibly danceable yet sincere and lovingly optimistic feminist tunes as the world took notice of her talent. It’s incredibly healing to see a big-bodied, dark-skinned woman thrive and create art for herself and others.
4. Ady Del Valle (@iam_adydelv)
Fearlessly gorgeous plus-size/brawn model Ady Del Valle proudly embraces his form, which is often criticized by women and other men for his ample bosom. Del Valle shows how sexy and sensual curves on the male form can be, expanding beauty standards for all genders in the process.
5. Jessamyn Stanley (@mynameisjessamyn)
There is never a time in which Jessamyn Stanley is not incredible. In this image, she poses for The Adipositivity Project while showing us bigger bodies in yoga poses.
6. Ruby Allegra (@rvbyallegra)
Allegra’s identities sit at an intersection of many: queer, disabed, trans, and an activist — just to name a few. In this image, they show us themselves stripped down.
“In case you’re not sure, this is what a disabled body looks like. ‘A’ here meaning ‘one’. One disabled body.
In case you’ve never seen one, this is what a disabled body looks like.
In case the media hasn’t represented anything like it, this is what a disabled body looks like.
In case your only exposure to disabled bodies has been able-bodied actors ‘cripping up’, this is what a disabled body looks like.
In case your body positivity only celebrates able bodies, this is what a disabled body looks like.
In case your feminism excludes disabled people, this is what a disabled body looks like.
In case you didn’t know trans people with a disability are real, this is what a trans disabled body looks like. In case you need evidence or proof of our validity, this is what a disabled body looks like.
This is one disabled body. My disabled body.
There, proof I exist.
Now you can include me and my disabled siblings. Now you can remember not to forget us. Now you can show up for us.
I can’t believe I still need to ask for inclusion.”
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7. The Plus Size Zombie (@theplussizezombie)
Instagrammer The Plus Size Zombie reminds us of our worth with her beautiful message. Remember, you are perfect in your own skin. Your body, your decisions — don’t let the media tell you otherwise.
8. Valerie Sagun (@biggalyoga)
South Bay area yogi Valerie Sagun practices hatha yoga and has written a book showcasing big bodies doing yoga, providing representation for diverse bodies and identities. "By being a curvy woman of color, I get to show a lot of underrepresented people that they are capable of anything," she tells Buzzfeed.
9. Substantia Jones And The Adipositivity Project (@adipositivity)
Photographer Substantia Jones captures this big-bellied Adiposer as they drop the drape and celebrate their whole self.
10. Ericka Hart, M.Ed. (@ihartericka)
Sex educator and breast cancer survivor Ericka Hart invokes the image of goddess mother herself, Grace Jones, in this homage to the artist/singer complete with a hitachi wand… a nod to Hart’s own profession. Photo by Island Boi Photography.
11. Sara Shakeel (@sarashakeel)
Collage artist Sara Shakeel created this beautiful celebration of stretch marks using model Lauren Dungey in a piece for curve brand MissGuided and their #makeyourmark competition.
12. Yousra (@politicalbutt)
Yousra unabashedly celebrates herself with this gorgeous self-portrait, allowing us to see into her home and life.
13. Autumn (@auaulynn)
Teacher and plus-size model Autumn lays out her realistic New Year’s Resolutions and hopes for her followers in this beautiful post.