More and more women are coming out, loudly and proudly, in defiance of social norms which dictate that they should be ashamed of their bodies. (Thanks, social media!) Serena Williams, Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer, Kate Hudson and Pink are just a few of the badass women who are literally changing the world just by feeling themselves.
Today is Love Your Body Day, an annual awareness event led by the National Organization for Women (NOW) Foundation. “The beauty template women are expected to follow is extremely narrow, unrealistic, and frequently hazardous to their health,” NOW says on its website. No kidding: According to data compiled by the Social Issues Research Centre, less than 5 percent of women have the “ideal” bodies portrayed in advertisements. “The Love Your Body campaign challenges the message that a woman’s value is best measured through her willingness and ability to embody current beauty standards.” Amen to that.
Less than 5 percent of women have the “ideal” bodies portrayed in advertisements.
Below, 15 extraordinary public figures, boss babes, body positivity advocates, and other multi-hyphenate female leaders weigh in on the incredible things they’re astonished their bodies can do and the unexpected places they find their confidence.
Read on for a serious dose of self-love #inspo.
Founder of Healthy Is the New Skinny
“I love my body because it’s the home to my soul and spirit. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to have a human experience, and for that I’m grateful. I love that all the cells in my body love me so much they work day and night to keep me alive and well. And I love my body because it was able to create my daughter, True, which was the most amazing experience of my life.”
Entrepreneur, writer, and wellness expert
“I love my body because each part tells part of my story…tattoos that mark meaningful moments, stretch marks that grew from a few too many late night slices and glasses of wine with friends, and muscles that mark years of dedication to myself and my health. There’s strength in the storytelling.”
Yoga instructor, author, and U by Kotex Fitness spokesperson
“We live in this world where we are obsessed with changing our bodies as opposed to nurturing them. The human body is incredible. It moves with you and for you. I’m constantly reminding myself and my students how important it is to give back and appreciate our bodies for all that they do…I find confidence in yoga, which gave me a space to see who I actually am. In so many situations of my daily life, I was always the fattest person there, one of the few people of color. In yoga, none of those things seemed to matter.”
Model and body positivity advocate
“I appreciate so much about my body. How strong my legs are for running, jumping, and exploring. I am so grateful for hands that allow me to create and hold onto my loved ones. And I’m proud of my skin for its resilience and ability to heal.”
“My confidence comes from assuredness of self—this is the essence of me that is unshakable. It comes from knowing my worth, from valuing my ability for critical thought and compassion over any kind of physical beauty. It comes from a focus on how something feels, not how it looks.”
“I grew up in front of cameras, so I constantly heard things like, ‘She isn’t skinny enough’ or ‘She isn’t tall enough.’ Naturally, that made me question myself a lot. When I moved from modeling to acting, I found that I could be valued for the work I brought to set that day rather than by my hip measurement. And nowadays, I find confidence in knowing my body is healthy, strong, and able.”
Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott
Co-founders of Tone It Up
“We love that our bodies constantly evolve. We can all constantly challenge ourselves, whether that’s deepening our yoga practice, running an extra mile, doing an extra rep.” —Katrina Scott
“We find confidence in other strong women. Whenever we need a boost of confidence or motivation, we turn to each other and our community. We check in with our TIU team on Instagram and see their strength and dedication and that inspires us to be our best selves, too.” —Karena Dawn
Fashion blogger and founder of Sassy Red Lipstick
“I love that my body is curvy and beautiful. It may be soft but it’s also strong! I love and accept every inch of my body because it helps me live life to the fullest…It’s my vessel for accomplishing my dreams; it helps me get up every single day to work, create, and inspire. It helps me finish a SoulCycle class, it makes me feel like a million bucks in the perfect outfit, it makes me…me! My body is amazing because it’s mine and I feel like I can do anything I set my mind to, no matter my size or shape.”
Founder of Because I’m Addicted
“I love my body because it’s my home! As my grandmother-in-law likes to say, ‘If you don’t take care of your body, where else are you going to live?'”
Lauren Paul and Molly Thompson
Co-founders of Kind Campaign
“I am pregnant right now and witnessing my body change to help keep another human alive is the absolute most beautiful, astonishing thing I have ever experienced. That doesn’t mean that the change is easy, but just knowing that my body is growing another life is such a surreal thing to think about.” —Lauren Paul
“I find confidence when I look at my daughter, Lyla. I see her and I feel so proud. It gives me this overwhelming sense of confidence of knowing that I am capable of much more than I ever even realized. And it drives me to exude that attitude to be the best role model possible; to showcase the strength and power of feeling proud of your accomplishments, your worth, and your innate beauty.” —Molly Thompson
Founder of the Last Cut Project
“My body is my greatest teacher. Truth lives in the body. So, I trust the messages I receive through my physical experience. When I feel something off in my body, I pay attention and ask questions about how I am navigating in my life. Every scar on this body marks a time in my life when I have experienced pain, growth, and unbelievable healing. It’s trying at times, but magical to be in this body.”
Kyle Miller and Sian Gordon
Co-owners of Found Yoga
“I love that my body can walk for hours!” —Kyle Miller
“I can surf and it gives me the greatest joy.” —Sian Gordon
Feeling all the goosebumps? Keep the good vibes going with more from Dana Falsetti, Jessamyn Stanley, and others. Plus, this documentary wants you to rethink what it means to have a “good body.“