The body positivity movement was established to empower individuals to love their natural bodies. In addition to self-love, being body positive also requires you to respect the bodies of others in spite of how they deviate from society’s norms or standards. This movement is one that is intended to shine a positive light on everyone no matter the communities we belong to but lately it seems that the intent and message connected to body positivity has been hijacked and white washed.
Names like Tess Holiday and Nadia Aboulhosn come to mind immediately. However, people struggle to acknowledge Black body positive influencers who strive to push the messages of self-love, respect and inclusion.
During an October interview with Vogue, singer Lizzo addressed how the body positive movement has become commercial and lacks inclusivity. “Now, you look at the hashtag ‘body positive,’ and you see smaller-framed girls, curvier girls. Lotta white girls” Lizzo said. Curvy girl Amber Riley denounced the movement all together in our November digital issue, where she said, “My body is mine. I don’t need a community telling me what to do with it.”
The reality is, Black women always have to work harder to be recognized and respected. Even in spaces like the plus-size community, where inclusion is a top priority, Black women find ourselves fighting for a seat at the table. Despite the fact that our influence contributed greatly to the evolution of plus-size fashion, we still fail to receive fair and equal treatment, pay and recognition.
Today, we are sharing a few bada** Black influencers with you who may not get much mainstream attention but are body positive. Why? Because we agree with Lizzo, it is time to “normalise fat bodies.”
This Montreal based plus-size model went to war with rapper Future when he requested “No Fatties” be allowed in a Miami club he was partying in.
Sasha is owner of plus-size brand Flaws Of Couture and a brand ambassador for Rebdolls and FashionNova.
While this is an unfortunate reality for black women, Saucye’ is up for the challenge of promoting change needed to normalize being fat and black.
While promoting the hashtag, #wewearwhatwewant, Simone does just that. This plus-size influencer refuses to allow society to determine her attire or attitude.
OG influencer Kellie Brown has been at the forefront of plus-size body positivity for many years. She created the hashtags #andigetdressed and #fatatfashionweek to celebrate plus size style and fashion.
If fat black girl joy was a person, it would be Ashley Wall, this plus-size influencer spreads positive vibes everywhere she goes and refuses to buy into society’s standards for plus-size women.
Being tall and plus-size isn’t easy, influencer Shainna Tucker just makes it look that way. She continuously spreads her messages of self-love and self-awareness all over Beyonce’s internet in an effort to energize women who look like her.
Although Danielle is an amazing journalist, she also has a strong voice among plus-size women. Many admire her free-spirit and willingness to be present in spaces that don’t intentionally make room for fat girls.
We could go on for days in regards to this topic and the black influencers that are body positive and badass but I will leave you with these amazing women for now. Just remember that you don’t have to fit into one particular mold to be body-positive, and don’t allow the hashtag to discourage you from spreading your message of self-love.