Body positivity is a social movement intended to empower individuals to love their bodies in their current state no matter their age, size, gender, race, or abilities. In addition to self-love, being body positive also requires you to respect the bodies of others, no matter how far they deviate from societal norms or standards. Unfortunately, like so many things, the movement that was created by Black women to spread the message of self-love, respect, and inclusion, has been hijacked and become whitewashed.
In an interview for the October issue of Vogue, cover star Lizzo addressed how the body-positivity movement has strayed from its original intent. “It’s commercialized,” she said. “Now, you look at the hashtag ‘body-positive,’ and you see smaller-framed girls, curvier girls. Lotta white girls.” She went on to say, “I’m glad that this conversation is being included in the mainstream narrative. What I don’t like is how the people that this term was created for are not benefiting from it. Girls with back fat, girls with bellies that hang, girls with thighs that aren’t separated, that overlap. Girls with stretch marks. You know, girls who are in the 18-plus club.”
Like Lizzo, we are glad the conversation has gone mainstream but it is beyond problematic that so many women are intentionally being excluded and underrepresented. The reality is there are a number of Black women over the size of 18 who built the very table from which others now so freely eat and that they, in many ways, now find themselves fighting to keep a seat.
In light of that reality, we are spotlighting a few of those badass, body-positive Black influencers because, like Lizzo said, it is time to “normalize fat bodies.” If you don’t know these women, you should.