Breaking the conventional norms and charting a history is never easy. More so when it comes to breaking the beauty standards ingrained in people’s minds for centuries. The beauty standards raging from skin tone to hair color, from the body size to the shape, have limited the concept of beauty to people over the years.
But the battle is going on to mend the broken society. Here are five beauty warriors (with hundreds of others from all over the world) who are turning tides in their favor and spreading the message of body positivity and self-love.
#1. Jada Sezer @jadasezer
Want to have a dose of sunshine, body positivity vibes, and some thoughts on things you question yourself? Then check out the Instagram page of Jada Sezer.
Model and a mental health activist, Jada, has been using the platform for a long time to spread the message of being comfortable in your skin for a long time. She and her friend Bryony Gordon hit the headlines in 2018 when they ran Virgin Money London Marathon in bra and panty as a campaign and fundraiser for a local charity. This feat catapulted her into the mainstream along with her ideas to a larger mass of women who were not confident of their body shape and size.
Scrolling through her Instagram pages, you are not just bombarded with a series of paid promotions for the plus-size people but a range of posts that share insight into her daily life. The remarkable moments, the random thoughts, the selfies we click at random, her posts are filled with things that you find from an avid Instagram user. So, what sets her apart? It must be her confidence which attracted thousands to her page. Looking through her posts, you can find how she evolved as an Instagrammer, catering to consumers and her beliefs along the way.
Being a face on many fashion shows and advertisements, not just catering to the plus-size models, Jada has successfully created the so-called diversity that the arena under beauty needs. Her message is loud and clear- fitness comes in more than one body. If you are plus size, it is not necessary that you are unfit, and there is no need for you to be ashamed of your body.
#2. Stephanie Yeboah @stephanieyeboah
If you are looking for a model who is fun, free, and unapologetic, then look no more. Stephanie checks all your requirements through her posts.
But things were not easy for her. It took years of struggle for her to build a healthy relationship with herself which was not traumatizing her mind. Been through the awkward schooling years where bullying the difference was usual, Stephanie had gone through a lot before she came to realize and accept herself for how she is rather than what others want her to be.
And this is the message that she wants to send across to others going through the same dilemma. Also, standing tall representing the fat black woman as she calls herself; she wants the girls out there that there is no need for you to compromise and adjust because of your color or shape. An author herself, her book Fattily Ever After, discusses the subtle as well as the harsh realities of fat black women who don’t necessarily fit in the typical beauty notion.
Using her feed as well as the blog, Stephanie is always vocal about the disparity not only between the woman of the plus-size face but also that woman of color. With a large number of followers, the message is sure to bear its fruit.
#3. Sonny Turner @sonnyturner_
Though that being a plus-size model would redeem you from the boxes, not quite. Turn to Sonny turners’ revelations about the difficulties of the modeling business.
Sonny was just a teenager when she was found by a modeling agency. The size 16 model stumbled upon a few roadblocks when they dictated how a model should be, to appeal to the audience. But finding the right cord, Sonny now aims to address body positivity by changing the standards and boundaries that conventional beauty brings along with it.
The curly-haired beauty is not here to go along with the norms, and neither is a fan of fashion which is not inclusive of people of all body sizes. An advocate of a curvy body is not afraid of labels that people put on plus-sized models. A part of the confidence comes from the self-assurance that she has built over the years.
A social worker at heart, along with modeling Sonny has also invested in brands with a social cause. A thing that helps her go through the day’s hectic work and being propagated as the image of change is her belief in the cause. She neither wants to fake it nor desire to put things that do not resonate with her. These ideals help her keep her feed as real as possible to connect with people who have similar ideals as her.
#4. Naomi Shimada @naomishimada
Naomi was modeling since a teenager; however, it was in her twenties that she was associated with the plus-sized industry. The model and author use Instagram as a platform to share what she believes in and the freedom she enjoys because of it.
Browsing through her feed, one thing that you find is the simplicity and the rawness of the photos she posts. Not too glamorous, but breezy fashion and things that are beautiful in their way. And this is what she wants the people to know about.
Joining the plus-sized brigade to find freedom from the toxic culture attached to the conventional modeling world, Naomi was surprised to find that size mandate rules in the plus-size modeling. This was when she started questioning the notion of the term plus-size. A disparity in the fashion world which fails to acknowledge the mass is prevalent, even with the large and established brands. Staying true to her belief while catering to the commercialism in the modeling arena is one thing that she wishes to tackle.
#5. Lauren Nicole @laurennicolefk
A model, entrepreneur, and blogger, Lauren has been living her dream. Always dreamed of becoming a fashion journalist, Lauren successfully pursues her hobby as her full-time job.
Who is a better muse than oneself when it comes to projecting the ideas you want to share? Lauren uses the platform to not only spread the message to be comfortable on your skin but also what she wanted to put out there- fashion. Scrolling through her feed, you will stumble across the makeup tutorials, product placements, fashion styles at home and outside, and much more. This is a platform that caters to all who want to learn more about fashion, style, and products.
A strong advocate of beauty, beyond color and shape, Lauren hopes to create a day where models are not categorized and treated based on the conventional beauty standards. Though the dream still has a long way to go, it is indeed possible for a woman who is ticking her wish lists to achieve anything.
Ask her about one thing that she believes in; then it is indeed to believe in yourself. Not to see yourself from the eyes of people who know neither you nor your capabilities. Limiting and doubting yourself will never lead you to find yourself.
Propagating the beauty which resonates with the authentic individual self, Lauren is not here to compromise but to lay her own rules.