celebrities and plus-sized models are challenging an outdated culture that tells women what their bodies should look like

For decades, thinner women were seen as ideal in society. Within the past few years, however, there has been a massive shift in the way society views beauty. Round tummies, bigger thighs, and voluptuous curves are now being embraced.

This shift has a lot to do with different celebrities as well as popular brands showcasing bigger women in media. It’s becoming more acceptable to love and praise different body types, not only thinner ones. Just years ago a bigger model showing off her stomach would have been frowned upon, but this has now been seen in even the most popular magazines such as Sports Illustrated, Vogue, and Cosmopolitan. More and more brands are showing advertisements with plus-size women and women with curves, inspiring millions of girls to be proud of their bodies and embrace what they see in the mirror.

This change is long overdue. Many women have long struggled with body image issues, with social media being the newest source of contributing factors in addition to magazines, movies, and television. Social media has had an especially large impact on young children and adolescents, who are more impressionable as they are just starting to develop a sense of self. Many young girls see a polished, photo-shopped picture of thin women with thousands of likes on social media and believe that’s what they need to look like in order to be seen as pretty. This sort of thinking can lead to low self-esteem, which in turn can potentially lead to depression or eating disorders. It’s imperative to show younger girls and women that they are beautiful, no matter the size of their bodies. By seeing models of larger sizes, they can believe this and feel more confident.

Many celebrities are joining this movement as well. The popular singing duo Chole x Halle have been praised for showing their curves and even stretch marks in their photos, something that would have been taboo just years ago. Actress and singer Demi Lovato has also been open about her struggles with body image and an eating disorder and uses her platform to tell people about the reality of her mental health struggles. She has been a powerful advocate for girls loving the skin they’re in. Her confidence while showing off her curves demonstrates to women everywhere that it’s okay if they aren’t thin.

Though many celebrities are using social media as a platform to show their true selves, this movement has been expedited by non-celebrities as well. Social media has been important in helping people have a voice who would not have one otherwise. Now anyone can proudly post pictures of their bodies and can gain notoriety and support— practically overnight. One example is Instagram’s famous plus-size model @flynfluffy. Her fearlessness has helped her gain thousands of supporters. She shows women that they can still dress how they want and look radiant. Her vulnerability and openness are so refreshing because traditionally the media has always been centered around people only showing their best, polished selves.

More and more women of all sizes are following suit, posting pictures of themselves and helping people see that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. This new transformation in culture is vital because it changes the narrative from superficial standards to today’s reality that being unique and confident is what makes everyone beautiful.

Written by Nia Neal-Smith

This article has been republished from Renewed Awareness Magazine.

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