The challenge many people face everyday is the challenge of loving themselves for who they are. To look in the mirror everyday and see body positivity is a difficult feeling to find. Though, the support from friends and family can progress this feeling. To have someone by your side who shares the unconditional support which can guide someone to feel self-worth and love. Even social media influencers have become a support system for many people, with their inspiration and positive outlook on life. As many influencers are using their platform to create beneficial feelings in the minds of their followers. This article will see how social media influencers have made a beneficial impact to body positivity whilst encouraging people to love themselves for who they are.
Jenny Gaither is the founder of the non-profit organisation, Movement Foundation. With the ambition of the organisation to boost the self-confidence of women and girls. By developing a 14-week body-positive health and fitness curriculum which encourages girls to gain the knowledge and skills that will help them challenge their own strength and resilience. Whereas, the ‘Meant To Move’ grant supports young athletes from disadvantaged backgrounds with mental and physical coaching. Also, the ‘We Dare to Bare’ event gives women the chance to regain body confidence through strength training and spin, to yoga and boot camps.
The ‘We Dare to Bare’ event asks women and girls the questions:
What if we DARE to overcome the insecurities we have about our bodies? What if we instead choose to BARE out vulnerabilities in an effort to conquer them? Could we reveal the most powerful version of ourselves?
Furthermore, Gaither’s mindset is to “celebrate who we are by empowering ourselves, by overcoming challenges, by practicing strength and resilience”. As a matter of fact, all women should share this mindset by believing in themselves day in day out. Believing in body positivity.
When thinking of Alicia Keys, the main assumption would be her musicial success. However in 2016, she wrote a personal blog to tell the world she would be embarking on a no makeup journey. As the social norm in modern society is for women to indulge within makeup and cosmetics. Though, Keys has diverted that agenda stating:
“I don’t want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing”.
The decision to do so has sparked great reception in the eyes of the public. Rejecting the belief that women should wear make-up every time they leave the house, she has stood up for herself and women. Making women understand that natural beauty is in all women and make-up is not a neccessity. In effect, inspiring people to be proud of who they are and what they are, which Keys reinforces on every post on social media.
Like many, Iskra Lawrence struggled with body insecurities growing up. As a naturally curvy teen, Lawrence wanted “to seek approval from the fashion industry and tried to be ‘perfect’. Instead she struggled with eating disorders and mental unhappiness which she has addressed in a recent Instagram comparison post. With one picture from 10 years ago and one in 2018 she has outlined her struggles physically and mentally. Speaking out on the detrimental harm of extreme dieting and excessive exercise that she believed she needed to do to get a modelling career.
Though, years later she has diverted her attention to value herself and do things that make her happy. Notably, Lawrence has made a name for herself as a body positive advocate. As with 4.6 million Instagram followers and the everyBODY with Iskra program, she encourages people to live a healthy and happy lifestyle with her guidance. Whereas, she has started a new Facebook documentary named “The Mirror Challenge”, which aims for people to view themselves positively and feel comfortable about themselves. It is evident that Lawrence is in the greatest mental and physical state she has ever been in. As a result, she hopes for other people to overcome a body negativity journey and gain the positivity in life she has found.
In March 2018, Jameela Jamil launched the I Weigh campaign. Showing commitment to breaking down stereotypes whilst creating radical inclusivity, so that no one feels alone. The purpose of the campaign is to show that women are worth more than what they see on the scales. Notably, Jamil called out the Kardashian family for being the biggest advocate for promoting products that provide false beauty and promises. Classifying them to be brainwashing their followers minds with products that do more bad than good. But, Jamil believes all influencers are problematic by promoting products that promise the world but actually deliver nothing.
Jamil has inspired many people with her version of what she “weighed”, listing positive characteristics and traits such as “I like my bingo wings” and “I speak out for women’s rights”. As many women followed the trend, posting their own versions of characteristics and traits which make them who they are. Giving people the belief to love themselves for who they are, loving your perceived ‘imperfections’ and reduce self-doubt. To this today, the I Weigh account and Jamil promote inspirational quotes for women to focus on body positivity and happiness.
Since the age of 12, Ash Soto was diagnosed with the skin disorder vitiligo which sees parts of the skin lose pigmentation. For the most part of her childhood she was bullied for her appearance for being different to the rest. Filled with self-doubt, she covered herself up and excluded herself from everyone which developed anxiety and depression. But years later, Soto has used her body as a canvas to promote body positivity. With 170,000 Instagram followers and the bio ‘the girl with the world painted on her body’ she has become inspirational. Soto has learned to love herself for what she is, believing she is a ‘work of art’. The decision to publish her condition shows she has embraced herself and wants other people to take the same inspiration.
As Lizzo stature grows in the music industry, so does her impact on body positivity. Her song, ‘My Skin’ reflects on the years of work she had done to unlearn the ways society told her to hate herself. Within all of her songs and performances she wants to give fans a positive message or journey. As in every show she does, she delivers positive messages to her fans, such as “you are beautiful” and “you can do anything”. As well as in her MTV VMA performance she told the crowd, “I want to take this opportunity right now to feel as good as hell. Because you deserve to feel as good as hell”. Lizzo wants to build a positive environment not just for herself but for others around her.
Lizzo is a role model for everyone. In an Instagram story, she reminded her 8.6 million followers that “you need to be like you, and never let somebody stop you or shame you from being yourself”. Whilst in a Junkee interview Lizzo stated that, “My movement is for everybody. My movement celebrates diversity. It’s all about inclusion.” She just wants to “spread that love” to anyone that needs it, giving people the confidence to love themselves for who they are, building a body positive community.
The inspiration of social media influencers
To be an inspiration to many comes from within. The social media influencers above possess the traits to love themselves for who they are. Developing the mindset to think positively about themselves whilst challenging their ‘imperfections’. A message which they replay to their fans by encouraging body positivity and to develop love for themselves.