The body positive movement has taken the internet by storm. All forms of social media are sharing its powerful message with blogs being one of the most popular platforms to do so.
Behind the success of these blogs are the bloggers who write them, also knows as the Body Positive Warriors. They each use their blog for spreading self-love and body acceptance.
Their dedication and involvement in the Body Positive Movement cannot go unrecognized.
These BoPo warriors have their own unique story. They have struggled and have found strength to overcome.
With their strength comes the desire to lead, inspire and educate.
They use their voices to spread awareness and to help their readers recognize that they are not alone on their journey to self love and acceptance.
Leaders of The Body Positive Movement
The following are our interviews of the most influential women promoting body positivity and The Body Positive Movement.
Through fashion, ‘anti-diet’ approaches to making peace with food, unique photo galleries, or a non-judgmental voice in a sea of unrealistic media standards.
These body positive bloggers have truly outdone themselves.
We encourage you to use these web pages as resources for body positivity, self-love and inspiration.
1.What got you into body positivity?
2.What inspired you to create your brand?
3.How does your work improve the lives of your audience?:
♦Megan from Huntsville, AL♦
1) I got into body positivity after struggling with my weight. For years I was turning to yoyo dieting and crazy calorie cutting and it left me unhealthy and unhappy.
One day, after getting fed up, I decided it was about time to start loving myself and the skin I’m in.
I started embracing what I used to see as flaws and appreciating them as what made me, me!
2) I want to connect with other plus size women and help them embrace style and fashion in a world that tells them they should cover up.
3) I think I help women step out of their “comfort” zone and try new styles that they have been told not to wear because they are plus size.
I help people to embrace their bodies just the way they are and not be ashamed to show off their beautiful curves.
It’s important to show women that it’s totally ok to be 100% in love with yourself just the way you are and rock styles that break the so called “rules” for plus size fashion!
♦Marcy Cruz from New York, NY♦
1) I spent most of my life before the age of 30, always being the biggest girl in the room.
I never saw bodies like mine, so I naturally thought there weren’t many of us, thinking thin people were lucky and lived grand lives.
They could shop where they wanted and not have to deal with rude comments, stares and bullying.
I discovered the plus size community and that taught me that things were not that black and white. I immersed myself in the activist side of things, reading books by Marilyn Wann and learning to love myself in the body I was in.
That in turn opened my eyes to the body image issues that ALL people face.
I learned that thin people struggle too. They are bullied too.
That inspired me to stop being prejudiced and to stop showing support only to women who look like me.
At the end of the day, we may not look alike or wear the same size but we all share the same struggles.
No one is perfect and we all should be respectful and supportive of one another. All bodies are beautiful.
Body positivity has changed my life and made me more understanding of people in general. It has taught me to embrace all bodies and see the beauty in all of them. This inspires me to be kind to myself and show love to myself and others.
2) I’ve been blogging for 16 years. As the blogging world evolved, I saw an opportunity to create a blog to use as a way to speak to all women about being fearless, living fully, daring to go out of their comfort zones, being confident and loving themselves through my own experiences.
I didn’t want to just tell my readers what they should do. There’s enough self-help websites out there that do that already. I instead wanted them to come along with me on my journey and be inspired along the way.
Blogging is also therapeutic for me. It allows me to journal and share my story with the masses. The more I shared, the more I felt free. In turn, I felt like I was making a difference in the world.
3) I have received so many messages from women and young girls. They tell me how I inspired them to try new styles, love themselves, be kind to themselves, travel more and even how to get through things like grief, anxiety and challenging relationships.
That tells me that my words have impacted lives and that means the world to me.
I want all my readers to know they are beautiful and worthy. No one is perfect but we are all amazing human beings, flaws and all.
Fashion is for everyone and happiness is not in a dress size. You can do anything you set your mind to. I believe this is true whether it’s traveling around the world or wearing a two-piece bathing suit. (Even if you’re at a size that society says shouldn’t wear swimwear at all.)
I’ve done all of these things in a size 26 body and I am healthy and happy.
♦Marci Warhaft from Toronto♦
1) When I was 17 years old, my older brother became ill and passed away. He was 21 and I adored him. When he died, so did my self/esteem and any feeling of control over my life.
I started abusing my body through periods of starvation followed by compulsive overeating. I never felt good enough to deserve a place in the world.
By letting my pain control me, my food, and my body, I lost friends, jobs, and countless opportunities. I never felt like I was good enough or pretty enough or thin enough.
I put my life at risk several times.
I finally found recovery in my 30s. When I did, I was terrified by the messages kids were getting.
They were getting all this negativity about health and weight from the media and even their schools. I felt compelled to do something about it.
So, I created my workshops as a way of empowering kids and parents. I give them the information they need to stop judging who they think they’re supposed to be. After this, they can start appreciating and respecting who they already are.
2) I needed a place where people could find me if they needed help. Knowing you’re not alone makes getting help so much easier.
It was also important for schools and other organizations to be able to find me easily.
3) Fit vs. Fiction (its Facebook, workshop, and book) breaks down the dangerous myths related to beauty and fitness. It gets kids talking about the pressure they feel to look a certain way.
By sharing my story honestly, I give kids a safe place to do the same.
I also let parents know that they’re not powerless when it comes to their children’s self esteem and body image. I explain where the negative influences are coming from and offer tips and tools on how to turn them around.
♦Christy Harrison, MPH, RD, CDN from Brooklyn, NY♦
1) Personal experience mainly! I had an eating disorder in college and struggled with disordered eating for most of my 20s.
I know firsthand what it’s like to feel that your body is wrong and broken.
I eventually recovered after going to graduate school for nutrition. There, I discovered the concept of intuitive eating and took the final steps in healing my relationship with food.
Intuitive eating is a body positive and anti-diet philosophy about how to eat.
I was first exposed to those ideas through that lens. Then, I started working as a nutritionist specializing in eating disorders.
I became fully aware of all the research showing that body positivity and the ‘Health at Every Size‘ approach are integral to full recovery from eating disorders.
2) The website is basically just an overview of me and all my various projects. The podcast has a real story.
I first launched my podcast in 2013.
I wanted to help show people that they weren’t alone in their struggles with food.
Everyone has a complicated relationship with food and body image. There is potential for growth and healing.
As time went on, I tailored the podcast more specifically to help people in recovery from disordered eating and body shame. I talk with leaders in the body positive and anti-diet movements on every episode.
3) My listeners tell me the podcast has improved their lives by exposing them to body positive messages they’d never heard before.
They tell me I show them that full recovery from eating disorders and body shame is possible.
I’m told the show has helped shift their thinking out of the diet mentality and toward a more peaceful relationship.
♦Claire Bristow from Melbourne, Australia♦
1) After struggling with the weight I gained post-anorexia, I decided I needed to start thinking differently towards my body and love it just how it is for all it can do.
It came down to either spending the rest of my life loathing and punishing myself, or learning to embrace body positivity not just towards my own, but everyone’s bodies.
Once we start acknowledging our bodies for their amazing functioning capabilities and not their aesthetic properties, we discover a whole new appreciation for ourselves.
At the end of the day, we spend our entire lives inside our bodies so we need to learn to love them.
2) After my experience with anorexia and other mental illnesses, I realized how many people are struggling out there with no support. I wanted to provide that support.
3) Her Society is a support network for women which aims to change the social media norms and embrace every women, of every size and every walk of life.
We share stories from women all around the world and their experiences in the hope that no one feels alone in their struggles.
We are constantly bringing realism to social media and encouraging other influencers to do the same.
Social media has proven to be harmful for women’s body image and self-esteem in particular.
We hope to provide a supportive, honest environment to counteract the highly edited, falsified and misleading imagery out there that women are so often comparing themselves too.
♦Summer Michaud-Skog from Minnesota♦
♦Lezley Levario from Southwest New Mexico♦
1) Summer: In the 90s when I was a teenager, I was active in the Riot Grrrl Movement which opened me up to feminism and the rejection of body/beauty standards in a way I really needed at the time.
I read everything I could in college about women’s studies, feminist theory and art.
By studying, I cultivated a level of understanding about the root of beauty myths and how damaging they are.
Once I had that information, I have been living a body positive life for over 20 years.
I thank feminism for opening my eyes to the unattainable, patriarchal, heteronormative beauty ideals that are considered “normal.”
It also empowered me to speak out against those ideals and create positive spaces for all bodies to thrive in.
Lezley: Growing up, bigger bodies seemed normal and appreciated in my culture. As I entered adulthood, I learned that there was a difference in the mainstream society.
You could be curvy but not fat. With that mindset, I developed a fear of getting fat because you could only love and be loved if under a certain size.
It wasn’t until 2012 when I met Summer and her confidence with her body that I learned to appreciate my own body instead of punishing it for gaining weight.
2. We are avid hikers in Oregon where we live. Four years ago, when we first started hiking a lot, we didn’t see many people that looked like us out on the trails.
We searched on Instagram and found a few accounts dedicated to women outdoors but they weren’t like us.
We wanted to see fat folks, women of color, queer people, gender non-conforming folks, and everyone else who isn’t celebrated in outdoor media.
Now, we have a thriving community both on and offline. It is a diverse celebration of ALL bodies.
Everyone strives to love their bodies and selves through hiking and being outdoors.
3) When people see themselves reflected in images online, it inspires them. It empowers them to realize they can do the same if they want.
When people see a fat, queer, heavily tattooed woman on the top of the mountain, they think, “If she can do it, so can I!”
Everyone should feel represented and everyone should feel empowered to do the things they want.
We aspire to improve our community member’s lives by giving them opportunities to join group hikes and adventures they might be to afraid to try alone.
♦Liis Windischmann from Toronto, Ontario, Canada♦
1) I was always an athletic kid that was on practically every sports team. It instilled in me the fact that my body was strong, capable and powerful.
When I first tried to get into modeling as a slim teenager, I was told to get on a giant scale in the middle of the modeling agency waiting room. Against that strong gut feeling stirring within me, I got on that scale. After they said I was too fat, they told me to go on a diet, and to return weekly for weigh-ins.
I left there angry with myself for having let anyone treat me that way and never went back. Another agency told me to also lose weight and picked apart my features.
I gave up my teenage dream of modeling because I knew I was just fine the way I was.
After finishing university, then a size 14, I was walking through a mall and was stopped by a model scout and I told her I wasn’t interested and was not about to lose a pound! When she told me I was perfect the way I was, my career as a plus-size model was born and my curvy body took me all over the globe.
I always looked upon my size 14 body as a gift.
It’s always been my mission to count every body in because when I look at the women in my family, at my friends, we are all sizes and heights. Diversity is the norm.
I believe those first experiences cemented my body positive mindset and I have worked my entire career to help girls and women see their beauty – exactly as they are.
And now, after several years of severe health issues which challenged my body and brain and my abilities, I am inspired even more to help people see the gifts in their beautiful bodies.
2) I want to inspire women to feel a mind, body, and soul connection. Playing on my name, I aim to help women create a new Liis on Life.
I have had a long journey improving my health from severe health issues with autoimmune Hashimoto’s and Gluten Ataxia which has given me the gift of viewing the world every day through rose colored glasses.
When you regularly contemplate getting a mobility scooter because you lack the energy to move, you learn to appreciate every pound, lump, bump, and scar on your body as perfection.
By sharing my journey and life point of view on my website, and now more on YouTube, I hope to inspire women to see the brilliance and beauty of their own bodies and lives.
3) My website helps people reconsider how they think in order to create a strong mind, body and soul connection. If we change our minds, we change our world. When we change our own world, we can change the outside world.
LiisonLife.com helps people own their shift as I like to say. We are perfect just the way we are – we are not a before and after – we are an always. But we can lovingly tweak ourselves, our actions, our thoughts and move because it makes us feel good without constantly focusing on the numbers on a scale.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to better ourselves…as long as we know and love the fabulous foundation that is already in place!
♦Sarah Vance from Cincinnati, Ohio♦
1) Due to my own journey of body acceptance and self-love, I’ve developed a no-nonsense approach to body image.
I want to help stop the madness around food and teach women to treat themselves like the queens that they are.
We should all give the middle finger to perfection and ‘all-or-nothing’ mindsets so we can show up in the world as the radiant women we are.
2) I know how powerful this work can be for others.
As a nurse, activist, and in general advocate, I knew I wanted to help people feel peace and freedom to live their lives as they are, knowing they are enough.
I want to help them understand that they are more than their bodies.
Happiness, confidence, success, love, and a sense of worth can be felt in any body. I also wanted to use my voice for dismantling our fatphobic culture.
3) My website is where people can learn how to work with me either through my life changing Breaking Boundaries program, or with my One on One customized coaching.
It is also where they can find my podcast “Reclaiming YOU”, and my various writing dedicated to helping people move forward in their own individual journeys.
♦The Body Positive Team from Berkeley, CA♦
1) Our non-profit was established in 1996 by Connie Sobczak and Elizabeth Scott.
Connie’s experience with an eating disorder in her teen years and the death of her sister Stephanie.
She died from complications that arose from faulty breast implants, as well as malnutrition due to her continued struggles with bulimia – inspired her life’s work to improve the self-image of youth and adults.
She founded The Body Positive in honor of her sister, and to ensure that her daughter Carmen and other children would grow up in a new world – one where people focus on changing the world, not their bodies.
2) We need a website so that people know about our offerings!
Our main focus right now is to bring our Be Body Positive curriculum into as many schools as possible.
We currently offer trainings for high school and college students to become Body Positive leaders at their schools and we also train professionals such as educators, clinicians, medical professionals, and athletic coaches.
In addition to these, we have a book, “Embody: Learning to Love Your Unique Body (and quiet that critical voice!) Lastly, we offer workshops for the public.
3) Our trainings, book, and workshops teach people how to practice the five core competencies of our Be Body Positive Model.
The model provides people of all ages, sizes, sexual orientations, genders, ethnicities, abilities, and socioeconomic levels with a whole-person, non-shaming approach to the mystery and miracle of living in a human body.
The five core competencies are the fundamental skills we can practice on a daily basis to live peacefully and healthfully in our bodies.
When we become proficient – competent – at using these skills, we are able to care for ourselves from a place of self-love and appreciation. This allows us to act on our purpose and life goals.
♦Meghan Elizabeth from New Hampshire♦
1) I battled anorexia for over six years. It was almost by accident that I came across body positive accounts because it wasn’t anything I was seeking out.
Once I found them though, I realized how much it made sense to me.
2) My website originally was just a way for me to express myself and write.
I didn’t really expect anyone to read it except for friends and family.
From there, it became a recovery blog and eventually turned into a body positive/ED recovery/mental health blog.
It’s evolved a lot over the past couple of years and I’m really happy with where it is now.
3) I get messages all the time from young women and men.
They tell me about their struggles with eating disorders and body image.
It’s really humbling to hear all these people tell me that my blog is making a difference in their lives.
I think it’s super helpful for people to see real, authentic images and stories. People are craving authenticity and vulnerability because it’s not something we see a lot on social media. I feel honored that I can add that to the body positive world.
♦Dana Suchow a.k.a. Hotpants from San Jose, California♦
1) Since overcoming bulimia and compulsive exercising that resulted in permanent injuries, I became a champion for women’s rights, eating disorder issues, and body positivity.
2)I founded Do The Hotpants in 2012 as a fashion blog.
Once I realized that fashion’s unattainable beauty standard was fueling my eating disorder, I switched gears.
In 2014, I gave up my dream of becoming a famous fashion blogger.
I made it my mission to use my own life experiences to educate, empower, and uplift anyone struggling with negative body image.
3) I’d like to think my website and my social media presence helps people feel less alone.
I believe it helps a person to know that they’re not the only one struggling with their bodies. Knowing you’re not alone struggling with food, or with depression can really help a person begin to heal.
I embrace my followers and audience with empathy.
Empathy is something everyone could use a little more of.