Body positivity advocates on Instagram have created one of the tightest and fastest growing supportive communities on this popular social media platform.
Body positivity has become a hugely popular topic as many suffer from poor body image.
Body positivity advocates are often called BoPo warriors.
They are those who stand strong for what they believe in. They are a group of supportive, empathetic people with a strong desire to have their story told.
Many choose to be vulnerable and share their story in hopes that they can help a single person avoid the pain they have suffered, often for 5,10 or 25 plus years.
A group who constantly work to be accepting of their bodies while fighting the voices and triggers that are constantly striving to knock them back down.
All of the amazing women in todays post have a story to share. Those listed below have fought many unique struggles including:
- Eating disorders
- Body dysmorphia
- Mental and physical abuse
We asked our favorite BoPo warriors on Instagram the following question:
What got you into body positivity and why is it important to you?
Each story will inspire those in the body positive community.
Though we have taken different paths, we all end up together on this journey to self love and body acceptance.
Jessica – Hot Springs, Arkansas
“I’ve been a fat babe my whole life and I love myself, and I want to share that with others.
No girl deserves to hate her body. We are all spiritual beings in meat suits.
No need to feel less than because your meat suit is different than someone else’s.
I’m sorry. No PERSON ever deserves to hate their body, not just girls.”
Sophie – Minneapolis, Minnesota
“As a plus size woman and someone who has hated her body her entire life, I need a community of body positive people that regardless of country or race or gender or background, there is unbelievable love.
The body positive community has made me so much stronger as a person. It has continued to motivate me to keep on this journey of loving myself and accepting what is.
Even though most of the time I don’t talk to the body positive women that I follow, I feel like they’re my sisters and brothers.”
Cassie – Austin, Texas
“What got me into body positivity was struggling with anxiety, weight loss, and self esteem.
It started with self-compassion, and that flowed right into body positivity.
It’s changed my life.
I’d still love to lose weight but I rarely catch myself doing any negative self-talk about my body anymore.”
Kit – Yorkshire, England
“It’s so incredibly important to me because for a long long time I was in such a bad way about my mental health and my body, self acceptance and body love.
The community helped me so much to realize that I’m great the way I am.”
Jennifer – Port Hope, Ontario
“Hating my body has cost me so much over the years. I don’t want to be a part of a problem where a certain body type and striving for that are the only thing that matter.
Because I have a 3 year old niece who will grow up loving her body I hope.
I want her to see her aunt loving hers too. Because it makes no sense not to be body positive and it angers me that I was taught the opposite.”
Mariella – Brighton, UK
“I feel that people don’t seem to love themselves as they are.
It’s human nature to want more, to want better things.
The grass is always greener, but in reality, people only see the pretty finished picture, not the hard work or photoshop or makeup etc. behind it.”
Kim – Kentucky
“I’ve always been big and after losing 70 pounds and still being chubby I have gained so much confidence.
My hubby has always adored me just for me no matter size.
He has showed me I’m beautiful no matter what and I want women to believe that about themselves.
After 39 years and being put down by family all my life, I’m not that bad!! I have finally started loving me, finding BoPo hashtags and pages have helped me also.”
Kylee – Marion, Iowa
“All my life I’ve been looked down upon because I was big and people thought I couldn’t be anything else and I hated myself for it.
I’ve come to love being big and expressing myself with clothing and makeup and showing that big women can be beautiful no matter what.”
Madeline – Dallas, Texas
“What got me into body positivity was a very long struggle with body dysmorphia and a deep love for others and the many shapes and colors they come in.
Learning to fully love myself and truly showing love to others goes hand in hand.”
Tricia – Virginia
“Everyone deserves to know how beautiful or handsome they are, both inside and outside.
From my own experience with bullying, my worth was based on my size to that person.
I thought I was worthless and that because of my size, nobody would want me.
To see someone else struggle with that is heartbreaking, and I feel the body positive movement could help them.”
Celene – Durban, South Africa
“My husband has really helped me accept my body.
I used to be so insecure and felt I was too fat.
I thought stretch marks were so ugly, even my double chin had me down.
I now realize that this is who I am and I’m comfortable in my own body.
My husband loves me!
I even feel confident enough to attempt to wear a bikini soon for this summer, with my baby bump.
It will be the first time ever wearing a bikini. I’m just keeping my eye open for one that I really like!”
Stephanie – London, UK
“Body positivity is important to me because I have suffered many many years without it, and now because I have my daughter as a push of motivation, I don’t want her to go through what I did growing up.
Everyone should be proud of who they are and not what they look like.
Not stuck in the vicious circle of lies that today’s society and media tells us. I could go on and on…”
Jenna – Colchester, Essex
“I believe body positivity is the first step to happiness.
For years I hated my body and wanted to change it so I could fit in and be like everyone else.
I was unhappy majorly with my life.
After years like that, something clicked and I started to realize there is nothing wrong with my body.
I am a curvy girl and that is something to be proud of. Body positivity changed my life.”
Aoife – County Clare, Ireland
“Being in an abusive relationship nearly destroyed me and it’s legacy left its mark.
I couldn’t even look in a mirror without hating what I saw.
Therapy and support have helped me recover and embrace who I am.
I’ll never be a supermodel but I can still rock it when I want to.”
Emmie – Denmark
“I believe that you can accomplish much more with love rather than hatred.
Why hate your body so it cannot do anything?
Love, be happy and positive about your body and it will show you miracles!”
Tonee – Baltimore, Maryland
“What got me into body positivity was mostly a combination of being comfortable in my own skin and a realization that it’s ok to not conform to society’s beauty norm.
Each individual sets their own standard of beauty.
For me, this epiphany happened when I started serving others, totally removing myself from the equation.
In serving others you find the beauty and uniqueness in people and it makes you feel good about yourself… #DoGoodFeelGoodLookGood”
Rachel-Leah – London, UK
“I have been modeling since I was a baby.
I’ve been size zero and plus size now in my life. I’m happiest and more busy as a plus size model!”
Chelsea – Whitehorse, Yukon
“What got me into body positivity was having a baby and losing all confidence.
I was a dancer for 15 years and always had this expectation from society to be skinny and well proportioned.
When I became pregnant I gained 70 pounds. I went from 150 to 220 in 9 months. It was my living nightmare (God bless my sweet little angel.)
Took me until now, and he is 3 1/2, to lose most of the weight, not even all of it.
I began to think, ‘Who cares what other people think?, I am still a goddamn beautiful woman stretch marks and all.
With saggy skin and gravitationally challenged boobs (lol), I started to remember why my body had looked this way now. It was because I did the most beautiful thing that women were blessed enough to do and that is bear a child, of whom I love so deeply.
I stopped shaming myself and began telling myself I was beautiful everyday.”
Samantha – Toronto, Canada
“I think it was mostly that I just became so exhausted by all the self hate and negativity.
My body image was so bad.
I knew the only way that I would be able to fully recover from my eating disorder would be to accept my body.
I thought the more I participated in body positivity and the BoPo community, the more I’d learn to love myself!”
Jen – Tacoma, Washington
“What got me into body positivity was recovery from restrictive dieting.
I fell head first into low carb dieting due to how hard it is pushed on those of us with Type 1 Diabetes.
I ate so little carbs I messed up my hormones, lost my period, hair falling out, the whole 9.
I was getting thinner so I was happy.
It took my doctor fussing me out and learning to not label foods as good or bad or bodies as good or bad to break out of it. Still in recovery, but 3 years in.”
Amy – London, UK
“I was diagnosed with body dysmorphia around a year and a half ago.
After years of tormenting and punishing my body for not looking the way it should (in my head anyway), I decided to really try and push and learn some body positivity! :)”
Subha – St. Louis, Missouri
“I just believe that we as people are already good enough.
We battle so many different things on a daily basis that the way we look shouldn’t be the main attraction.
Loving yourself and feeling good about you is just good for you!
“My parents as I was growing up would make shaming comments to me.
“I guess they tried to motivate me or something.
“I’ve been dealing with depression and anxiety for years. They never knew that so it clicked to me from within that if others see you’re okay with the way you are maybe they will take a harder look at themselves and be okay with what they see.
We are all beautiful in our own special way, we just have to look deeper and realize we are not the problem and set better examples for our children.”
Jay – Windsor NS, Canada
“Well, if I’m honest, I’ve always had a lot of trouble with my body, whether it be weight, shape, those little bits that just don’t work quite right with how I want to look.
I’ve been dealing with a lot of dysmorphia and had a few eating disorders over the years. So it’s safe to say I’ve never felt too great about my body.
The weirdest thing happened. Something in my brain clicked one day, and everything around me and inside of me changed.
I knew I didn’t have to look like my ‘thinspo’ or lose that weight to be able to love my body.
I’m still on my way, but I’m learning day by day that I don’t have to be anything in order to love who I am, inside and out, with no strings attached.
I shouldn’t focus so much on the negatives because there can always be something I want to change, but there’s also always going to be things I can love. I’m trying hard to look at it that way.
Pages like be body_positive on Instagram definitely help out which is so amazing.
Everyone deserves to feel like they can be beautiful. I’m starting to understand that that includes me.
I always say to everyone else to love their skin, I don’t see why it wouldn’t apply to me.”
Sacsha – Green Bay, Wisconsin
“After having two kids and getting into better shape than before I was pregnant and at my age now I realized how crazy awesome women’s bodies are.
To go through pregnancy and childbirth and be able to come out swinging.
Lani – Adelaide, Australia
“Definitely self loathing.
I reached a point where I realized I could never escape my self hatred unless I made an active effort to love myself exactly as I am.”
Ruthie – Albany, Oregon
“I have three girls and I couldn’t stand to think of them treating themselves the way I have treated myself.
I found some great BoPo women on Instagram and ran with it.
Loving myself these past few months has been life changing.”
Ella – Durban, South Africa
“Body positivity is important to me because I know the struggle of being bullied, teased or discriminated against, because of how I look.
Feeling the pressure to conform to society’s standards, it hurts and can damage self-esteem.
I just believe everyone should be confident, happy with how they look, and not be shamed for being different in any way.
All bodies should be celebrated and accepted.”
Ursula – New Orleans, Louisiana
“What got me into body positivity was being tired of trying.
I did a photoshoot and wore makeup for the first time per someone’s urging… left me looking ghost-faced.
I’m just going to express myself and tell ’em to take notes and pictures please!
I’m not buying into an image in attempts to please the world.
Your message at Bodypositivity.com screams this, so thanks for the encouragement.”
Katie – Ontario, Canada
“Body positivity is important to me because every young girl (and boy!) should be able to grow up without the pressures to look the way society deems they should (for example; thigh gaps and flat bellies.)
Everyone is so unique. There are so many messages that we receive daily (directly or indirectly) about how we should look.
It causes eating disorders, over exercising, dieting, etc. When we don’t reach those standards, it really does a number on you.
I grew up from the age of 12 wanting a flat stomach. I tried everything under the sun and could not reach that. Partly I have a curvy body and partly because of my medication.
It wasn’t until a couple years ago after doing ‘Shred’ (clean eating and weights) for an entire month and not noticing much of a difference in my body, I realized that I need to just accept who I am.
No matter what I do, my meds are always going to fight against that.
I just had to accept that and live life happily and not try to change the way I look.
I eventually found meds that worked and didn’t cause weight gain. I’m glad that I started my BoPo journey beforehand.
Now it’s important to me to share BoPo with others.
We all feel the need to maintain or look a certain way. We all wish we had the body of someone else.
It’s important to just love what we have and be comfortable with who we are. It’s a journey we all have so it’s important to spread the love and positivity. 🙂 <3″
Emily – Chicago, Illinois
“I’m a recovering anorexic with three years at homeostasis.
I want to show all the people out there struggling with what they are told about themselves that the only person you need to see your beauty is yourself.”
Ary – New York
“For me, I’ve pretty much been body shamed all my life. What’s worse, it’s been from family.
I’ve noticed within Latino families (especially with mine,) it’s either you’re too skinny – eat more – or you’re too fat – watch what you eat.
I’ve personally never received the skinny comments even though, when I look back, I was very thin.
I’ve always been self conscious of my body and my weight because the people I’m supposed to trust the most have always told me that I wasn’t good enough or that I need to change my looks.
To this day, it’s a constant battle with those insecurities. Looking back at old photos, I question myself. ‘Why in the world did I think I was fat?’
It sucks honestly. I’m trying my best to overcome it and hopefully I will someday.”
Sarah – Maytown, Pennsylvania
“All my life growing up I’d hear women of my family say things like, ‘Oh, you’re getting chubby,’ or ‘I thought you’d be a model when you were younger, you were so skinny.
Just comments about women’s weight in general. It really hurt and made me angry.
I went all throughout high school thinking I was “big boned” or “fat” because the girls in my school were stick thin.
I had friends of every size and many of them were happy with the way their bodies were. Everyone is different.
This made me realize as long as YOU are happy with your own body, then that’s all that matters.
Anything negative coming from someone else should be pushed aside and spoken out against.
I looked at a picture of me in high school from six years ago and realized I was super skinny.
I wasted four years of my life trying to stay a certain size because I thought others would like me more.
Now, I stay fit for me and am confident in my rolls! 🙂 Some have them, some don’t, and each body is beautiful.”
Antonia – Kansas City, MO
“It’s important to love the skin you are in.
Positive changes come from good feelings.
You are more likely to make changes for the better when you are feeling good about yourself. Well at least the healthy way.
Love what you have and you will appreciate the person you will be even more!”
Elyse – Orlando, Florida
“Honestly, I got tired of hiding and not living my life to the fullest.
It was always easier for me to tell others not to worry about their insecurities, yet I could not get over my own.
Some days are harder than others but I want to encourage and inspire others the way I’ve been.
I want others to know how beautiful they are and that they don’t have to hide in photos, wear long sleeves even when it’s hot to cover their arms, or any of the other things I used to do!”
Body positivity is so much more than simply learning to love your body. It truly begins with loving yourself.
It takes effort, struggle and constant reminders.
The reward comes when you finally feel that weight lifted off your shoulders. You finally feel like you can breathe again!
Share your story below! You too can inspire many as our amazing group of body advocates have inspired you!