It’s no secret that the constant bombardment of airbrushed images and social body-shaming ideals can negatively impact the ways in which we think about, and accept, our bodies.
Thankfully, there are some beautiful, strong women out there in Medialand, unwilling to confirm and more than happy to speak out about body-love.
Say what you will about her music, but Lady Gaga is a body image hero who isn’t afraid to call the media out on their body-shaming bullshit. After a string of websites and magazines slammed the starlet for putting on a few pounds, Mother Monster hit back at critics by baring her body in photographs posted on her own website and sharing her personal struggle with bulimia. She invited her fans to join a “body revolution”.
“Be brave and celebrate with us your 'perceived flaws,' as society tells us. May we make our flaws famous, and thus redefine the heinous.”
Girls star Lena Dunham’s openness about her body – on screen and in speaking to the media – has solidified her place in many women’s minds a body-love hero. She’s talked about her ‘Zen body philosophy’, encouraging all women to love their body, regardless of its size of shape.
"I think about my body as a tool to do the stuff I need to do, but not the be all and end all of my existence. Which sounds like I spent a week at a meditation retreat, but it's genuinely how I feel."
Known for being a straight shooter, Lily Allen doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to acknowledging the pressure put on women to fit beauty and body ideals. She drew some negative attention recently, telling Elle magazine:
"Of course I'd rather look like Kate Moss than look like myself. I wish I didn't feel like that, and I think the reason we feel like that is because of the imagery we're fed all the time.”
However, many fans are celebrating her willingness to go on the record with her insecurities. Her music video for Hard Out Here highlights the ridiculous pressures put on women to erase any sign left on their bodies that they’ve given birth, or conform to body size standards.
Beyonce has a bangin’ body, and she’s not shy about showing it off. She has even used media criticism as inspiration for some of her music – including one of her biggest hits, which saw the term ‘bootylicious’ added to every woman’s body-love vocab.
“Bootylicious was funny, but it came from people saying that I had gained weight and me being like, 'I'm a southern woman, and this is how southern women are’.”
Powerhouse songstress Adele makes no apologies for her curves, and has been quoted numerous times on the fact that she’d rather enjoy her life, eat nice food and drink good wine than spend time at the gym.
"I read a comment on YouTube that I thought would upset me -- 'Test pilot for pies' -- but I've always been a size 14-16 and been fine with it. I would only lose weight if it affected my health or sex life, which it doesn't."
J.Law is like everyone’s imagined celebrity BFF, right? I’m sure part of that has to do with her very vocal thoughts on body love, self-acceptance, and not bending to the Hollywood diet-diatribe. She told Yahoo! CEO Melissa Mayer in an interview:
“You look how you look, you have to be comfortable. What are you going to do? Be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That's just dumb."
Could there really be any kind of discussion about confidence and self-love without a quote from Amy Poehler? This fierce and funny lady is celebrated for dishing out inspiring and practical pearls of wisdom for girls and women, and her philosophies on body love are no exception. In one of her Ask Amy vlogs, she says:
"Sometimes a good way to help yourself get out of it is to have some gratitude… if you can go around your body and kind of thank it for what it gives you and thank yourself for your great eyesight, or your thick hair, or your nice legs, or your strong teeth, or whatever it is that you have that you were given. And make friends with those parts of your body and not try to focus on the parts that will never change."
You know who has a pretty amazing body? You do, even if you don’t always recognize it. Its high time we all started to focus less on our perceived flaws, and more on the ways in which our bodies are worth celebrating. So tell us – how do you act as your own body-love hero?