Debunking the Myth: Body Positive Influencers That Prove Every Body Is a Beach Body

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed belong to our diverse range of talented writers, and don’t represent the views of Wessex Scene as a whole

Summer has a lot of positives that boost our moods: sunshine, love island, pub gardens that we can sit in without freezing or being rained on. However, for many the hotter weather induces panic and dread at the thought of wearing summer clothes that show more skin.

Throughout the decades we’ve been fed by advertisers the idea that there’s only one body that’s acceptable for summer: thin and toned, with the right curves in the right places, a perky bottom and boobs and flawless skin – the so called ‘bikini body’.

This body shape is used in advertisement campaigns for all types of products: holidays, perfumes, yoghurts and of course, gym/fitness products and packages. In the current social media climate, this dread of baring skin is heightened as it seems everyone, whether it be celebrities or friends, is posting bikini pictures. Often, they look amazing and don’t have one hair out of place, let alone cellulite or tummy rolls. Whilst scrolling through our Instagram feeds, it’s difficult to not compare ourselves and start feeling inadequate. However, there’s a wave of body positive influencers on social media who are preaching for us ALL to practice self-love and embrace the bodies we’ve got, because despite what we may be fed by advertisers – every body is a bikini body. If you need a little help in loving yourself, then check out some of the influencers below!

Grace F Victory (@GraceFVictory)

Credit: Image embedded from @GraceFVictory Instagram

I’ve been a follower of Grace’s for years and have watched her journey to becoming the successful author, blogger and presenter that she is today. Not only is she open about her past trauma and struggles with mental health, but she continuously reminds her followers that there’s no such thing as the perfect body and your health and happiness isn’t purely related to how you look. Grace is also open about how even she, a body positive influencer, still has days where she struggles with loving herself, which makes her one of the most relatable people to follow on Twitter. Her tweets and Instagram will not just encourage you to love your body exactly as it is, but also make you laugh out loud. By posting her bikini pictures and nude photos, she’s one of the main reasons I personally thought ‘sod it, it’s only a body’ and put my bikini on this summer.

Grace also uses her platform to shine a light on the inequalities within the blogging world, where white, able-bodied, richer individuals tend to favour better seemingly, and constantly promotes other body-positive influencers to try and increase the movement’s intersectionality. Grace has also opened up about her journey to getting back into exercise and I’ve learnt more from her about how your health isn’t determined by your weight and body shape then I ever did in PE.

Side note: her tweets on Love Island are the BEST on twitter, how she wasn’t asked on Aftersun (or taken over hosting the series to be honest) is beyond me.

Bryony Gordon (@bryonygordon)

Bryony is a respected journalist and writer but in the last few years has gained more exposure due to both her interview with Prince Harry where he opened up about his own struggles with mental health and for completing London Marathon in her underwear! Her agenda for running the marathon in her underwear wasn’t only to encourage everyone to embrace their bodies. It was to also prove that exercise and running is for every body shape and the physical, mental and emotional benefits that you gain from exercising are accessible to everyone – not just the ‘fitstagram’ models that are constantly promoted on social media.

Bryony’s been open about how she used to loathe her body for many years as it wasn’t ‘perfect’ and didn’t look like the bodies she saw in magazines. Yet she now happily posts pictures in her bikini and underwear to show that any body, no matter the shape, size, if it’s been through childbirth or is in mismatching, old swimwear is still bikini-body ready and doesn’t need to be hidden away. Bryony’s Instagram is not only relatable and hilarious but is a constant reassurance on my timeline that not only can we wear the bikinis but also that we don’t need to limit ourselves anymore due to social pressures from the media. If you want to run the marathon, or go swimming at a public lido or rock a bralette in public – no matter your body shape – you can!

Bodyposipanda (@bodyposipanda)

A lot of you have been asking for my opinion on the Netflix show Insatiable, so brace yourselves: · We do not need anymore weight loss fairytales where the sad fat girl transforms into an entirely new person and lives her wildest fantasies. We do not need to give girls anymore of an idea that their summers should be spent shrinking themselves for the big reveal when they go back to school – trust me, they already know that narrative loud and clear. When I give talks in schools and ask how many of them are planning on dieting over the summer so that they can come back as a new version of themselves, whole rooms raise their hands. · We do not need anymore thin actors in fatsuits, ever. Putting thin actors in fatsuits as comedic props is fatphobic, always has been fatphobic, and always will be fatphobic. End of story. · We don’t need anymore messages that real life only starts in the ‘after’ picture or that extreme starvation is worth it for the end result. We certainly don’t need thousands of young people googling whether they can have their jaw wired shut, which no doubt will happen after this show comes out. · And tbh, we don’t need any more lazy, unoriginal, tired tv plotlines where fat people are only allowed to be one-dimensional stereotypes until they get smaller and are suddenly whole human beings worthy of praise, sexual attention, success or ‘revenge’. · Give us more shows about fat girls who stay fat and are shown in all their multi-dimensional glory. Give us fat girls getting revenge. Give us fat girls falling in love. Give us fat girls whose storylines have nothing to do with them being fat. And if we could get more fat characters who also aren’t young, white, able-bodied, cisgender, hetero and conventionally attractive anyway, that’d be fucking fantastic. 💜💙💚🌈🌞 P.s. @florencegiven started a petition for the show to be cancelled the link is in her bio. If it goes ahead, the best thing we can all do is not give it the views it’ll need for a second season. 🌸 · [Description: Megan is sat on a wooden bench with a garden behind her and a blue sky. She’s wearing a purple bikini with orange ruffles and smiling up at the sun with closed eyes]

A post shared by Megan Jayne Crabbe 🐼 (@bodyposipanda) on Jul 27, 2018 at 12:16pm PDT

Credit: Image embedded from @bodyposipanda Instagram

Megan Jayne Crabbe, known as @bodyposipanda on social media, is taking on the diet industry one Instagram at a time and dismantling the idea that in order to be happy and successful, you must also be thin. Having battled anorexia nervosa when she was a teenager and then dieting for years, Megan’s now a champion of body positivity and loving the skin you’re in. Her Instagram is not only filled with beautiful, smiling pictures of her in bikinis and other outfits, but also quotes encouraging you to stop trying to ‘better yourself’ by losing weight and instead love yourself and allow yourself to enjoy everything: food, clothes, exercise, love – no matter your body shape. Following Megan’s Instagram has given me encouraging body positive quotes on my timeline that I didn’t fully realise how much I needed. Megan has also introduced me to new bloggers and body positive Instagrammers through her championing off other body positive influencers on her social media, helping to promote intersectionality within the movement.

Obviously there are so many more body positive influencers that are worth following, and I have only included the three that have helped me the most, but this means I haven’t included any body positive influencers that are male, have a disability, or identify other than cis-gender. A few others to follow are @annielainey, @theeverymanproject, @ashleighthelion.

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