Body positivity, a term coined in the 1960s by marginalized groups such as fat, queer, non-white, and disabled communities, started gaining cultural significance in 2012 when it became an empowering hashtag and theme of online discussion. Today, it has evolved into a mindset that encourages people to love, cherish, and respect their bodies, regardless of societal norms surrounding thinness and straight sizes. Prominent figures like plus-size model Ashley Graham use their platform to advocate for body positivity and self-love. Alongside Graham, other plus-size models have also voiced their support for body positivity.
Emme, the first plus-size supermodel, believes that body positivity is not just a size issue but a women’s issue, and owning who you are, no matter your age or size, is important. She believes that the more we see diverse body shapes, skin colors, and age ranges in the media, the more comfortable society will be with widening their definition of beauty. Paloma Elsesser believes that her body is honest and not radical, and by seeing more diverse body types in fashion, we can give the industry more dimension. Precious Lee advises people to follow those in the industry who are not thin to see how beautiful they are. Tess Holliday thinks that plus-size women should take up space, wear clothes, be fashionable, and feel good in their bodies without facing any controversy. Iskra Lawrence frequently uses social media to promote body positivity, and she believes that every body deserves to feel confident in the skin they are in.
Ashley Graham says that women are now embracing plus-size, fat, curvy, and big girl labels because women are not one-dimensional. She believes that once she accepted her curvy body, she became more confident. Despite facing criticism and being told to lose weight, she has come to accept herself as a big-boned, healthy, corn-fed Nebraska girl. Body positivity has become more than just a movement; it is now a mindset that people of all shapes and sizes can embrace.