Many women use “fitspiration” to help motivate themselves to reach their ideal body-type. This “fitspo” fills Pinterest feeds with images of thin women with perfect hourglass figures, thigh gaps and feminine, yet defined abs.
While it is important to exercise and stay healthy, this ideal body type is unattainable for many women. Rather that striving for a body type that that we will probably never achieve, we should look toward women who are beautiful, healthy, and confident at all sizes and remind us that we don’t have to fit to a certain standard in order to be happy with who we are.
1. Marie Southard Ospina
Marie Southard Ospina is a freelance Colombia-American writer and size-acceptance activist. You probably recognize her name from her regular articles on Bustle, Refinery29, and Buzzfeed. Her articles, which are usually about beauty and fashion, often focus on plus-size bodies. She has won The Liebster Award, which is an award bloggers give to other bloggers in order to recognize them for their online contributions, and the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.
Ospina’s articles, personal blogging, and social media accounts have helped make huge strides toward giving plus-sized women visibility online and making sure that all body types are included in the fashion world.
You can find her on Twitter at @mariesouthard, Instagram at @mariesouthardospina or on Pinterest for regular updates on plus-size fashion and information on her latest articles.
2. Jessica Torres
You might not recognize the name Jessica Torres, but you have likely seen her in videos from the I Heart My Body Facebook page, which has half a million likes. Torres is a social media personality, and fashion blogger who provides fashion inspiration for plus-sized women on her blog, tinyredshoes.
Her daily fashion inspo shows women that they can be beautiful, fashionable, and fierce at all sizes.
You can follow her at itsjessicatorres.com or at @thisisjessicatorres on Instagram.
3. Gabi Gregg
Gabi Gregg, commonly known by her blogger name GabiFresh, is a fashion designer, feminist, and blogger who helped popularize the term “fatkini.”
Her designs make fashionable, modern clothing and bathing suits available in styles that usually would not be produced or sold in plus-sizes. Her clothing, which includes skinny leather pants, curve-hugging dresses, peplum tops and high-waisted bikinis, market plus-sized clothing in styles that larger women are usually told they cannot “pull off.”
Gregg’s work has helped encourage plus-sized women to become more confident in their bodies and has shown the fashion world that all women deserve clothing options that aren’t baggy and matronly.
You can find her on social media at @gabifresh.
4. Tess Holliday
Tess Holliday is a plus-sized model and body positive advocate who started the #EffYourBeautyStandards movement. She was the largest woman ever to be signed by MiLK modeling agency and she has been named one of the world’s top models by Vogue Italia and one of the top 6 plus-sized supermodels by Refinery29. Holliday also has her own line of plus-sized clothing at Penningtons.
Holliday’s work with the #EffYourBeautyStandards movement teaches women to unapologetically embrace their bodies and helps them ignore what the media says they should and should not wear.
You can follow her on Twitter at @Tess_Holliday, on Instagram at @tessholliday, and you can follow her social media movement on Instagram at @effyourbeautystandards.
5. Ashley Graham
Model, designer, body activist, and TEDx talk alum Ashley Graham has taken her own steps to ensure that women of all sizes can feel beautiful in their skin. Graham has her own lingerie collection that advertises with the hashtag #ImaSizeSexy. She also started the #CurvesinBikinis campaign as well as the Lane Bryant ad campaigns, #ImNoAngel and #PlusIsEqual.
Graham often speaks to groups about body image, self-acceptance and female empowerment and her TEDx talk, “Plus Size? More Like My Size,” talks about how she launched her career while learning to love and accept herself. She also had a curvy, no-thigh-gap Barbie made of her last November.
You can find Graham on Twitter and Instagram at @theashleygraham.