The shout for body positivity was reignited when Kendall Jenner’s selfie during her SKIM photoshoot went viral. It was definitely not her fault, but social media as a collective whole has been encouraging a very unhealthy image of ‘beauty’ which affected a lot of people.
One of the trending tags is ‘normalize normal bodies,’ which encourages women not to feel weird with their own bodies. Those perfect, lean shapes that supermodels flaunt on social media are not all sunshine and rainbow. Not only do they adhere to a rigorous diet and workout schedules, but they also need those bodies for their job.
After Kendall’s replies, perhaps these motivational quotes by women who showed off their flaps and cellulite with confidence are what will convince people that normal bodies vary.
There’s nothing wrong with being pretty like Kendall, but there’s also nothing wrong with stretchmarks and flaps. As long as you’re healthy and happy, why let people tell you to feel otherwise?
1. Mik Zazon started the trend that changed lives.
“The photo that started it all. The day that I created the #normalizenormalbodies movement, and little did I know that it would start a movement to connect stories from all over the world.
This photo is one that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
“Real bodies look different… from different angles. Love yourself, your normal rolls (you know your skin), and remember to stop comparing yourself to anyone.”
“I can never take myself seriously #normalizenormalbodies.”
“Our bodies are poetry, and our stretchmarks are perfectly written lines.
I’m often asked when this journey started for me. When I stopped tearing apart my body and moved toward acceptance.
It’s been a long process in the making, one that truly began on a therapist’s couch at 20 and is still ongoing. But sometimes there are single moments, tiny seconds when lightbulbs go off.
Seeing @sarashakeel ‘s Glitter Stretchmarks series was exactly that.
Her work forced me to question what I had always been told was shameful.
Because there, reimagined through her lens, stretchmarks were striking. Stunning. Sparkly and strong and undeniably beautiful.
So today, if you’re struggling with your stretch marks, know this: we have been conditioned to believe they are ugly. They are not. They are your wonderful marvellous body serving you and supporting you always. Always.
You’re poetry, babygirl.
You’re a work of art.”
“Read it. Normalize them. And then do it again.
“After losing over 200 pounds I am left with loose skin. A little reminder on this #mondaymotivation not everything you see on Instagram isn’t what it is. I get a lot of questions about loose skin. From did you have it removed to will you get it removed. The skin is here as you can see on the right.
This is my reminder of all the hard work that I have put into myself. No surgery, no diets, no pills, and no keto. A simple calorie deficit and a lifestyle change are what helped me.
Now that I have the loose skin my issue is retaining fluid. Now that I have been incorporating more carbs and calories my skin likes to retain it. This is way my body does and I keep everything transparent with you all. This may not happen to everyone but it does to me.
Rather if I get loos kin surgery or not it doesn’t take from the hard work that was put in to make this happen. There is a possibility that I will get it removed. It’s hard having this in the way. It gets heavy and now I’m starting to have more back issues than I typically would. Even started have skin issues. It’s almost been a year since I’ve maintained. I do fluctuate a lot especially right now as I’m prepping for my next competition.”
“I have never had what I consider a happy Valentine’s day and this day won’t be an exception. But I want to change that. The narrative that you have to be loved by someone else to determine how important you are, is normal… we are humans who seek love, but that shouldn’t make us feel like sh**.
I let that narrative control 1 day and it affected the rest of 364 days and I thought that it was because I didn’t demonstrate enough my love to others. So one day I decided to give what I wanted to have to someone else…but never got it back. And that was my mistake. Expecting reciprocal love from someone when I needed to give that love to myself first.
We like them but we don’t need flowers, chocolates, or gifts to know that someone is thinking about us… and YOU are someone.”
“I started photography partially because I’m a control freak and partially because I felt that I would never belong in front of the camera. I default to a lot of similar positions because I’m new to this, and my body doesn’t move the same way as others. Learning to feel comfortable expressing myself, especially as I collaborate with and learn from others, has been so fun.
The reality is that I have mobility limitations, and certain poses are painful or not possible. I’m trying to focus on the ones that are, and make them unique to me. And for some reason, this weird flamingo pose is one of them.”
“We can respect our reflection without loving it.
We can respect our reflection without feeling joy for it.
We can respect our reflection while struggling with it.
Respect should come FIRST…
Respect it with kind words.
Respect it with rest.
Respect it with clothes that fit instead of squeezing it into clothes that don’t.
Respect it with movement.
Respect it with nourishing foods and water.
How are you respecting your body this week?”
“Your GOAL WEIGHT is not always your HEALTHY WEIGHT.
I often get asked how I became comfortable with my WEIGHT, with my BODY. How I stopped restricting. How I began eating. How I let myself slide into swimsuits and shorts and didn’t pick apart the cellulite, the stretchmarks, the soft folds that slunk over seams. These questions are coming in more right now, as so many of us are home, slowing down, sliding into our thoughts.
And like SELF LOVE itself, the answer is complicated.
Because those thoughts never entirely go away. They’re part of being human.
Yet BODY ACCEPTANCE isn’t about always feeling only sunshine and rainbows. It’s about feeling what I feel, but knowing in the same breath that my BODY says nothing about my WORTH as a woman. That no matter WHAT, I deserve to EAT. That I can have fitness goals, but they should come from a place of LOVE, not of punishment or restriction.
And that a NUMBER on a SCALE can not, should not EVER define or control me. Even if it once did. Even if once it was all I thought about for days on end. So here’s a little reminder for any of you struggling right now with the urge to diet or shrink or minimize all that you are:
Know that incredible GOALS can have NOTHING TO DO with WEIGHT, and EVERYTHING to do with HEALTH.
Good luck out there girl.
You’ve got this.”
“Your WEIGHT may change, but it doesn’t impact YOUR WORTH. It doesn’t.
Even though sometimes, for so many of us, we get confused. We start to think it does. That some silly number on a scale makes us GOOD or BAD. It’s been on my mind a lot lately thanks to all these ’OH NO, ENDING QUARANTINE FAT!’ memes.
Dark humor is a way so many of us survive difficult times. But this bodyphobic humor is dangerous. Because it whispers to us lies wrapped in fear: that if we gain weight, we will be failures, not worthy, worthless. Only that’s WRONG. So wrong.
Because our worth? Our worth sits in SO. MUCH. MORE. Than some stupid number on a scale. It’s in our ability to reach out with kindness even as the world rocks.
It’s in our brains. Our souls. Our determination to fight for something better. Our hope for the future. Our love for each other. Our WORTH is connected to all that makes us WONDERFUL and HUMAN. And that? That’s something weight could never change.”
“Nearly 3 months postpartum. The scar is making it harder to shrink back to normal. I’d like to start exercising, but I haven’t been cleared for it because I’ve got a second surgery next week (with another 6-8 week recovery). So I guess I have to love myself as is, oh darn. Not a swimsuit model, but this body made two lovely kiddos!
“I always have a hard time with these posts. Because even though I try to post real candid photos, I still have a tough time being completely vulnerable and open. But I just wanted to show you guys, what a wonder posing and high-waisted pants are. They can completely change your perception of someone’s body.
I spent so long hating my body instead of celebrating it. And I can honestly say I am finally content in my skin. I know that my body is ever-changing. It is growing and shrinking, and then growing and shrinking again.
But I have definitely spent a lifetime hiding it up until now. I’ve perfected the art of dressing for my “body type” and posing my body in photos. And I naturally suck in my stomach at all times due to years of doing it.
We all have things that we don’t like about ourselves. Our tummies, our bums, our thighs, our chicken wings, our back fat.. but we’re all just trying to love ourselves fully, and that includes those things we’ve tried to hide in the past.
It’s an uphill battle. But we all deserve grace. We all deserve support. So let’s be kind. To ourselves. And to others.
And if I may, I implore that you stop comparing yourself to the people you see on Instagram. What you see isn’t reality most of the time. Is it intentional? Sometimes. Sometimes not. But what I can say with 100% certainty is that comparison is most definitely the thief of joy.”
“This photo is for the multiple men who tuned in to my TikTok live on Saturday, saw someone passionately speaking about their small business and their first instinct was to tell me that I “have more rolls than Swiss Chalet,” that “Montreal must have a lot of food”, and that I should “put down the fork.”
I’m actually glad you said it live so you could see exactly how little you’ve affected me.
However, I’m terrified for the women who, through no fault of their own, will be the next ones to receive your bullshit comments and take them to heart. Who will hear your words every single time they look in the mirror, who won’t show up online anymore until they lose weight, who will literally starve themselves and lose all peace of mind… just because of something you won’t even remember 5 minutes later…