As this is my first resource post on this blog I wanted to give you a little bit on an insight into how I got involved with the body positive, self love movement and the people who have inspired me over the years.
This list is personal to me and there may be some people on this list that you don’t agree with and that’s perfectly okay, I’d love to hear about who inspires you in the comments…
• Charlotte Coyle
Charlotte is a plus size model from Derry and although she is no longer actively involved with body positive movement, Charlotte is the woman who first opened my eyes to the fact that by working together we could slowly begin to break down social constructs about how we view ourselves and others.
You may recognise Charlotte from her campaigns for Torrid and Marks & Spencer, but my introduction was back in 2006, when she starred in her very own television show broadcast on Channel 4 called ‘Fat Beauty Contest‘. The show documented her journey organising the first plus size beauty contest in Britain. If you haven’t had chance to check the show out, I do believe there are some clips kicking around on You Tube and it’s definitely worth the watch.
• Jes Baker
Well, who doesn’t know who Jes Baker is? She is probably one of the most influential people involved with the body positive, self love movement and is just an all round genuine person. Thanks to Jes I have learnt not only to love the skin I am in but I am no longer afraid of the word ‘Fat’!
As I said, many of you are probably well aware of who Jes is but I first
met came across Jes when she posted a mock ad in response to an advertisement by Abercrombie & Fitch in 2013 where she changed A&F to ‘Attractive & Fat’. I remember seeing the ad and thinking to myself, wow I wish I had as much confidence as this amazing woman. She has since been part of many campaigns and even founded the Body Love Conference. Jes also released an amazing book, which I will be reviewing very soon called ‘Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls‘ which has changed my life in every way and for that I will be eternally grateful.
• Mary Lambert
Okay, so Mary Lambert is my absolute girl crush. Mary is often known for discussing difficult subjects within her music and poetry including body image, sexual abuse, bipolar disorder and her body.
You may know her from co-writing and her stunning vocals on the single ‘Same Love’ with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis but I first discovered her when I was trawling through youtube one night looking for some music to listen to. The song ‘She Keeps Me Warm’ came up in my suggestions and as soon as I listened to it I feel in love with it, so much so that I then went to her channel to see what else she had written. That’s when I found ‘Body Love‘, the perfect mix of music, spoken word and truth that made me again begin to question the way I saw myself and how as a society we are killing ourselves or making ourselves miserable to fit into some sort of social normality that has been decided by who?
• Louise Green
Louise Green in my opinion is revolutionising the way the world sees bigger, dare I say fat people. If you were to ask anyone the first thing that comes into their head when they think of a fat person I would imagine most people would say lazy or they don’t get enough exercise, etc. Well, Louise dispels those suggestions and encourages people to believe that anyone can realise their athletic potential regardless of their size or shape.
Louise Green was the first plus size athlete I ever came across and since being introduced to her existence I have not only begun enjoying working out a lot more but also feel a lot more comfortable in the gym. I used to walk into the gym and try to avoid eye contact with everyone as I felt ashamed of how my body looked amongst the beautifully thin and toned people but now I can honestly say that I walk with my head held high and smile at everyone I meet because I am there for the same purpose as they are and although our bodies look a little different we have the same goal and that is to be healthier and to feel good about ourselves.
Louise has also released a book called ‘Big Fit Girl‘ which I will also be reviewing at some point so keep your eyes peeled 🙂
There are so many more people that I could add to this list as the more you delve into the body positive movement, the more amazing people you come across but for now I just wanted to share a little part of my journey and introduce you to the women responsible for getting me to this point, I will be adding more and more resource posts as time goes on so please keep checking back and/or subscribe to receive notifications whenever I post something new.
I would also love to hear more about your journey so please feel free to share your influences with me in the comments.
Charlotte Coyle: http://www.listal.com/viewimage/7898231h
Jes Baker: http://www.thegloss.com/beauty/body-positive-essay-militant-baker/
Mary Lambert: http://www.electricfactory.info/Event/5/27/2015/the-script
Louise Green: http://bodyexchange.ca/about/louise-green/