By now, we’re all familiar with the #BodyPositivity Movement that’s been trending on the likes of Instagram and Tiktok. You know, the videos of fat and plus size white womxn who squeeze their body fat then smile rebelliously because societal standards have nothing on them? Yeah, those are the ones! But have you ever wondered about the roots of this movement before it became popularized on social media?
In 2019, Wear Your Voice magazine shed a light on the history of the Body Positivity Movement, asserting that it had been overshadowed by fat white womxn when the roots of the movement itself grew out of the fat acceptance movement in the late 1960s. Managing Editor of Wear Your Voice, Sherronda Brown, said in a 2019 interview with Healthline, “Black women especially had long been talking and writing about how their Blackness informed how they experienced fat antagonism. What most people don’t understand about body positivity [is that it started in response to] white society’s fear of the racial Other.”
So what does it mean when an entire movement has been co-opted by white womxn and feminists who claim to be intersectional but actively exclude their BIPOC peers? It means that the time for reparation is long overdue, but now is as good a time as any to start.
If you’re looking to unlearn your own White Supremacist ideology, here are a couple of Black Body Positive Activists you can follow to diversify your feed and extend your support!
1. Stephanie Yeboah, @stephanieyeboah
Instagram – @stephanieyeboah
The twenty-nine-year-old blogger has been writing about her experiences with racism and fatphobia since 2014, making a name for herself as a Body Image & Self Love Advocate. Aside from writing on multiple online platforms and publications, Stephanie has also served as a panelist at events like Women of the World Festival, Africa Utopia, the Youth Select Committee, and the London College of Fashion Diversity Panel. Her book “Fattily Ever After” is available for pre-order now!
2. Megan Jayne Crabbe, @bodyposipanda
Instagram – @bodyposipanda
Best known for her viral videos and body-empowerment messages, Megan has been featured on the Today show and in People, Teen Vogue, HelloGiggles, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, Redbook, Refinery29, Buzzfeed, and more. She is an outspoken advocate on anti-diet culture and was nominated for the Shorty Award for Health & Wellness.
3. Enam Asiama, @enamasiama
Instagram – @enamasiama
Born in Ghana and raised in the UK, Enam Asiama has partnered with creatives like Black Girl Picnic, Strictly Queens, and Missguided to spread her message of self-defined beauty and body love. She characterizes herself as a “Fat Queer Black woman” over her social media platforms, making for an intersectional leader to follow and support.
4. Grace Victory, @gracefvictory
Instagram – @gracefvictory
Grace F Victory is an award-winning digital creator who has no issue navigating topics that are often labeled taboo. Her Youtube channel is a collection of intimate vlogs where she discusses sexuality, sex, mental health, and self love. She is also the founder of How To Heal Hollistically, a platform that encourages conscious healing and the reframing of one’s self.
5. Nyome Nicholas-Williams, @curvynyome
Instagram – @curvynyome
A model and Self/Body Love and Mental Health Advocate, Nyome has amassed a following of over 18,000 followers. She is the co-Founder of Be Who You Deserve, a platform that highlights Body Positivity, Mental Health Awareness, and Healthy Coping Skills.
6. Kanoa Greene, @kanoagreene
Instagram – @kanoagreene
Born in Hawaii and raised in Orlando Florida, Kanoa Greene is a surfer and Advocate for Health and Wellness regardless of size. She is the creator of Plus Size Retreats, where she documents her travels and adventures as a plus size Black woman and empowers women of all shapes and sizes to seize the adventure wherever they go!
7. Dianne Bondy, @diannebondyyogaofficial
Instagram – @diannebondyyogaofficial
Dianne Bondy has been a leader in the yoga revolution for more than twenty years. Over her career, she has empowered students, educated teachers, and worked toward inclusivity in yoga through systemic change within the yoga industrial complex. She defines herself through her social media platforms with the hashtag #fatblackyogini
8. Essie Golden, @essiegolden
Instagram – @essiegolden
Essie Golden moved to New York City to pursue a career in fashion and has since become a sought after plus-size model and body positive advocate. Using her blog to inspire and encourage other women, she is the founder of Golden Confidence, spreading her message of empowerment for women of all shapes and sizes.
9. Jessamyn Stanley, @mynameisjessamyn
Instagram – @mynameisjessamyn
Jessamyn Stanley is a yoga teacher and body positivity advocate and writer. Gaining recognition from her viral videos showing her yoga routines as a plus-size queer woman of color, Jessamyn has used her platform to dismantle the yoga industrial complex and provide an inclusive environment for health and wellness.
10. Nicole Ocran, @nicoleocran
Instagram – @nicoleocran
Nicole Ocran is a mixed race American fashion blogger living in London. She writes about her personal style as a size 16 fashion lover and on her identity as a biracial womxn. She has written for the likes of Refinery29, Metro.co.uk, The Sun and Washington Post.
11. Ericka Hart, @ihartericka
Instagram – @ihartericka
Ericka Hart, M.Ed., D/s is a Black queer femme activist and writer who made waves when she went topless showing her double mastectomy scares in public in 2016. Her work as a sexuality educator has influenced her platform on body and sex positivity.
12. Tiffany Ima, @tiffanyima
Instagram – @tiffanyima
Tiffany Ima is a Wellness Content Creator and Advocate for Body Confidence. Her blog and platform encourages her followers to embrace their bodies and stop obsessing over food in order to improve their overall wellness.
13. Lauren Leavel, @laurenleavelfitness
Instagram – @laurenleavelfitness
Lauren Leavel is a motivational coach based in Philadelphia where she works with clients to help them move their bodies, find their emotional zen, and tackle their personal finance. Her work centers on inclusive fitness combining Barre & HIIT exercises for her clients to gain body confidence regardless of size.
14. Kellie Brown, @itsmekellieb
Instagram – @itsmekellieb
Kellie Brown is a Consultant and Creator known for her message on body acceptance and body inclusivity in fashion. She characterizes her work through the hashtag #FatAtFashionWeek and runs “And I Get Dressed,” a media outlet that promotes inclusive style.
15. Kelvin Davis, @kelvindavis
Instagram – @kelvindavis
Kelvin Davis is an award-nominated author and body positive gentleman. Through his blog “Notoriously Dapper,” he has created a platform that celebrates body positive men’s fashion to inspire men to explore their identities through fashion.
16. Precious Lee, @preciousleexoxo
Instagram – @preciousleexoxo
Precious Lee is a model and body positive advocate who has starred in fashion lines like Lane Cryant, American Vogue, and New York Fashion Week. She has been the first black plus model to appear in pages of the publications of Sports Illustrated and American Vogue, making her an advocate for diversity in the fashion industry.
17. Gabrielle Gregg, @gabifresh
Instagram – @gabifresh
Gabrielle Gregg is a body positive activist, designer, and style influencer. She has been featured in Refinery29, Fohr, Forbes, and more where she talks about her personal style and encourages women of all sizes to experiment with fashion and ignore the rules.
18. Olivia Campbell, @curvycampbell
Instagram – @curvycampbell
Olivia Campbell is a London based size model and content creator. She has been featured by Cosmopolitan where she discussed her platform of promoting self-love and body positivity, and encouraged brands to design for bigger bodies for more inclusive fashion.
19. Mama Cax, @mamacax
Instagram – @mamacax
Cacsmy Brutus, better known as Mama Cax, was an American-Haitian model and disabled rights advocate. Her prosthetic right leg made her standout as a modern fashion model who was also outspoken on body inclusion in the fashion industry. Cax passed away in 2019.