Image source: @selenagomez/TikTok, @lizzobeeating/Instagram, @TaylorSwift/YouTube
This has been the year for embracing our bodies, clapping back at body shamers and leaning in to our authentic, natural selves. Though society at large still tries to make us feel bad about our bodies, the strength behind the body positivity movement has never been greater (thanks in part to some of our favorite famous faces, like Lizzo, Adele and Selena Gomez).
As we say goodbye to another year and usher in a new one, let’s look back at the best body positive moments of 2022.
Lizzo’s TV show Watch Out for the Big Grrrls
Full of fierce dancing and radical self-acceptance, Lizzo’s dance competition show Watch Out for the Big Grrrls made waves in the entertainment world. As she searched for her lineup of background dancers for her tour Special, contestants showed off their skills, gave insight into their own body-based struggles and showed the world that big girls can do it too.
Disney’s first plus-size protagonist
In September, Disney released a powerful short film on Disney+ featuring its very first plus-size protagonist. Reflect follows a young ballerina as she struggles with body dysmorphia, ultimately overcoming it so she can fully enjoy her hobby. While it did get some backlash, many feel it was a positive stepping stone for Disney.
Ashley Graham’s cheeky sub-tweet
The curvy supermodel has never been one to shy away from taking on body shamers. Self-proclaimed “anti-woke” journalist Sameera Khan shared both Graham and Irina Shayk’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover photos, comparing their bodies. She also said in the since-deleted Twitter thread that “the fat positivity movement is getting out of hand.” In response, Graham posted an image of herself in a gorgeous gold dress, writing: “Quote tweet this with a photo of you taking ‘fat positivity’ too far. I’ll start.”
Quote tweet this with a photo of you taking 'fat positivity' too far. I'll start. pic.twitter.com/WlmyYr13Kh— Ashley Graham (@ashleygraham) December 19, 2022
Emma Thompson’s viral interview at Berlinale
The celebrated actor opened up about her own struggle with body image during an interview at Berlinale in February. “Women have been brainwashed all our lives. That’s the fact of it. And everything that surrounds us reminds us how imperfect we are and how everything is wrong,” she said.
Plus-size representation at New York Fashion Week
While the fashion world remains largely behind the times when it comes to body-size representation, the runways were looking a bit more progressive this year during New York Fashion Week. Brands like Berriez, Fendi, Michael Kors, Christian Siriano, Eckhaus Latta, Christian Cowan, Gabriela Hearst, Carolina Herrera and more all cast plus-size models for their shows.
Selena Gomez’s documentary My Mind & Me
Following the release of her documentary, the popstar opened up about how it affected her body image. "In a weird way, I feel like it is a time capsule of things—a period of my life where I look back, and I actually feel bad for that version of myself,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “I think that it was good for me to see how I was responding to my body, the way that I was acting and the way it was so irrational in moments, and I think it was really healing for me to see that and get it out."
The singer also had a huge presence on TikTok this year, especially in the body image space. She posted a video about “real stomachs” that went viral, garnering more than 8 million likes.
Taylor Swift’s music video for her song ‘Anti-Hero’
The singer-songwriter caught some flack when she used the word “fat” in a music video. While there were points made on either side of the argument, Swift ended up editing the scene out of her video, showing that she truly listens to her fans and understands the importance of not demonizing the neutral term “fat”.
Florence Pugh shutting down body shamers
The Don’t Worry Darling actor wore a stunning pink gown while attending the Valentino Couture fashion show in July. She took to Instagram to shut down body shamers who were seemingly offended by how sheer her dress was. “What’s been interesting to watch and witness is just how easy it is for men to totally destroy a woman’s body, publicly, proudly, for everyone to see. You even do it with your job titles and work emails in your bio,” she wrote. “It isn’t the first time and certainly won’t be the last time a woman will hear what’s wrong with her body by a crowd of strangers, what’s worrying is just how vulgar some of you men can be.”
Camila Cabello’s must-read post on body shaming
The “Havana” singer was photographed dozens of times this year, with plenty of commentary from tabloids and Twitter users talking about her body. Finally, Cabello took to Instagram to address the comments, writing: “Every time I've felt super vulnerable and unprepared—I've worn bikinis that were too small and paid no mind to how I looked, then saw pictures online and comments and been so upset,” Camila explains. “People use Photoshop, restrictive eating, over-exercising and choosing angles that make our bodies look different than how they are in the moment and in their natural form, when we take a deep breath, when we eat a meal, when we allow the waves to tussle us around.”
“I wanted to talk about this because we see pictures of women and praise them for looking good, for looking fit or ‘healthy,’ but what is health if you are so fixated on what your body looks like that your mental health suffers and you can’t enjoy your life?”
Lili Reinhart calling out Kim Kardashian’s crash diet
Reinhart had something to say after Kardashian shared just how far she went to fit into Marilyn Monroe’s dress for the Met Gala. She wrote on her Instagram stories: “So wrong. So f***ed on 100s of levels. To openly admit to starving yourself for the sake of the Met Gala. When you know very well that millions of young men and women are looking up to you and listening to your every word.”
Did we miss any epic body positive moments of the year? Let us know in the comments over on our Instagram.