Between the tabloids criticizing a celeb’s figure and the relentless airbrushing in advertising, the entertainment industry has a long history of unrealistic body expectations for women. As a result, it’s become increasingly difficult for fans, who are subjected to these “perfect” images day in and day out, to appreciate their flaws and recognize that they are perfectly normal. According to research published in 2017 from the Florida House Experience, a mental health and addiction treatment facility, 88 percent of women polled said they compare themselves to images in the media, with 50 percent saying the comparison is unfavorable.
This is precisely why so many celebrities are joining the body positive charge by speaking out about their own struggles with body image and sharing unretouched images in an attempt to normalize things like weight gain, cellulite, stretch marks, and body hair. It’s refreshing and inspiring to see women with such influence shattering the illusion of perfection while encouraging others to do the same. Here are our favorite moments of celebrities realness.
In a recent beach snap, singer-songwriter Jessie J shows off a sexy black mesh bikini with her booty on display — no retouching apps used. “Took ages to hairspray my hair like that. My shadow is my mood. oh and for those telling me I have cellulite. I know. I own a mirror,” she wrote. *Slow claps*
Rihanna has been keeping it real since day one, but her recent beauty and fashion endeavors prove that she proudly supports women of all shapes, sizes, and colors. In an interview with Vogue, the singer-turned-designer discusses her size-inclusive lingerie line, Savage x Fenty, and her journey to body acceptance. “You’ve just got to laugh at yourself, honestly. I mean, I know when I’m having a fat day and when I’ve lost weight. I accept all of the bodies,” she said. “I’m not built like a Victoria’s Secret girl, and I still feel very beautiful and confident in my lingerie.”
Ah, Chrissy. Where would we be without our queen of realness? The model, author, and mom of two had women cheering when she posted a video of her stretch marks on Twitter last year. “Mom bod alert!” she wrote in the caption, adding: “I guess these just aren’t gonna go away. This is my body.” Later, in an interview with Good Housekeeping, she elaborated: “It’s all about trying to be happy with myself. Because I’m not blind: I see my body, I see the difference in shape, I see that I gained weight. But I also see with those same eyes that I have a beautiful baby boy, and this little girl that’s relentless and amazing, and I am very happy.”
Tess Holiday is here to remind you that every body is beautiful. The model, author, and body positive activist is responsible for the hashtag #EffYourBeautyStandards and continues the to shed light on social media bullying. “The reality is I don’t owe you shit and I don’t have to prove that I’m healthy or not, because it is nobody’s business,” she told Self in 2018. “I believe in doing things for yourself and being active in a way that suits you and your lifestyle, but I try to tell people all the time you can’t judge other people and what they’re doing with their bodies.”
Model Ashley Graham has been a body positive activist since the start of her career, but last year’s campaign for her collaboration with Swimsuits For All was a shining moment. The collection featured sizes 4 to 22, and was proudly promoted with untouched, unedited photos of Graham in the suits. “I’m not ashamed of a few lumps, bumps and cellulite…and you shouldn’t be either,” Graham wrote on Instagram. We couldn’t agree more.
We can always count on Lawrence to bring the body positive inspo we need to see on our feeds. She proudly posts unretouched swimsuit images and delivers powerful messages on self love. Here’s just one: “I love my real skin, lumps, bumps, scars, squish, fat, muscle, pigmentation. You are good enough just the way you are. Your body or your life doesn’t need airbrushing.”
This mom of two doesn’t stand for societal pressures. “Since websites and magazines love to share ‘celeb flaws’—well I have them! My body has given me the greatest gift of my life: Luca, 5 years ago. I’m turning 30 in September and my body is healthy and gets me where I need to go. Ladies, lets be proud of what we’ve got and stop wasting precious time in the day wishing we were different, better, and unflawed. You guys (you know who you are!) already know how to ruin a good time, and now you are body shamers as well. #kissmyass,” she captioned a photo of herself in a swimsuit.
Sadly, even the strongest athletes deal with body shaming. “People would say I was born a guy, all because of my arms, or because I’m strong. I was different to Venus: she was thin and tall and beautiful, and I am strong and muscular — and beautiful, but, you know, it was just totally different,” Williams said in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK. “This is me, and this is my weapon and machine.”
The Top Chef host has opened up about gaining weight while filming the show, and in 2017, said she was finally done worrying about it. “This year, I’ve decided my weight will not be my focus,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “If I need a bigger dress, so be it. That one day — or any day — on the red carpet isn’t nearly as important as making sure my daughter doesn’t measure her worth by her dress size.” Since, she hasn’t been shy about keeping it real on social media, often sharing photos with her stretch marks and cellulite on display.
After being body shamed for her Super Bowl performance in 2017, she had an inspiring message for her Little Monsters: “I heard my body is a topic of conversation so I wanted to say, I’m proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too. No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don’t need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you. That’s the stuff of champions.”
The Good Place actress is a champion of body positivity. She created the Instagram feed called @i_weigh that encourages women to measure their talents and values, not their weight, and is constantly calling out her peers who promote unrealistic body expectations. “The minutes that we spend thinking about how much we hate our bodies are minutes that we are not spending growing our talent, growing our minds, growing our businesses, growing our families, growing our overall happiness,” she told The Associated Press.