This year, women took a big stand against body shaming. At every turn, it seemed there was someone flipping the switch on Photoshop scandals or coming out with a serious statement about body love encouraging others to do the same. Some did it to set an example for their daughters; some did it for themselves to finally say we’re not the size of our pants.
1. A runner got real about her ripped body
Runner Lauren Fleshman posted a photo of her “thigh cheese” and the world reacted as she explained that sometimes photos don’t represent what you look like all the time. Sometimes, they are just a photo of one moment when you looked awesome because you worked for it.
2. These women discovered how air brushing erased their identity
Buzzfeed photoshopped real women into cover models and filmed their reactions to their touched-up selves. The moral of the story is that the grass only seems greener on the other side.
3. One woman learned about life without wearing any makeup
One of our own SheKnows writers shared her liberating experience without makeup for two whole years.
4. A mom proudly bared post-natal stretch marks for a photo shoot
This fitness mom’s photos went viral because she showed off an unlikely accessory in her bikini photo shoot: her stretch marks.
5. This single image sparked a big body image debate
When this blogger’s extreme weight loss photo hit the internet, we learned that weight loss doesn’t result in one guaranteed body type. Even losing 173 pounds won’t make you look like a swimsuit model and that’s OK.
6. This powerful video encouraged us all to embrace our bods (and made me cry).
Taryn Brumfitt launched The Body Image Movement after losing weight to compete in a fitness competition, ultimately so she could love her body again. What she learned is that she loved her body more before the transformation.
7. We asked one really important question
Why can Kim Kardashian post big butt selfies, but other women’s bodies are deemed inappropriate for Instagram? This woman challenged her banned belfie and asked the internet to redefine “curvy” to be more than just a big butt and big boobs with a still-skinny waist.
8. And these women showed the world a different kind of swimsuit calendar
Four women with different plus-size body types put on swimsuits and modeled at the beach to bring us a plus-size swimsuit calendar.
9. We talked a lot about vaginas…
And we took a good, hard look at them too.
10. These 25 surreal photos confronted body shaming
This ‘Stop the Beauty Madness’ campaign released a series of disturbing ads that made us think twice about what makes a person beautiful.
11. And then we took things into our own hands with the rise of Femvertising
12. A before and after pic showed us how dangerous body shame can be
Brittany Miles sent this message: Hey, I may be fat now but I beat my eating disorder and proved once again that sometimes the after-weight-loss picture isn’t the one that really represents who you want to be.
13. Harvard’s Rugby team sent a very literal body message
The female athletes were asked to write words on their teammates’ bodies that mentioned what they admired about them. The photo project sends a really kick-ass message about fighting the scary normalcy of body hate.
14. And big brands did receive the message women are sending
15. This fashion blogger came clean with how she distorted her images
She posted photos on her blog that she wished she didn’t photoshop and showed the before versions, and now her blog is about fashion and fighting for body love.
16. Even models stood up for body love
When a swimsuit company photoshopped her to be thinner, she made sure everyone knew it wasn’t realistic.
17. The fight for body love crossed international borders
Female body builders in South Korea are challenging the ideal that women in their country have to be frail and feminine.
18. A plus-size yogi posted some unexpected photos
Her goal was to prove that not even yogis come in one shape and one size and her photos will inspire you to hit the mat, too.
19. Lingerie Fashion Week featured women with relatable body types
These lingerie models are not what you expect to see at any fashion show, let alone a lingerie fashion show, and they look pretty amazing.
20. We finally have a doll with “flaws”
The Lammily Doll comes with zits and stretch marks, and you can buy one for your daughter.
21. And these women want you to know something about being “black and beautiful”
When a New York Times writer called Viola Davis “less classically beautiful than Kerry Washington,” one woman sought to redefine what it means to be black and beautiful.