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JCPenney’s new ad features the best body-positive message we’ve seen

Many companies say they’re inclusive of all body types, but few truly walk their talk.

Aerie is one company that’s truly committed to being body positive — and it looks like JCPenney is joining those ranks. At least that’s the way it seems, based on their latest YouTube video, Here I Am.

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The video features many outspoken advocates in the body-positive movement — including blogger Gabi Fresh, singer Mary Lambert and Project Runway winner Ashley Nell Tipton — and allows them to tell their stories of how being plus-size has affected their lives.

“I remember when I was 10, I wanted to be a singer, and… a family member said, ‘Sorry, kid, it’s not going to happen for you,'” Lambert says.

“In high school I was one of those girls who was, like, I would be so much prettier if I were thin,” Fresh says.

More: 3 strong women who show that fitness has no age limit

“As the fifth-grader called hippo… I was spending my entire life trying to change,” Baker says.

But not a single one of them let those words define their lives.

“Fat girls can do whatever they want… fat girls can run, fat girls can dance, fat girls can have amazing jobs,” the women say. “We can walk runways. We can be on the covers of magazines. Wear stripes. Bright colors. I am beautiful; I am sexy. There’s no ignoring this when it walks in the door. My size isn’t an indicator of my worth.”

The video is, of course, in support of the retailer’s plus-size line, but it’s a true celebration of women — all women — without any of the condescension that’s (unfortunately) part of other body-positive advertorials.

More: The first male plus-size model doesn’t get half the crap female models do

“There is true beauty in individuality,” JCPenney writes on their YouTube page. “So, when we start letting go of preconceived notions of who someone is based on what they look like on the outside, we all take one step closer to body positivity.”

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