5 Black Body-Positive Influencers to Follow in 2021Jan 15, 2021 08:00AM ● By Boitumelo Masihleho
The body positivity movement is one of the best things to come out of social media. Body positivity is a social movement intended to empower people to love their bodies in their current state no matter their age, size, gender, or race. Instagram and other social media platforms are filled with influencers, sometimes promoting unattainable standards of beauty, with posts being sponsored by diet pills and teas companies and the like. Also, like many other movements or trends, the body positivity movement has been whitewashed.
If you’re in need of some positive vibes and inspiration to love yourself more in this new year, here are five Black body-positive influencers who use their platforms to spread important messages about mental wellness, self-love, and acceptance, which show that beauty comes in a variety of sizes.
Simone Mariposa shows that she is not defined by her body and uses her platform as a plus-sized model to advocate for equal representation of all women. Using her hashtag #wewearwhatwewant, she shows off how curvy girls can be fashionistas. She’s also a brand ambassador for Fashion Nova.
Fat activist and model Saucyé West uses her voice to do consult and market for brands interested in expanding their sizes. West has been a plus-sized model for 10 years and been on the runway and in magazines. She started the hashtag #fatandfree in 2017 to challenge people to live and love their bodies without any apologies.
Kellie Brown has always been a body positivity and fat activist with her own fashion line And I Get Dressed and has been celebrating the beauty and power of people with larger bodies with her #FatAtFashionWeek series. Brown has started a podcast called Fat Icon Podcast to further encourage plus-sized women to be proud of their bodies.
Stephanie Yeboah is a British blogger, an advocate of fat acceptance, and an award-winning author. Her book, Fattily Ever After, features stories about body image, and the struggles of plus-sized black women in today’s world. “As much as I used to feel insecure about my stretch marks, I know that there is a long story behind them, a story of growth and perseverance, and I'm proud of them,” said Yeboah in a post.
Lesego “Thickleeyonce” Legobane has used her platforms to highlighted that the body positivity movement is sometimes hijacked by people who are already accepted in society. “I’m not offended by calling me fat, I’m offended by people shaming me for being fat,” she tweeted. She started her own clothing line LeeBex that focuses on larger sizes and in 2019, she became the first South African plus-size model for the popular international design house, Calvin Klein.
Boitumelo Masihleho is a South African digital content creator. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes University in Journalism and Media Studies and Politics and International Studies.
She's an experienced multimedia journalist who is committed to writing balanced, informative and interesting stories on a number of topics. Boitumelo has her own YouTube channel where she shares her love for affordable beauty and lifestyle content.