Enjoy reading 20 powerful quotes about body love, feminism and self-acceptance from strong role models.
Over and over again, the message society sends us is that a woman’s beauty should determine her worth. But celebrities, influencers and politicians aren’t buying it anymore. Despite the haters and trolls who lurk on social media, these inspirational women dare to be themselves, speak out and take up space. Here are 20 empowering quotes about body love, feminism and self-acceptance from some seriously strong and inspiring role models.
“If someone told me that I was stupid or that I wasn’t a leader or that I wasn’t witty or quick or perceptive, I’d be devastated. If someone told me that I had a gross body, I’d say, ‘Well, it’s bringing me a lot of happiness,’” Mindy Kaling writes in her second book, “Why Not Me?”
Mindy Kaling’s credits include writer and actor on the Emmy Award-winning show “The Office,” writer, actor and executive producer on “The Mindy Project” and best-selling memoirist. She offers women a realistic take on body positivity: In her world, women are allowed to care about how they look — they just don’t need to base their entire self-worth on it.
“Someone once told me my thighs were ‘cellulite city.’ But I now realize these thighs tell a story of victory and courage,” Ashley Graham says on Instagram.
Ashley Graham was one of the first two plus-size models to ever be featured in a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and the first to appear on its cover. The plus-size lingerie designer, who has long been an advocate for body positivity, released a collection of essays last year called “A New Model: What Confident, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like,” in which she shares her personal experiences with sizeism and encourages women to develop a healthy body image.
“Being a fat, transgender Latina might not be the norm, but I’m OK with that. I decided that my happiness was more important than fitting in, and I’m never looking back,” Gia Natalia Narvaez captions an Instagram post.
Gia Natalia Narvaez, a transgender, body positive Instagram influencer, embraces the labels that others use to bring her down. With over 23,000 followers on Instagram, she uses her platform to challenge oppressive beauty standards and encourage people to love themselves unconditionally.
“There is no boy at this age that is cute enough or interesting enough to stop you from getting your education. If I had worried about who liked me and who thought I was cute when I was your age, I wouldn’t be married to the President of the United States,” Michelle Obama said at an event hosted by Glamour magazine.
Former first lady Michelle Obama is living proof that we can be intelligent, graceful, beautiful and badass all at once. She launched the Let Girls Learn initiative in 2015 to reduce barriers to education for young women across the globe.
“It’s more if I’m happy and confident and feeling good, that’s always been my thing,” Kelly Clarkson tells Heat Magazine.
“American Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson, who’s been open about her struggles with body shaming and disordered eating, uses her confidence and music to empower other women to love themselves.
“If you left it up to everyone else in the world to decide, your body will NEVER be good enough,” Michelle Elman says in an Instagram post.
After a photo of her in a bikini went viral in 2015, Michelle Elman launched her career as a body confidence coach. Having survived 15 surgeries for various illnesses, the U.K.-based activist encourages women to embrace their scars. She shares her journey to self-acceptance in her upcoming book, “Am I Ugly?”
“My confidence is being myself and not giving a damn about what anyone says,” Denise Mercedes shares on Instagram.
New Jersey-born Dominican model Denise Mercedes launched the #becauseitsmybody campaign on Instagram to create an inclusive, body-positive community for anyone who’s ever felt alienated because of their appearance.
“When no one would choose me for my size, I chose myself,” Katie Willcox tells Shape.
Katie Willcox, who founded the Natural Model Management agency and Healthy Is the New Skinny, went viral for her iconic appearance in O, The Oprah Magazine depicting, as the Healthy Is the New Skinny website describes, “what an average woman would need to alter on her body in order to look like Barbie.”
“I keep telling myself that I’m a human being, an imperfect human who’s not made to look like a doll, and that who I am as a person is more important than whether at that moment I have a nice figure,” Emma Watson tells Britain’s Glamour magazine.
As impossible as it sounds, even “Harry Potter” actor Emma Watson struggles with body image. She’s a Goodwill Ambassador at U.N. Women, a role in which she advocates for gender equality, and has worked in Bangladesh and Zambia to promote girls’ education.
“I really owe everything to the fact that I look like this. The fact that I’m successful not despite [my body] but because of it blows my mind,” Barbie Ferreira tells StyleLikeU.
Ferreira emerged from New York’s indie fashion scene as one of American Eagle’s unretouched aerie Real models. The 21-year-old plus-sized model uses her Instagram profile as a platform to advocate for body positivity and shed light on issues faced by bigger women, such as having her stretch marks mistaken for scars. She’s been featured by Missguided, ASOS, i-D Magazine and Teen Vogue.
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