Style

7 Body positive models who are changing the game

Here's to shaming the shamers and sharing pics of cellulite!

Here's to shaming the shamers and sharing pics of cellulite!

(Source, left: Instagram/@charlihoward; middle: Instagram/@iskra; right: Instagram/@ashleygraham)

From new releases like Netflix's To The Bone to Pretty Little Liars star Troian Bellisario's new film Feed, anorexia nervosa is clearly still at the forefront of our culture. We're all for the women who are speaking about unhealthy body image in these pieces, as well as the body positive movement we see growing stronger daily--on Instagram. We've rounded up 7 of the most inspiring (role) models; from women with stories of abuse and being shamed out of their industry, to women who have rejected stereotypical sizing and "dared" to gain weight, these powerful insiders stopped starving themselves for the sake of fashion and instead, are changing the game by sharing their journeys and speaking out.

Ashley Graham

"I was that person where if you told me to go on a diet and lose weight, I'm just going to gain weight." I think at this point it's pretty safe to say that 29-year-old Ashley Graham has become a household name. With her incredible contributions to the fashion industry as a size 16 model, the unapologetic author, designer, and outspoken body activist has made history by flaunting her killer curves on the covers of Vogue and Sports Illustrated.

Charli Howard

Charli Howard, the beautiful 24-year-old Brit, was once told that she was "too big" to be taken seriously in the modeling industry. Charli was a size 2. Since being dumped by her agency, she's been on a mission to expose the fashion world, first by penning an open letter to her former agency, saying "I refuse to feel ashamed and upset on a daily basis for not meeting your ridiculous, unattainable beauty standards," and then by co-founding the All Woman Project, which aims to help all girls and women feel empowered, accepted and included.

Now that she's stopped restricting herself, her new, healthy body has made her "happier than she's ever been" and she's hoping others will learn to feel the same by following her online. We're especially loving her cellulite series.

Emily Bador

Emily Bador, another British beauty, is finally fed up. After sharing intimate details of her struggle to maintain a certain weight in order to book jobs, the model says she "hated herself, even at her thinnest," and has since taken a break from fashion to work on her health and she continues to share her unfiltered journey to self-acceptance.

Follow her on Instagram for inspiration and her "soft belly appreciation" posts. ย ย ย 

Liza Golden-Bhojwani

The 27-year-old American model, who famously ate 500 calories a day to maintain her runway shape, has now reclaimed her body, quit the industry, and become a body positive influencer. After fainting one night in her apartment and being criticized for her "fat" thighs, her mindset changed, as did her eating habits, and eventually her body. Thankfully, she's never looked back.

Her posts document how she's learned love her body as it is and she constantly encourages others to do the same. Follow the gorgeous gal on Instagram.

Diana Veras

After being criticized online for gaining weight, model and body positive activist Diana Veras took to social media to shame the ones doing the body shaming with a series of bikini pics, and we can't stop clapping!

Agnes Hedengard

The 5'11" Swedish stunner, who, by normal standards, is very, very thin, posted a video online detailing how she can no longer work as a model, as at a size 2, she was deemed "too big." The video has since garnered over 5 million views.

Iskra Lawrence

Iskra Lawrence, an advocate for banishing retouched photos recently posted this series on Instagram noting her arms were made smaller with photoshop, her hair thicker with extensions, and her skin smoothed with airbrushing.

Now known for her untouched Aerie campaigns, the model heavily promotes her #everyBODYisbeautiful hashtag, has over 3.5 million followers, and even has a vlog series called "Self Care Sunday" to inspire everyone to have confidence in their bodies.

And with the help of these unfiltered females, it looks like the industry is finally catching up, albeit slowly. France has recently implemented laws which require photos that have been retouched or altered to be labeled as such, and models must present a doctor's note attesting the overall state of their health before working. And over in the UK, model Rosie Nelson has started a petition at Change.org attempting to protect models from becoming dangerously thin. Let's keep this train moving, everybody.

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