With holiday eating behind us and New Year’s resolutions on the horizon, this is the time of year when people start feeling bad about their bodies. In order to combat the winter body blahs, let’s look back at some women of 2012 who reminded us that health and happiness are about much more than size. Read on for some positive body image inspiration.
Lady Gaga: After Gaga gained a bit of weight and experienced a shitstorm of body-snarking by the media, she posted pictures of herself in her underwear on Twitter. “Anorexia and bulimia since I was 15″ read the caption, and Gaga’s honesty inspired an online body revolution.
Sarah Robles: This Olympic weightlifter initially received attention due to her lack of sponsors, something she speculated was because:
“You can get that sponsorship if you’re a super-built guy or a girl who looks good in a bikini. But not if you’re a girl who’s built like a guy.”
Jennifer Livingston: Remember the Wisconsin news anchor who addressed a rude letter she received about her weight…on the air? Her response went viral, and rightfully so. She’s one of our favorite role models this year, because of her strong yet vulnerable response: “I am much more than a number on a scale.”
CT Working Moms: This bold, brave group of mothers bared their bellies to show what postpartum stomachs really look like, stretch marks and all. Kudos for reducing the stigma about pregnancy and weight gain, ladies!
Beth Ditto: The lead singer of The Gossip explained that talking about her weight is part of her political message. She sees discussing weight and body image as a way to continually break down the pervasive ideas and stereotypes about overweight people: Beth’s work is both brave and very much needed.
Miranda Lambert: The outspoken country singer is one of our favorites because of her realistic attitude about body image as a famous person. She told Self magazine:
I won’t give up what I enjoy to look perfect. I want to find a happy medium between feeling good about my body and still having a beer and some barbecue.
Jennifer Hudson: It seems like Jennifer Hudson is known as much for her weight loss and for being a Weight Watchers spokesperson as she is for her work as a singer and Academy Award-winning actress. And I love her take on empowerment in regards to weight loss, and that your body should be what you want it to be:
This is my body, and I can do what I want to do with it. And it can be whatever I want it to be.
Demi Lovato: Demi wasn’t even on my radar much before 2012, but this year I’ve learned a lot about her and her awesome message to women, teens, and girls. Demi has continually spoken about her battle with an eating disorder, self-harm and mental illness, and I continue to be impressed by her honesty. She takes every opportunity to tell her story (and to speak out against harmful standards of female beauty) and we think she’s a hero for doing it.
Jennifer Lawrence: As the star of one of the biggest movies of the year, The Hunger Games actress was under constant scrutiny about her appearance. But she didn’t seem to let it get to her. Jennifer told Seventeen she’s “sick of all these young girls on diets,” and is committed to remaining a realistic role model for everyone.
Ashley Judd: And in probably my favorite body-positive moment of the year, Ashley Judd issued the smartest and most awesome fuck you to the media I’ve ever seen from a female celebrity. After experiencing criticism about her “puffy” face, Ashley wrote in an essay on The Daily Beast:
That women are joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient. Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it. This abnormal obsession with women’s faces and bodies has become so normal that we (I include myself at times—I absolutely fall for it still) have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly. We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women.
Photo of Demi Lovato: Nikki Nelson/WENN.com
Photo of Ashley Judd: FayesVision/WENN.com
Photo of Jennifer Hudson: Derrick Salters/WENN.com
Photo of Beth Ditto: Beth Ditto’s Twitter
Photo of Jennifer Lawrence: Elle.com