Model Ashley Graham pioneered the body-positive movement on Instagram. Today, dozens of curvy and body-positive influencers are reshaping the world of social media.
This growing group of mostly female influencers come in all shades, shapes, and sizes and includes models, fitness instructors, fashionistas, actresses and bloggers. On the other hand, some are just regular folks who want to change modern beauty standards. They’re tired of feeling ashamed about the shape of their noses, breasts, limbs or the size of clothing they wear. They’re happily celebrating cellulite rather than airbrushing and editing it away.
So what do these influencers post about? Honest stories, comments and photos of their bodies, their abilities and their lives on the beach, in the gym, in bed, and more. Post by post, these influencers are redefining and normalizing the unique beauty of every body.
Their mission touches many, far and wide. With their thousands, if not millions, of followers, their Instagram posts are even marketed on mainstream media, such as Yahoo’s homepage. Here’s our list of the top 25 must-watch body-positive influencers for 2022.
Ashley is an advocate for beauty beyond size. At Size 16, she became the first plus-size model featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue in 2016. In 2017, she became the first plus-sized model on the cover of Vogue. She continues to break down barriers and remind women everywhere to love the skin they’re in.
Winnie Harlow continuously demonstrates strength and courage. She was diagnosed with vitiligo at 4 years old and had to overcome serious bullying and harassment from her peers. However, she became the first model and beauty influencer with vitiligo, showing people everywhere that they can do anything.
Iskra is a British plus-size model showing the way to self-love. She refuses to retouch any of her Instagram images to showcase her body in its truest nature. She often expresses gratitude and unconditional love for her body, regardless of any changes or imperfections. She also works with the NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association).
Known as the character Taystee on “Orange is the New Black,” Danielle is open and honest about her struggles with her body confidence. She often talks about her journey to self-acceptance and realizing that she is enough just as she is, no matter what society tells her that she should be. Since becoming a mom, she especially found it important to continue to instill the values of self-love and acceptance.
Tess is the driving force behind the trending hashtag #effyourbeautystandards, which has flourished into a supportive community. This plus-size model, published author, and body-positivity advocate debuted her tattoos and curves in 2013, landing her on People Magazine’s cover in 2015. She’s no stranger to cruel comments, which is what inspired the hashtag. She receives many remarks about her health but remains committed to the idea of not explaining herself to people who don’t care about her anyway. Instead, she focuses her energy on continuing to spread positive reassurances to people struggling with self-confidence.
London continues to show the world that sexy comes in all sizes. This curvy model loves showing off her curves in most of her posts. She often leaves inspirational messages or stories along with the swimsuit and lingerie content.
From an anorexia survivor to a proud curvy girl, Megan loves spreading words of encouragement. She often shares details about her journey and her healing process and provides resources for anyone trying to heal themselves. She not only demonstrates that curves are cool, but body hair too, and has committed to not giving into the pressures of misogyny and patriarchy.
Gabby’s a model and fashion designer who helped create Target’s Ava & Viv collection for women who wear Sizes 14 to 30. She also contributed to the start of the plus-size bikini trend and has since created her own clothing brand called FashiontoFigure.
This plus-size model started as a makeup artist before becoming the first plus-size model to walk the runway for two straight-size brands during New York Fashion Week. In 2016, she launched the campaign “There’s no wrong way to be a woman,” intended to encourage all women that they are perfect just the way they are.
Sassy Red Lipstick was initially a fashion blog that expanded to cover self-love and lifestyle topics.
“I want all my readers to know that body confidence is the sexiest attribute a woman can have.” Sarah said on her blog.
Jessamyn is a plus-size model and yoga instructor who oozes body confidence. Her Instagram features a variety of content that displays her love for curves, yoga, and life in general.
Candice’s mission is to show women that size doesn’t matter regarding fashion or fitness. She created a size-inclusive activewear line, which is just one way she encourages people to be themselves and love it.
Callie is a model from the U.K. and enjoys living life in her own skin. She’s teamed up with Nike in 2018 for a campaign to encourage women up to Size 32 to work out. Since then, she founded the Confidence Corner, a community dedicated to uplifting plus-sized women using different content like meditations, dance classes and events.
Alison started the non-profit Girlphoria in 2015, which empowers teens. Now, she specializes in plus-sized fashion, specifically swimsuits and encourages other people to just do them, without the pressure of what other people might think.
Valerie is an inspirational yoga practitioner and author of the book “Big Gal Yoga.” She loves sharing her boundless nature and proving to society that its limitations do not apply to her.
This London fashion leader and designer has made a name for herself with her bold fashion statements. She continues to inspire plus-size women with her incredible style.
Precious is nothing short of an icon in the world of fashion. She’s the first black plus-size model featured in Vogue and has since collaborated with multiple major high-fashion brands.
He’s a model, blogger and activist. Kelvin created the blog Notoriously Dapper to guide others on being modern gentlemen with manners, style and body confidence. Through his passion for fashion, he strives to show other men that they can dress in stylish outfits, regardless of size and the perceived limitations that come with it.
The daughter of actor Andy Garcia, Alessandra is a plus-size model with IMG and d’management Milan. She frequently advocates for equality, not only in the fashion industry but in the world as a whole.
Dubbed the first plus-size model on French television, Clémentine founded the non-profit All Womxn Project. All Womxn Project empowers women and raises the fashion industry’s standards to be more diverse, open and honest by showcasing raw, unretouched photos and videos of women.
Physically challenged and a lesbian, Imogen chronicles her life without apologies. She’s no stranger to challenges but has remained dedicated to loving herself and spreading non-judgmental compassion throughout society.
With her freckles, curls and curves, this runway model in the U.K. was a Size 6. However, she rejected that lifestyle to redefine the beauty standard and typical how models are “supposed” to look. She has since collabed with several major brands and can be seen in a variety of fashion campaigns.
Marsha Ella is an amputee model inspiring disability inclusion in the fashion industry. She’s also a singer, songwriter and advocate for showing love and gratitude for the skin you’re in. She can be seen on multiple runways and campaigns.
She’s the first albino beauty and fitness influencer. J Renee’s love for makeup inspired her to share tips and tricks and eventually launch her own makeup line that caters to people who have albinism.
He’s the rare male body-positive influencer from the U.K. Stevie is an artist and body acceptance activist who shares constant reminders about self-love and overcoming the different struggles of not fitting the status quo.
Whatever flavor of diversity these influencers choose to share, the body positivity movement is here to stay as long as Instagram is still around.