Earlier this month, 2015 Playmate of the Year Dani Mathers took to Snapchat to share a photo of a nude woman at her gym’s locker room with a rude, body-shaming comment attached. Her move drew some severe — and warranted — repercussions. But, thankfully, not all models take Mathers’ route. In fact, some models are actively working to reverse negative beauty standards by encouraging acceptance of all types of bodies. Read on about the body-posi beauties who are actively widening the standards of beauty in the fashion industry.
1. Ashley Graham: This swimwear babe has gotten a ton of coverage since she was featured on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition earlier this year, and has used her exposure to promote Swimsuitsforall, a women’s swimwear brand that features bathing suits in sizes 8 and up. Her popularity, both on Instagram and on women’s magazine covers (including Maxim, Elle and Allure, to name just a few) has gone a long way in normalizing how real women should look. She was also featured as Joe Jonas’ love interest in DNCE’s sizzling music video for “Toothbrush.”
2. Jenni Runk: This beauty first caught attention in H&M’s swimwear campaign in 2013, when the Swedish retailer featured her prominently on their ads without making a fuss about her size or measurements. Since then, she has been steadily working, and is unafraid to embrace the label “plus-sized model.”
3. Philomena Kwao: This Ghanaian-British model is so beautiful, it is actually unfair. But she didn’t always see herself that way: Kwao has admitted to being influenced by magazines and advertisements featuring lighter-skinned black women, and has tried skin bleaching products in the past. This has made her more astute about societal standards of beauty, and she has since spoken out about how the plus-size industry — like most of the modeling world — has a tendency to equate beauty with fairer skin. (Photo via Joe Scarnici/Getty)
4. Iskra Lawrence: We at Brit + Co already love this British beauty, with her candor and cheeky posts on Instagram. As someone who advocates working out regularly and NOT calorie-counting, we can certainly get on board with any beauty or fashion campaign she headlines.
5. Marquita Pring: This New York City girl is no ordinary model: She has headlined campaigns for Levis, appeared on the cover of Vogue Italia and walked the runway for Jean Paul Gaultier. Pring is also one of the co-founders of ALDA, a coalition of plus-sized models who aim to change the world’s image and standards of beauty. How’s that for breaking barriers? (Photo via Cindy Ord/Getty)
Do you follow any of these models? Let us know @BritandCo.
(Featured photo via Gustavo Caballero/Getty)