Every Body聽celebrates inclusivity and the representation of human聽beings in every shape and form.聽

TiKA, a Canadian musician and founder of BAREGYAL, a seasonal party centered around women of color in a safer space,聽is tired of the lack of representation for fat, Black, and femme folks in the media and online. So in a brand new photo series that she released via Instagram at the end of September, she gathered together some of her closest friends to showcase their own diversity and beauty through a project she titled, 鈥淭he Fat Femme Sisters.鈥

Since its release, the project has gone viral, having been re-shared across social media and written about in magazines around the world. As a result, The Fat Femme Sisters are opening up an important dialogue about intersectionality 鈥斅爋r, recognition of the overlap of differences in race, class, gender, and ability 鈥 in the world of body positivity.

Originally developed as a music video treatment, the concept was fairly simple: Showcase the power of fat,聽femme Black women, while dressed in white. Photographer Anthony Gebrehiwot shot TiKa alongside independent fashion designer Sashagai Ruddock, model Jelissa Iris, model Maya Nickel, and fashion blogger Judy for the first photo series which demonstrates the strength of sisterhood. Each woman is a different shape and size, and stands happy and proud in what TiKA describes as a moment of 鈥渟olidarity, togetherness, and self-love.鈥

鈥淲e rarely see bodies that defy what has been normalized: fat bodies, queer bodies, people of color. Our bodies are seen as a negative, our visibility sparks discomfort,鈥 explains TiKA in an email interview with Brit +Co.

While the term 鈥渂ody positive鈥 has become popular as of late, big companies and corporations don鈥檛 always represent a聽diverse variety of models. From Victoria鈥檚 Secret 鈥A Body for Every Body鈥澛爏logan to the聽Zara鈥檚 鈥Love Your Curves鈥 campaign 鈥 both controversial in their own rights 鈥 there has been widespread criticism that body positivity has become non-intersectional. For the folks who fall outside the normative, having their bodies ignored by the media and ridiculed in society isn鈥檛 new.

鈥淭he media will always do the most to try and discriminate and disregard us,鈥 TiKA shares in an email noting that for most people of color, as well as those who are fat, queer, and/or disabled, representation is still scarce. The only way to fix it, TiKA suggests, is by 鈥渄ismantling the archetype of where beauty standards lie. As women of color, we have to stop asking for permission to exist and just take up space.鈥澛

Through the 鈥淭he Fat Femme Sisters鈥 series, TiKA invites her other young fat Black followers to live in the forefront and not be ashamed of who they are or how they look. Since the project launched online, hundreds of folks 鈥 mainly women of color 鈥 reached out to TiKA asking how they could become involved.

鈥淚 had a聽15-year-old girl reach out to us via Instagram saying that the聽photo shoot inspired her to be confident in herself because each day she is bullied,鈥 shared TiKA. While she and her fellow 鈥渟isters鈥 were not expecting the outpouring of love, it has an enormous effect on them. TiKA says that stories like these have made them cry, and inspired them to continue producing more work in the future that will inspire fat, Black femmes.

鈥淲omen of color have grown accustomed to being abused and shamed in society from the start. I didn鈥檛 realize that my self-confidence was unknowingly encouraging others.鈥

Until then, she is calling on everyone else to hire, acknowledge, and pay attention to more of her fat, Black femmes: 鈥淲e exist; we just need you all to pay attention!鈥

What inspires your own self-confidence? Talk to us @BritandCo.