“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” — Coco Chanel
I love to see women empowering other women and today I’m going to share with you 7 of my favorite female voices taking a stand for womanhood on the web. These women are using social media to share much more than selfies and fashion posts, they’re using their voices and the power of social media to make strides toward female empowerment and body positivity.
1. Rupi Kaur
Rupi Kaur is a spoken word Sikh poet specializing in verses, prose and poetry. I first came across her work on Facebook, and was immediately blown away by the power of her words.
She combines most of her poetry with her own sketched drawings. Rupi’s words are raw and inspiring which makes them hit home. They touch something in you, as beautiful writing always does. Four months ago she posted the photo below– showing her pants and sheets stained symbolizing menstruation and it’s significance in the cycle of life.
“i bleed each month to help make humankind a possibility. my womb is home to the divine. a source of life for our species. whether i choose to create or not. but very few times it is seen that way. in older civilizations this blood was considered holy. in some it still is. but a majority of people. societies. and communities shun this natural process. some are more comfortable with the pornification of women. the sexualization of women. the violence and degradation of women than this. they cannot be bothered to express their disgust about all that. but will be angered and bothered by this. we menstruate and they see it as dirty. attention seeking. sick. a burden. as if this process is less natural than breathing. as if it is not a bridge between this universe and the last. as if this process is not love. labour. life. selfless and strikingly beautiful.” ―Rupi Kaur
Instagram deleted the photo saying that it violated community guidelines but with the perseverance of Rupi, her IG followers, fans, and the attention the story received in the media Instagram shortly reinstated the two photographs deleted from her account– social media for the win!
2. Melinda Alexander
Melinda Alexander is a fashion stylist, mommy to the cutest little boy and a fierce feminist– as Melinda describes it: “I do Women’s Work”!
And yes! she does indeed do women’s work. Melinda’s posts are honest and relatable. She shares her life, both ups and downs with complete transparency and in a time where everyone’s lives are always so perfectly choreographed in social media it’s refreshing to see a life and words you can relate to, a glimpse of a life that resembles your own. That’s inspiration at its best…and it’s beautiful.
3. Pia Schiavo Campo
Pia Schiavo Campo is the glorious mind behind Chronicles of a Mixed Fat Chick. She’s a brilliant and outspoken writer, feminist and body image activist.
Pia’s writing is constantly inspiring a “Hell Yes!” out of me.
“I decided that the only solution to loving my arms was to show them off more often. Though I knew I wasn’t going to feel sure of myself right away, I could certainly fake it for the time being. And that’s what I did. That experience made me realize that most people aren’t looking at me and they don’t give a rat’s ass what I’m wearing. After a summer of donning tanks and halter tops, I no longer had to fake my comfort. I was comfortable. For me the lesson is that I’m my own worst critic. When I can abandon perfectionism, even just for an hour, my whole world opens up. I become free. Free to love my arms and free to wear whatever the fuck I want.” ―Pia Schiavo Campo
She’s inspiring and passionate, as a matter of fact it’s because of Pia’s passion for women’s issues that I’ve become more active and outspoken in feminism.
4. Vanessa Leigh
Vanessa Leigh is a cornucopia of awesomeness– she’s a kickass body image advocate, a Yogi, a ReFashion expert & a headdress designer.
Vanessa is just pure light! She’s one of those people whose soul radiates into everything she does from her yoga to her writing.
“Radical self love and self acceptance is my battle-cry for the year. My year of love begins with self. All of myself, just as I am with dark skin, big belly, large thighs, massive calved, fat, gap toothed nappy haired black woman. What’s not to love. Truly. LOVE all of myself. I have to radically love and accept the body I am in and that involves removing a lot of propaganda I’ve been force fed my entire life. This propaganda of an ideal body hurts us all. This propaganda can lead to low self esteem, self image and eating disorders. Replacing that propaganda with positive messages and actions is a daily struggle. One that brings me tears and joy. Today it makes me proud. #Proud2BMe.” ―Vanessa Leigh
5. Vivienne McMaster
Vivienne McMaster is a photographer and blogger. I discovered her work on Facebook and it was love at first sight. She blends photography and positive body image stunningly.
Vivienne teaches how to look at your body through the camera with a kind and loving eye. It’s a beautifully refreshing way to document your self-love journey. For those not too comfortable behind the camera she also offers photography workshops titled after her blog, “Be Your Own Beloved“.
6. Marie Southard Ospina
Marie Southard Ospina is a writer and body positive activist. Her writing appears on her blog Migg Mag and Bustle, where she’s the Associate Fashion & Beauty Editor.
Marie’s writing is powerful, but even her most passionate post carries and air of romanticism– like a lovely vintage novel. I love everything about her writing style, from the strength in her messages to the images used to accompany them.
“It’s my personal belief that if we’re ever to see size acceptance and body positivity happen, the “unique” must be celebrated. All the things we’ve been told are “flaws” or “idiosyncrasies” need to metamorphose into beloved aspects of ourselves. The things that make us different need to also be perceived as the things that make us most beautiful. The freckles, the fat tummy, the chafing thighs, the big ears, the thin lips… all these things are stunning. And it’s about time we begin to live and breathe these words rather than post them flippantly online as inspo for our later selves.” ―Marie Southard Ospina
7. Virgie Tovar
Virgie Tovar when I say her name the first words that come to mind are feisty and outspoken. Virgie is a fat activist, sexologist, author and the brilliant mind behind the #LoseHateNotWeight movement.
Virgie’s candor is contagious.
“Dieting taught me that life can wait, but as long as I was a “good girl” I could have all the things I wanted. Someday.
When I got tired of waiting, I learned that freedom is about eating what I want, wearing what I want, being what I want to be in the body I have. Today. No more obedience for me, girl. #LoseHateNotWeight” ―Virgie Tovar
And although we are making small steps toward better body image messages and fat activism is more alive than ever in the media we still need outspoken women, loud women, women bigger than life, like Virgie, to walk the path with us and keep the fire alive.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post and hopefully you’ve received some inspiration from these amazing ladies. Until next time, my lovelies– remember to be kind and loving to yourselves and each other,
Art used in featured image for this post: “Bountiful One” by Shiloh Sophia McCloud