If you were to search the hashtag ‘#bodypositivity’ on any social media platform, you’ll be blown away by how many women are powerfully using their voices to support and raise awareness of bodily acceptance. As a social movement that challenges the way society views bodies, the body positivity movement’s core focus is to normalize all bodies regardless of shape, size and appearance.
Those with vitiligo sit firmly within the movement for several reasons, mostly because vitiligo is a visible condition that can cause emotional distress and impact self confidence. Since the start of the movement, so many with vitiligo have used social media as a way to share their story, join a community and build their own self-acceptance.
I shared my first post about vitiligo on Instagram in 2016. It wasn’t planned and I had no idea what I was going to share long term, but I knew that I wanted to create a platform that would organically allow me to open up about my skin. As I started to build my story, not only did it allow me to delve into my history with vitiligo, but it also gave me the desire to connect with and follow influencers who also have conditions that impact their lives.
Body positivity is a global movement and I’m proud to be a supporter and advocate. There are a myriad of influencers raising awareness of conditions that many of us might not have even heard of but have finally been given a voice. Here are some handpicked accounts currently using their platform to support the body positivity movement:
#1 Loving My Dots
Nathalia Freitas, based in Los Angeles, is using her account to raise awareness of Nevus, a non-genetic birthmark that she developed at birth. Aside from sharing her personal story, Nathalia uses her platform to promote the stories of others, uplift those living with skin conditions and have open conversations with her followers about self-acceptance and the importance of loving and being proud of your body.
#2 Talonted Lex
Lex has built a strong following as a voice for those with Rosacea, a skin condition that causes redness on the skin due to the visibility of the blood vessels. On her open and honest profile, Lex discusses skincare routines, what it’s like to live with Rosacea and most recently, a conversation with dermatologist Anjali Mahto. Her series, “How do I look?,” shares interviews with individuals who have a range of conditions including vitiligo.
#3 I Am Beyoutiful
Relatively new to Instagram, I Am Beyoutiful is an empowering platform dedicated to changing the perception of beauty with a series of posts that deviate away from the traditional perceptions of beauty. Managed by Ayla, who lost her hand in 2017 after a tragic accident at work, the platform shares touching and thought-provoking images that make you think and reflect on what beauty really means.
#4 Camilla Knowles
Camilla Knowles is an advocate for natural and vegan based products as a way of healing and caring for skin. Camilla, who has suffered from Eczema for her entire life, released her debut book, ‘The Beauty of Eczema,’ in 2018. The book is a guide to living a life beyond Eczema using the “Hope” principles. It also documents her life with the condition and how she has adapted her lifestyle to benefit her skin.
Dedicated to breaking the stigma of skin conditions, Dermhealth.co is a platform all about #skinpowerment. The Australian-based community features inspiring quotes and interviews with those living with skin conditions including psoriasis, eczema and vitiligo. The platform also seeks to provide education and support as you navigate the lifestyle implications of these conditions
#6 Body Love Club
The most important relationship is the one we have with ourselves. That’s the message at the heart of the Body Love Club, a submissions-based community featuring artistic portraits of individuals and their body positive messages. Visit the page for a dose of positive vibes and to submit your own story.
I recently discovered Hanntalks when she reached out about takeover project she was doing on her page. Han, who has a chronic illness and was previously misdiagnosed with vitiligo, positively and passionately uses her platform to empower and support women living with a chronic illness while having open and detailed discussions about self-care, mental wellness and the importance of being on the right path towards self love.
I_weigh is the brainchild of Jameela Jamil, a well-known British actress, radio presenter, model, writer and activist. Now residing in the U.S., Jameela set up I_Weigh because she was passionate about radical inclusivity so that no one feels alone. With 1.2 million followers, Jameela has made an astounding global impact for radical diversity and inclusivity.
Charleigh Victory sheds light on what its like living with Multiple Sclerosis, a condition that affects the brain and nerves. Mostly a lifestyle platform, the one thing Charleigh doesn’t do is hold back when it comes to sharing day to day life, alongside her experiences with treatment, what having MS feels like and what it has taught her.
Fitfatandallthat is the brainchild of Julia Parzyck, whose page is curated towards celebrating, loving and nurturing your body as it is. Julia herself spent a number of years battling against an eating disorder which saw her yo-yo dieting, over exercising and obsessively trying to lose weight. Things changed when she started working with a therapist, which allowed her to slowly change her mindset and undo the negative views she had of her body. Now an eating disorder and recovery coach, Julia uses her experiences to help others find body acceptance while living an active and healthy lifestyle that allows you to feel great and love your body for all that it is.
Natalie Ambersley is a London-based blogger and finance personal assistant who has written for various media outlets such as Mind & Skin, Ditch the Label and The Vitiligo Society. Her blog, Being Just Us (www.beingjustus.co.uk), is a lifestyle blog that also documents her journey with vitiligo.