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bodies


Categories are great for some things: biology, herbs, and spices, for example.

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But bodies? Well, putting bodies into categories just gets weird. There are around 300 million people in America, but only 12 or so standard sizes for clothing: extra-extra-small through 5x.


That's why designer Mallorie Dunn is onto something with her belief — people have different bodies and sizing isn't catching up.

Dunn has found that the majority of clothing sizes stop at an extra-large, yet the majority of women in America are over that. "And that just doesn't make sense," she says.

All images via Smart Glamor, used with permission.

Human spice rack, only, a LOT more variations of flava. ;)


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Spring's warmer weather can bring about an unfortunate, terrifying reminder: Beach season is around the corner.

Summer should be the season of carefree living, but fashion brands too often use the extra sunshine as an excuse to shove body-shaming ads about beach bodies down our throats for their own gain.

Target is the latest retailer to change the way it advertises beach bodies in a new swimsuit campaign featuring a diverse set of models in ads that haven't been digitally retouched.

Photo courtesy of Target.

On one hand, of course, Target's move isn't entirely selfless — body positivity, it turns out, is great for business, and at the end of the day, a business is exactly what Target is. On the other hand, it's great to see retailers realizing that body shame isn't what customers want to buy and adjusting accordingly.

No Photoshopped curves, no air-brushed stretch marks — the ads feature women enjoying the beach just as they are.

Photo courtesy of Target.

"We loved working with these women because they embody confidence and inspire women to embrace and be proud of who they are, regardless of their size or shape," Target explained in a statement.

Photo courtesy of Target.

Body-positive fashion is cropping up in more stores and in the ad campaigns that promote them.

The numbers don't lie — customers seem to appreciate the efforts.

When American Eagle's underwear line, Aerie, stopped retouching their underwear models three years ago — "There is no need to retouch beauty," CEO Jennifer Foyle had explained — the retailer saw its sales climb 14% compared to the year before during the fourth quarter.

Keeping festive with just a dose of Holiday red. #AerieREAL ❤️

A post shared by aerie (@aerie) on

Some fashion brands have gone a step further in pushing the industry away from its body-shaming ways. More times than not, plus-size models still have an hourglass shape, and companies like H&M have come under fire for using plus-size models in ads while not selling clothes over a size 14 in stores.

A groundbreaking new campaign from Lane Bryant, however, actually shows the company's new fitness line on a number of plus-size athletes in a variety of body types, truly reflecting the brand's diverse customer base.

“Seize the day. In whatever body you have today." Preach @borntoreignathletics

A post shared by Lane Bryant (@lanebryant) on

So why are we seeing these more inclusive changes from brands now?

It's not like the fashion industry's obnoxious exclusivity and body-shaming troubles are 21st century inventions.

Social media has played a big role, AdWeek reported in 2016. On platforms like Instagram and Twitter, girls and women are speaking out about wanting retailers to have clothing options for various body types as well as more diverse models to sell the products. Seeing an opportunity for their bottom lines, brands are more than willing to listen and respond.

"We're seeing a great acceptance of girls in all different sizes, which is really exciting," Gary Dakin, a former executive at Ford Models, told AdWeek. "It's not something that was happening in our day at Ford."

It's a good thing, too, because the more the fashion industry realizes every body is a beach body, the better off we'll all be.

Note: Upworthy and Target have no business partnership.

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If you’ve flipped through a magazine since, oh, the dawn of time, you’ve probably seen photographs of women who are retouched almost beyond recognition.

These girls become "flawless," losing anything — bruises, scars, cellulite — that could identify them as less than what our society considers perfect. Emily Lauren Dick, a photographer, is not having any of that.

With her book "Average Girl: A Guide to Loving Your Body," Dick hopes to redefine what we consider beautiful by showing women just as they are — bruises, scars, cellulite, and all.  

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Nicole Byer is confident. And why shouldn't she be?

She's a beautiful, sharp-witted comedian, performer, and star of her own show on MTV, "Loosely Exactly Nicole," which is loosely (OK, pretty tightly) based on her life as an up-and-coming actress in southern California.

Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images.

You may not know her though. By her own admission, people like Byer don't usually have their own shows.

Fat. Black. Dark. Just over 30. Byer isn't at the top of the typical Hollywood casting list, which makes her success hard-earned and refreshing.

"I shouldn't have a show, on paper," Byer told The Hollywood Reporter. "A fat black lady who just f——s people left and right on her show, and we never talk about how she's fat and black? That's crazy! (Laughs.)"

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for MTV.

It's refreshing to see a fat woman on TV whose sole goal isn't to lose weight. Byer — and the Nicole she plays on TV — are fully-formed, complex, interesting people. She credits actresses like Monique and Queen Latifah for paving the way and making her career and television show possible, but Byer's wit, knack for storytelling, and zest for life didn't hurt either.

Her pluck and enthusiasm aren't just for the cameras. Byer lives out loud. Even on vacation.

Byer and her best friend, Sasheer Zamata of "Saturday Night Live," recently vacationed in Mexico. In between dolphin excursions and cocktails, Byer stayed cool in a collection of fun and sexy bathing suits.

She captioned many of the images with the hashtags #sofat #sobrave #veryfatverybrave #sofatsobrave. It was a tongue-in-cheek response to stories you typically see about fat women online and in magazines.

Byer uses the hashtags whenever she dons a swimsuit on the 'gram, which is pretty frequently, as she makes time for self-care and fun in the sun.

Bravery has two sides. #veryfat #verybrave #sofat #sobrave #ashyfeet #juicybutt

A photo posted by Nicole Byer (@nicolebyer) on

Fat people are expected to feel shame about their bodies. That's bullshit.

I should know; I've been big all my life. We're expected to minimize our bodies and strength and not draw too much attention to ourselves, unless we're the butt of a joke. We're expected to suck it in and take up less space in the hearts, minds, and airplane seats of the world, often sacrificing our physical and mental well-being to do so.

When someone like Nicole Byer comes along and proudly wears a fierce two-piece on her beach vacation it is an act of bravery, but not for the reason you think.

It's an "eff you" to the strangers and trolls who dare ask her to minimize her body or her talent. It's a "hell no" to the Hollywood agents and casting directors who tell actresses they're too big, too old, or too dark for a role. And it's a high-five to women everywhere who ever felt less than or were silenced by who they see (or don't see) on TV.

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for MTV.

Nicole Byer doesn't minimize her body or her talent, and why should she?

With bold patterns, vibrant colors, and even a pizza print, Byer laughs in the face of Western beauty standards and lets her beautiful, big, black body take up space. She stands front and center with a smile on her face, working hard, chasing her dream, and loving the body and mind that make it all possible.

She's not here for your outdated beauty standards. Why should she be? Why should any of us?

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for MTV.

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