Ten times we felt like the world is finally starting to understand why loving our bodies is a crucial part of loving ourselves.
Iskra Took to the NYC Subway In Her Underwear
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Model Iskra Lawrence is one of those few women out there in the public eye that we can say always represents body confidence and positivity without fail. This year, she continued all the hard work she does to bring awareness to the body-pos movement. But one of her most admirable and badass moments? Stripping down to her underwear on the NYC subway and giving an emotional speech about why it's important to love yourself. (And actually, it was her second time doing so this year!) That's no easy feat, and it's clear she made an impression. (Next, check out our interview with the model and body-pos activist.)
When Aly Raisman Got Real About Learning to Love Her Body
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Looking different from the norm is hard no matter who you are—even if you're an Olympic gymnast. This year, as part of Reebok's #PerfectNever campaign, Raisman shared that the body part that made her most self-conscious in the past has actually been one of the keys to her athletic success. In an Instagram caption she said: "Shoutout to all the boys from 5th-9th grade who made fun of me for being 'too strong.' Thanks for forcing me to learn to love myself and my body. My muscular arms that were considered weird and gross when I was younger have made me one of the best gymnasts on the planet," she continued. "Don't ever let anyone tell you how you should or shouldn't look. There is no such thing as a perfect body type." Our thoughts exactly, Aly. (Watch our interview with the star here: Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman Has the Body Image Advice You Need to Hear)
Anna Victoria Proved That Even Instagram Stars Have Bad Angles
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Anna Victoria is probably one of the most realistic Instagram trainers out there. (It's one of the many reasons why we teamed up with her to design our January #PersonalBest workout program!) This year, she posted several photos showing that while she's super fit, eats healthy, and exercises almost daily, she too has off days and off angles. In this photo's caption, she shared that she often gets bloated after a cheat meal, resulting in this before and after. "I wanted to share this to show that bloating happens and it's nothing to be mad at yourself for, more people struggle with bloating than you realize. It's just that we don't normally see that side—so you're not alone!" Here's to hoping we have more fitness role models like Anna Victoria in 2017.
When These Badass Plus-Size Women Recreated Fashion Ads
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Some brands are starting to include models of all shapes and sizes in their ads, but many could be way more inclusive. In order to highlight this, Buzzfeed had a group of amazing women with real bodies recreate high fashion advertisements, and the results were stunning. In case anyone needed proof that all bodies are beautiful, here you have it.
Photo: Mario Sorrenti / Agent Provocateur / Macey J. Foronda / BuzzFeed
Chrissy Teigen Got Real About 'Bouncing Back' So Quickly Post-Pregnancy
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Chrissy Teigen is undoubtedly one of the loudest celeb voices in the body-positive movement, and this year she explained just how A-listers get the bodies we so often compare ourselves to. When discussing how she bounced back from giving birth so quickly, she explained: "We have nutritionists, we have dietitians, we have trainers, we have our own schedules, we have nannies. We have people who make it possible for us to get back into shape. But nobody should feel like that's normal, or like that's realistic." Clearly, we can always count on her to keep it real. (If you need more proof that Chrissy Teigen is the ultimate truth-teller when it comes to body positivity, we've got it.)
When Twitter Collectively Stuck Up for a Teacher Who Was Body Shamed
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When Atlanta resident and teacher Patrice Brown posted photos of her teaching outfits, Twitter trolls attacked, saying she was dressed way too sexy to look professional. The hashtag #teacherbae was thrown around, and some seriously uncool things were said about her choice of clothing. Other Twitter users quickly came to her defense, pointing out that while the outfit she chose was fairly body conscious, it definitely would have passed for acceptable on someone with a less voluptuous frame. It doesn't happen that often, but we are happy to say it was Twitter to the rescue in this instance.
When VS Angel Jasmine Tookes Bared Her Stretch Marks
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When Jasmine Tookes announced that she'd be wearing the fantasy bra at the Victoria's Secret fashion show this year, she seemed genuinely thrilled to be chosen. What thrilled us about the whole thing? These behind the scenes photos that were released, which were clearly unretouched since they prominently featured her stretch marks. While it's reassuring to know that goddesses like Tookes have stretch marks too, more than anything, we love that it seems like it was deemed an unnecessary thing to cover up. (For an even better version of the VS show, check out this version recreated by regular women.)
Photo: via Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty
When Plus-Size Models Walked at NYFW
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While we've still got a long way to go in terms of size inclusiveness in high fashion, this fall's NYFW was definitely a step in the right direction. Plus-size models walked in a number of shows, including Christian Siriano's—a designer who's been known to dress non-sample size celebs on the reg.
Blake Lively Rejected the Post-Baby Body Myth
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Popular obsession with celebrity (and regular women's) post-baby bodies is getting a bit out of control, and this year Blake Lively proved that she is not here for it. In a semi-tense exchange with an Australian morning show host, the star said the following in response to how she was planning on getting her pre-baby body back: "You don't need to be Victoria's Secret ready right away because you just did the most incredible miracle that life has to offer. I mean you gave birth to a human being! So I would really like to see that celebrated." We couldn't agree more.
Ashley Graham Got Her Own Barbie
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Early in 2016, Barbie created dolls with new body types, which we were really excited about. Then, when they made a special Barbie in the likeness of body-positivity champion Ashley Graham, we were even more psyched. Graham specially requested that the doll have thighs that touch (no thigh gap here!) and cellulite, just like the majority of women in the world. We'd call this one an all-around body image win. (For more inspo from the model, check out these 12 times Ashley Graham showed us what fitspo was really about.)