Why #LoveMyShape Matters
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It's a weird and wonderful time for women's bodies. Our world feels simultaneously more real and open than ever (YAS girl own those stretch marks and that jiggle!) and less (hello, Facetune and crazy filters). More contentious (see: fat-shamers, skinny-shamers, woman-shamers) and more supportive (see: the body positive movement gaining power by the nanosecond).
Here at SHAPE, we've been covering the body positivity movement all along. But as a brand that speaks to millions of women about their bodies, we know it's not enough to just talk about it. We want to support the heck out of it, because strong women lift each other up. We believe that every woman should feel healthy, strong, and confident. That taking care of your body and soul doesn't look one "right" way. That no one else gets to define how you view you. And that's where our #LoveMyShape movement comes in. Our bodies are complex and powerful, beautiful and badass, and we're here to celebrate the amazing things they can do.
These incredible women who donned their sports bras to support that message are just the beginning. And now it's your turn. Tell us: Why do you love your shape? Post your photo or video, and tag a friend who inspires you. Sports bra selfie not your jam? Post any photo where you feel strong. Haters to the left, let's spread the love.
(And yes that's us, your digital #ShapeSquad rocking our sports bras, class-picture-day-style.)
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"I love my shape because it helps me do strong things. My legs allow me to walk, they give me freedom. I'm able to run and squat and lift. I love my stomach for allowing me to sit up out of bed in the morning. I love my arms because they help me hug, high five, and help people. I'm so grateful for my shape and my body because it's where my awesome life lives. I move a lot and lift heavy things and stay strong because I want to be around for a long time. I have a lot of life to live and loving my shape helps me make it awesome."
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"My journey toward loving my body has been long and complicated. It's so easy to blame the media, friends, and family for our body blaming, shaming, and naming. But after decades of being unhappy and pointing the finger at other people, I finally realized the main opponent in my battle for body confidence was ME. I was holding myself back and being my own worst enemy. The path toward loving my body was not an overnight journey and it doesn't have an ending point—every day is an opportunity to grow and change. I #LoveMyShape because it never stops working for me, even when I'm hell bent on being my own worst enemy."
— Jessamyn Stanley, yoga teacher and body positive activist
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"I love my shape because it is what propels me to be the best athlete I can be. My shape gives me confidence and strength and reminds me of the beauty that our differences carry. Over the years my body has adapted to multiple adversities and with each turn in the road I have learned to love my body because it is the very vehicle that propels me to chase after my dreams."
— Mallory Weggemann, 2012 Paralympic Gold Medalist, Swimming
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"It's simple. I love my shape because it kicks ass. Because it's mine. I love my breasts and ass!"
— Amanda Bingson, Olympic hammer thrower and American record-holder
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"It has been a long process to truly #LoveMyShape and it hasn't always been easy. For years, I was programmed with an image of beauty and health that was not something I could recognize within myself when I looked in the mirror. I have been every size from a 6 to a 14 and it wasn't until I started to challenge the fact that I had focused on size and hotness over my personal health and wellness, that I start to change the relationship I had with my own body. I am now 20 weeks pregnant with a baby girl. I #LoveMyShape as it grows and changes. It's not only home to my baby girl, but it's my home first and foremost. And that home is deserving of love no matter what shape or size it may be."
Photo: Bradford Willcox
Ashlee Dean Wells and Laura Weetzie Wilson
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"I #LoveMyShape because it's physical proof of a life well-lived and worth living. It is strength and smoosh, scars and stories—both beautiful and badass."
— Ashlee Dean Wells, co-founder, 4th Trimester Bodies Project (left)
"I #LoveMyShape because it makes me feel sexy when I'm dancing."
— Laura Weetzie Wilson, co-founder, 4th Trimester Bodies Project (right)
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"I love my shape because I have built it. I've worked hard for the body I have and it's not the physical exterior I'm most proud of, it's the strength and the energy that makes me more confident than anything. I will say I love my booty the most, though! It's something I was insecure about when I was younger and while I still have naturally narrow hips, I love that I've been able to build my own curves through strength training."
— Anna Victoria, creator, Fit Body Guides
Jenny Gaither and Charina Lumley
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"At Movemeant Foundation, we love our bodies for their ability to constantly evolve. As we shift—as we get stronger through fitness or perhaps softer through motherhood—our bodies provide us with continual opportunity to test the limits of their capabilities. And what we've found is that the strength we build extends far beyond the physical to include mental and emotional fortitude that leaves us feeling confident, accomplished, and boundless."
— Jenny Gaither and Charina Lumley, Founder/CEO and COO, Movemeant Foundation
SHAPE is partnering with the Movemeant Foundation, which empowers young women to feel confident about their bodies.
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"Growing up as an athlete, my strength and size were an advantage. But outside of the gym, I was always trying to appear smaller, meeker—more of the characteristics that seemed desirable in a girl. Now that I am an adult(ish), I value my strength. It gets me through marathon work days spent running around the city, plus I never have to ask a man to help with my suitcase! I love my size because it makes me feel empowered."
— Katie Sturino, @The12ishStyle
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"I love my shape because as an athlete, I'm able to watch it grow and develop to help me achieve my goals. As a person with a disability, my body has come under some pretty intense medical analysis. But as I've gotten older, I've finally been able to claim it as my own and see what it's capable of. My favorite part of my body would have to be my arms. As a person living with cerebral palsy it's pretty hard for me to build muscle but my arms really show the hard work I've been putting in at the track and in the gym. My body makes me feel strong and sexy because through it I am able to totally rock cerebral palsy—I am able to change perceptions and push the boundaries."
— Robyn Lambird, wheelchair athlete
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"I #LoveMyShape because self-love is the key to achieving greatness! When you love yourself, flaws and all, you are more capable of loving others and you teach others how to love you. You are more confident and mentally capable of achieving new goals and enjoying this journey called life!"
— Jeanette Jenkins, founder The Hollywood Trainer
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"This isn't just a body, it's MY body and it tells my story. I'm a woman; of course I still have curves and marks on me, and that's ok. I've had two babies, I continue to fight binge eating episodes but I also know I've worked hard to get where I am today. Instead of hating, shaming, or disliking what I see in this photo, I'm going to think of ALL the wonderful things my body has given me and can do, and for that I very thankful. I don't think any women should have to feel like her body isn't beautiful or risk losing her sanity trying to achieve the perfect body. Your body is in better shape than your mind thinks."
— Brittany Richard, @crazycurvy_yoga
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"My body is my home and it's all mine. I feel especially strong and badass when my body allows me to achieve something that I've worked hard for. I love challenging and pushing myself and seeing what my body is capable of. And I definitely feel sexy all the time—that's a state of mind when you are confident and comfortable with yourself and your body."
— Iskra Lawrence, model and body pos activist
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"I love my shape because there is nothing in society that made the love come naturally. I love my shape because I've fought tooth and nail against unhealthy messaging, the dieting industry, and socialization. I love my shape because it's MINE, and because it's damn strong."
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"I love my shape because it's a constant reminder that I am unique and beautiful inside and out. The part of my body that makes me feel sexy and strong are my legs. I adore the fact when I put on a pair of heels, my calf muscle are so defined."
— Akira Armstrong, CEO/Founder, Pretty BIG Movement
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"I love the shape of my body because it reminds me that I am human. This machine of mine lets me run when I need a break, knock out pull-ups when I need to feel lifted, and breathe when I need to rest. It's the most dynamic machine I know and to call it my own is simply quite epic."
— Jackelyn Ho, Movemeant Foundation Ambassador and Fitness Entrepreneur
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"I love my shape because it's mine. Every curve, lump, bump, and stretch mark has a story. My body has taken me to places I never thought I could go whether it was physically, mentally, or emotionally. My life has been a journey of self-love and appreciation. It didn't happen overnight but when I realized that beauty knows no size and that I'm imperfectly perfect, I fell in love with myself and continue that love affair one day at a time. The fact that I can defy stereotypes with my large body and do things that I've been told I can't makes me feel strong and empowered—like a super hero. I'm proud to be plus size and I love my shape, flaws and all."
— Marcy Cruz, writer, editor and lifestyle blogger
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"I love my body because I feel STRONG. Rather than seeing flaws in my body, I see my curves as the equal parts that make me feminine and healthy. I appreciate my muscles because they allow me to function in my everyday life without pain and to move smoothly and powerfully in my job as a trainer. I also hope to empower other woman to embrace strength training rather than being afraid of bulking up by building muscle and feeling confident in themselves."
— Erica Stenz, Movemeant Foundation Ambassador and VP of Marketing, Barry's Bootcamp