Love Yourself: 3 Influencers Who Advocate Body Positivity
Wed, April 21, 2021

Love Yourself: 3 Influencers Who Advocate Body Positivity

Loving your body regardless of your exercise regime or diet is one of those “life hacks” that do not have any disadvantage / Photo by: torbakhopper via Flickr

 

Have you ever told yourself that you will love your body once you shed those pounds? Chances are, you might have achieved your goal, or maybe not, said Emma Pattee of New York City-based newspaper The New York Times. But it’s possible that you did not have a long-lasting love toward your appearance. Whether it’s weight loss or something less, you should not wait to start loving your body. 

Loving your body regardless of your exercise regime or diet is one of those “life hacks” that do not have any disadvantage. Still, falling in love with yourself after a lifetime of trying to look different, is it possible to love ourselves despite all the perfect bodies we see online? Who can teach us self-love? Here are three influencers who are on a mission to inspire others to love themselves.  

 

Mirna Valerio

Mirna Valerio can change your mind if you think you are too big, weak, out of shape, or too old to become an athlete. She’s an “ultramarathoner” or someone who runs races longer than a 4-kilometer traditional marathon race. Valerio is also the blogger behind Fat Girl Running and author of “A Beautiful Body in Progress.” Valerio was inspired to take up running after a health scare in 2008, and she hasn’t stopped since then. 

She created Fat Girl Running in 2012 to share stories with her family and friends, according to Gulnaz Khan of National Geographic, a television channel. But as her blog started to gain attention, negative comments soon plagued her. Valerio argued that there are inherent sexism and racism going on with regard to body image and shape. People do not like to see her on the cover of a magazine because for them, she does not represent fitness. Despite that, Valerio became the Adventurer of the Year in 2018. 

Running did not make her slender and it doesn’t have to. She believes that regardless of your size, your body is meant to move and it should not hinder you from participating in sports or in any activity. Valerio explained, “When people ask me how they can move their bodies more, I tell them to just start with a walk around the block.” They should notice how their feet and legs feel as well as how things look and smell, she added. To her, movement is more than just losing weight. 

Mirna Valerio can change your mind if you think you are too big, weak, out of shape, or too old to become an athlete. She’s an “ultramarathoner” or someone who runs races longer than a 4-kilometer traditional marathon race / Photo by: Gr5555 via Wikimedia Commons

 

Megan Jayne Crabbe

She was only five when she started hating her body, reported Charlie Jones of British news channel BBC. Crabbe was comparing herself to her peers instead of making friends. Crabbe’s internal war on her body was fraught with yo-yo dieting, anorexia, and a spell at the psychiatric hospital. At 21, she dropped out of college. Crabbe hit her target weight, but she still “hated everything” about herself. 

Now 26, she said, “I knew that no matter what weight I got to, it would never be enough.” Then, Crabbe saw a photo of a woman on Instagram wearing a bikini and talking about accepting her body. She was not dieting and was living her life. Crabbe did not believe that was an option before. 

She created an Instagram account to showcase her journey of healing, posting body positivity messages, photos, and occasional videos of her dancing in her underwear. Her account, Bodyposipanda, amassed thousands of followers. To date, Crabbe has become one of the most popular voices of the body positivity movement. She encourages individuals to question why they hate their bodies. She said if you think about the first time you hated your body, most likely you were a child and the idea of that some bodies are good and bad was instilled in you.   

Published in September, her book “Body Positive Power: Because Life is Already Happening and You Don’t Need Flat Abs to Live It”  tackles body positivity and acceptance. 

Zach Miko

Miko was an actor in New York City and a lifelong dieter when he was sent to a photoshoot for a modeling gig by his agent. It turned out to be Target, which was looking for a plus-size male model, marking the first time it would ever feature on their website. The campaign earned positive responses, with Miko becoming the first plus-size male model to be signed to a major modeling agency. He is using his Instagram account and his podcast “Big Things With Zach Miko” to encourage people to live a lifestyle of self-love and self-worth. 

Miko explained, “I get an outpouring of love and support from guys who say that they feel a little bit better after seeing me in magazines.” It made him wonder what his childhood would be like if he had seen a person of size being perceived as beautiful and desirable. Miko gets hundreds of messages from men about how they can be more confident or stop apologizing for their bodies, as well as stopping themselves from making jokes at their own expense. 

He advised, “Post a photo of yourself doing something you love, or having a great time, and resist the urge to beat people to the joke.”

The body positivity movement encourages us to love ourselves despite our flaws. What we see online might be heavily edited, creating the illusion of perfection. No human being is perfect and who we are is enough. 

The body positivity movement encourages us to love ourselves despite our flaws. What we see online might be heavily edited, creating the illusion of perfection / Photo by: Alisha Graefe via Flickr