Next time you shave your legs and armpits, think about why you’re doing it. Are you doing it because you want to? Or are you simply following beauty conventions set forth by society? And can you ever just say f*ck the razor?
Molly Soda, a Puerto Rico-born web artist and explorer of self-identity, wants you to know that you have an option.
“When I first took the plunge and decided to stop shaving, my biggest fear was that men would no longer find me attractive and that the sight of my body hair would repulse them or scare them away,” she told Nylon. “This thought process is harmful. It teaches us to place value on ourselves, our bodies and our worth based on how we fit into the male gaze.”
The best part about having all her body hair back, is that she’s using it as a tool to “weed out” those guys who just care about her looks and not what she’s really about. So she said “eff you” to those men, as well.
In the end, “Body hair doesn’t make you any less feminine or any less attractive,” she said. “Choosing to shave doesn’t mean that you’re insecure. The strongest statement you can make is to take control of your body and present yourself in whatever way that makes you feel comfortable.”
So shave or don’t shave, but do it for you and no one else.
Check out what else Molly has to say about shaving here.
The body positivity movement has seen a real shift in the way that we think about beauty standards, and also pop culture. While the content we consume influences the way that we perceive beauty and our bodies, we can also exercise the power to change our culture that privileges thin, white, able bodies. And so, we’ve put together a list of WOC body positive brands – from bigger companies, to authors, models, right down to individual influencers – to ensure that we can participate in a culture that shows beauty in all its wonderful and gorgeous diversity.
Plus Model Magazine is curated with content for, surprise-surprise, plus-sized women. Led by editor-in-chief Madeline Figueroa-Jones, this publication strives to show its audience not only stylish options for dressing but also body confidence in action.
The most powerful part of the Chenese Lewis Show is that it is a podcast made for plus-sized women, by a plus-sized WOC. The show features interviews with women and asks for commentary from plus-sized influencers, in addition to industry experts.
Plus-sized women’s clothing brand Jibri was founded by American fashion designer, Jasmine Elder. Inspired by her teenage mentor, Jibri Mann, Elder created her classy fashion brand and has since had her work featured in the likes of Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and also InStyle Magazine.
These days, Nikki Gomez foregrounds beautiful big black bodies in her work as a photographer, balancing her photographic work alongside her love for blogging about food and fashion on her website, The Nikki Gomez.
Fashion blogger Ragini Nag Rao started blogging a decade ago, in 2009. As a veteran in the online community, she’s been working hard to normalize fat fashion by showing off her classy vintage outfits and looks.
Founder Pia Schiavo-Campo uses her platform as a blogger, public speaker, life coach and style expert to foreground #fatfab40s. Body positivity isn’t just about size or skin – it’s also about embracing age, too!
Full Figured Fashion Week, or FFFWeek, was a 20-year project in the making from the likes of visionary and entrepreneur Gwen DeVoe. While FFFWeek isn’t running in 2019, we can expect to see it return in 2020, after DeVoe has dedicated her time towards hosting smaller events revolving around plus-sized fashion and body positivity.
With 14 years of business behind it, Monif C is a small business that produces lingerie, primarily catering for bigger women. For those of you who are interested, you can find its delicious selection of racy underwear on Etsy.
Having spent many years on the modeling circuit as a plus-sized WOC, Sharon Quinn used her platform to create an award-winning talk show series that focused on both fashion and the entertainment business.
Co-founded by the real “OG fat girl” model, Gabi Gregg, Premme is a clothing brand designed with bigger bodies in mind. Part of the joy of signing up to their mailing list is getting a sweet 10 percent off your next purchase – jump on it now, babes!
I Weigh, an online community founded by The Good Place actress Jameela Jamil, was created after Jamil realized that, as a successful actress, she had a platform she could use to promote body positivity and diversity. The intention behind the movement’s name was to show that we are all worth more than how much we weigh. I Weigh shows love for anything from tiger-stripe like stretch marks to beautiful disabled bodies and gorgeous curvaceous women.
Created by author, mom and self-confessed lipstick-lover, Lisa Scott, The Shopping Slayer celebrates fashion from the perspective of a WOC plus-sized model. Rather than hiding her body, she adorns it in eye-catching patterns and bold color.
Su-Style has been a hit within the Latina community, as founder Suzanna Ujaque found her niche as a Latina fashion blogger and Plus-Sized expert. She creates content on both her Instagram page and Youtube channel promoting body positivity and diversity, which supports her own lifestyle blogging activities.
This author of You Have the Right to Remain Fat advocates for the “right to bare arms” and embraces all of the rolls and wrinkles that come with living on the larger side of life. Beyond her advocacy for body positivity in her books, Tovar de-stigmatizes the plus-sized community by sharing her day-to-day life, spending time with friends, eating what she likes, and generally being all smiles, all of the time.
Founded by Jennene Biggins, Plus Size Biz is centered around making body positive brands easier to find in the US. Functioning as a search engine of sorts, the site features both location and business categories to make finding a business that caters for plus-sized people a straightforward process.
The Curvy Fashionista is an online publication that knows its audience: WOC who want to see themselves represented in the media that they consume. Having operated since 2008, the magazine continues to feature stories centered on the body positivity and resources for plus-sized women.
Susan Moses is undeniably a trailblazer, with her styling talent featured on the red carpet at events such as the Oscar’s, Golden Globes, Grammies and American Music Awards. Considering her illustrious career working with gorgeous and talented women – yes, she can name-drop that she’s Queen Latifah – Moses wrote The Art of Dressing Curves to celebrate and empower curvy women.
The body positive movement has given us much to celebrate, from thinking about the way that we relate to our own bodies, to how we think about other people’s bodies, too. What’s your experiences with the body positive movement – and have you already had the chance to interact with WOC body positive brands? Tell us about it on Twitter – you can find it by clicking on the logo at the top of the page.
The idea of “Latina beauty,” as a category, has always been fairly odd because… What does that even mean? We come in all shades, shapes and sizes, so how can one idea of “beauty” apply to all of us? With that in mind, let’s take a look at some beauty “rules” we’ve all heard that were basically made to be broken the f up:
1. Long hair is a must.
Whether from your mom or from fashion magazines geared towards a Latina audience, many of us grow up being told long hair is the epitome of female beauty. And that’s simply just not true. Not only is short hair equally aesthetically pleasing, if being aesthetically pleasing is your thing, but the length of your hair isn’t related to how feminine you are.
2. …And you’d better be sure that long hair has no more than a slight wave.
Because Latinas are an incredibly diverse group, our hair can come in a variety of textures, from slick-straight to a halo of tight curls. So why do we place such an emphasis on straightening and blow-drying it?
Body hair exists. It exists on our arms, legs, bellies, backs, between our legs, and on our faces. And guess what? You don’t HAVE to remove it. It sounds like common sense until you think about the images we’re most consistently shown.