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In the age of smoke and mirrors, aka Instagram pictures and insta-photoshop, it’s difficult to maintain a strong sense of self when superficial qualities are what everyone seems to focus on.

But this new group of women, who boldly call themselves “fat” girls, are proof that your physical appearance does not limit your ability to do anything — whether you’re a model or in fashion design.

The “Here I Am” campaign, sponsored by JCP, features bloggers, designers, Grammy-nominated singers, best-selling authors, and yogis who want to expand the narrative around plus-sized women and their capabilities.

“We can walk runways, we can be on the cover of magazines, we can wear stripes and bright colors,” says influencer and model Gabi Fresh.

Fresh explains she used to think a petite body would finally make her life complete. “I thought if I could reach that one last level, my life would be perfect,” she says.

And she’s not alone in this feeling. Best-selling author, Jes Baker, asked herself, “Would my life be better if I were thinner?” To which she responded, “No, it would be better if I wasn’t treated so poorly because I’m not.”

For a lot of plus-size women, it’s an uphill battle to prove that your body type does not affect the career you can have or the life you can lead.

Valerie Sagun, a yoga practitioner, explained that the image of what a yogi looks like is terribly limited.

“There is a stereotype of yoga that you have to be this skinny, perfect body, bleach-blond kinda woman. I’m definitely not that,” Sagun says.

Now these women are combining forces to undo generations of conditioning about what fat means. “We’re countering a lifetime of learned hatred,” Baker said.

The journey of self-love is a lifetime one, but it begins with not putting limits on yourself. Wear that swimsuit. Pursue that job. Write that book.

“The bodies don’t need to change, the attitude does,” Baker concluded.



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‘We’re Countering A Lifetime Of Learned Hatred’: The ‘Here I Am’ Campaign Flips The Word Fat On Its Head  was originally published on hellobeautiful.com