Despite many ridiculous things that caught our attention online this year (looking at you, #TheDress), one of bright spots of 2015 has to be the amazing onslaught of powerful body positive moments.
Whether it was a celebrity calling out egregious Photoshopping or a plus-size model advocating for size diversity in the media, so many women stood up for body-love this year. There were also a ton of “plus-size” firsts, with each one of these milestones helping to change our idea of what the perfect body looks like (hint: there’s no such thing). Here, our top 10 favorite moments in body positivity this year.
Related: 22 Stars Who Don’t Seem to Age
Zendaya slammed a fashion magazine for Photoshopping her
After the 19-year-old actress saw the photos from her shoot with L.A-based fashion magazine Modeliste, she called out the publication in an Instagram post for seriously altering her hips and torso. “These are the things that make women self-conscious. That create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have,” she wrote. Because of her stand, the magazine announced that they would swap the retouched photos for the original.
Lauren Conrad banned “skinny” from her website
In an effort to change the conversation about body-size, Lauren Conrad announced in June that she would be banning “skinny,” “slim,” “thin,” from her website in favor of “fit,” “toned,” and “healthy.”
“We want to make sure the focus is on being fit, as opposed to a number on the scale,” she said. “Every body is created differently—and healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes.”
Model Tess Holliday became the first size-22 woman to get signed by a prominent modeling agency
At 5’5″ and a size 22, Tess Holliday (also known as Tess Munster) has become the first woman of her size and height to be signed by a major agency, UK-based MiLK Model Management. “It’s all about accepting yourself the way you are,” Holliday explained on the Today show. “If you want to work towards a better you in whatever regards… do it. But you’re okay just the way you are today.” The model, who has more than 747,000 followers on Twitter, is also the creator of the body-positive movement #effyourbeautystandards.
This blogger schooled the Internet on bravery
After fashion blogger Jessica Kane was called “brave” for wearing a bathing suit sans cover-up, she took to Facebook to explain why she wasn’t a hero for going sans cover-up. “THIS WAS NOT BRAVE,” she wrote in the post. “I’ve been told how brave I am for not having a cover-up, but going with out a wrap would only take bravery if I cared what others thought of me, but I don’t.”
Women’s Running put a plus-size model on the cover
Plus-sized model Erica Jean Schenk graced the August cover of Women’s Running, chipping away at the harmful stereotype that you have to “look the part” to love running. “I’m over the moon that all these people see me and can relate,” Schenk told E! News. “I hope I make an impact in women’s body acceptance.”
Lena Dunham showed that anyone can unabashedly rock lingerie
Lena Dunham definitely isn’t shy about the fact that she loves her body. And for good reason, it’s awesome! Which is why we were so excited to see her lingerie-clad body show up on our Instagram feed back in May. “Love my @lonelylingerie and I think I will wear it to dinner with some boots & a smile because we are all very lucky to be free,” she captioned the Memorial Day weekend photo. Even better? The post racked up over 101,000 likes with mostly positive comments commending Dunham for how comfortable she is in her skin, a refreshing change from the usual trolls that prey on pictures of celebrities, no matter who they are.
Pink showed us how to respond to unwelcome body comments
After she received some harsh comments about her weight, Pink posted a lengthy message on Twitter dismissing those who had a problem with her body. “While I admit that that dress didn’t photograph as well as it did in my kitchen, I will also admit that I felt very pretty. In fact, I feel beautiful. So, my good and concerned peoples, please don’t worry about me. I’m not worried about me. And I’m not worried about you either. I am perfectly fine, perfectly happy and my healthy, voluptuous and crazy strong body is having some much-deserved time off.”
Sport Illustrated opens the door to plus-sized swimsuit models
After Robyn Lawley recreated last year’s Sport Illustrated’s swimsuit edition cover with fellow plus-sized models in protest (and to promote her swimwear line), the Australian commanded this year’s issue as the first-ever plus-sized model. “I don’t know if I consider myself as a plus-size model or not,” she said in an interview with Time magazine at the time. “I just consider myself a model because I’m trying to help women in general accept their bodies.”
Chrissy Teigen vowed to stop editing her Instagram photos
In April, supermodel Chrissy Teigen told Meredith Veira during a sit-down that she was done with using photo-editing apps to perfect her photos. “We’ve forgotten what normal people look like now. The standard is so ridiculous,” she explained. She went on to warn viewers that models aren’t as perfect as they may seem on social media. “I’ve seen these women in person, they are not like that. Please know that. I’ve shot in barely anything with them, and it’s just amazing what people do to tweak themselves.”
Amy Schumer proudly posed nude in the new Pirelli calendar
Straying from previous year’s traditions, this year’s Pirelli calendar chose the women being featured based on achievements rather than how great they look naked. Amy Schumer is one of two women (the other being the fabulous Serena Williams in her underwear) to pose nearly nude for the shoot. Annie Leibovitz, the esteemed photographer behind the gorgeous shots, said in a press release that her reasoning behind the naked shot as a way to “show the women exactly as they are, with no pretense.” But the best part was when Schumer herself perfectly encapsulated life in a female body in one tweet: “Beautiful, gross, strong, thin, fat, pretty, ugly, sexy, disgusting, flawless, woman.” Yep, that sounds about right.
By Lindsey Murray
More from Health.com: