Source: Marie Claire
Body positivity is one of this generation’s greatest pursuits. With various beauty standards making themselves known through social media, even some of the most prominent personalities fall victim to body shaming. While some conform to the beauty standards set by society, others bravely face their critics and amplify the need for self-love and acceptance. Among them is model Ashley Graham, who recently went viral after starting a body positivity trend on TikTok.
A few days ago, Ashley posted a video of herself on TikTok highlighting what she believes are the best part of her body, calling it the “self-love challenge.” TikTok users are particularly enthusiastic about riding along with challenges set by their fellow users, be it from celebrities or from ordinary people across the globe. After a few days, thousands have responded to Ashley’s challenge where various individuals showed and celebrated what they love about their own bodies, and the wave is still going on.
The “self-love challenge” encourages others to highlight what makes their bodies “strong, sexy, and important.” It celebrates the beauty and the differences among people from all walks of life, amplifying the message that everyone is truly beautiful. In the video, the 33-year-old model said, “The strongest part of my body? My legs. The sexiest part of my body? My eyes. My favorite part of my body: my jawline. The most important part of my body? My smile. The part of my body I would never change—everything!”
The challenge also paved the way for some individuals to respond by saying nice things about themselves to boost their confidence. Among the responses, individuals proudly showed off not only assets which they deemed would be accepted by society but also features that are very personal to them, such as jiggly bellies, stretch marks, gray hair, and more.
In an interview, Ashley shared, “I hate that I constantly have to discuss my body because I don’t know any man that has to do that. But what motivates me to continue to talk about my body is that I didn’t have someone talking about their body when I was young.” The model opened conversations about body positivity and has always been vocal about self-love for years. In 2017, she stressed the importance of self-love in an interview with People as she opened up about her own struggles and how she overcame her self-sabotaging mentality. She shared that at times when she feels at her lowest point, she will tell herself some very powerful affirmations: “You are bold. You are brilliant, and you are beautiful.”
The model has always been passionate about emphasizing that there’s truly no such thing as a perfect body type. “This is why I don’t post like the ‘perfect’ Instagram photos,” shared Ashley in a statement. “I keep it real and raw constantly because I want people to know that there are women with cellulite, with back fat, with stretch marks. There are a lot of curvy women, plus-size women, fat women, whatever you want to call them,” she added.
The “self-love challenge” video currently has over 1.4 million views and has been shared across different social media platforms.