1. Harnaam Kaur - @harnaamkaur
Here at UNiDAYS, we absolutely love Harnaam. Originally known for being the youngest woman in the world to have a full beard, Harnaam has become so much more than that to women and girls all around the world. She is now an advocate for mental health, body positivity, self love and LGBTQIA issues as well as being an anti-bullying activist. She encourages people to embrace their beauty, whatever form it may come in.
Born in England, Harnaam was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, causing an imbalance of hormones, and spent her youth removing the unwanted body hair to avoid taunts from her peers. However, after years of hiding, at the age of 16 she decided to embrace her body and today is a spokesperson on diversity and self-acceptance. Harnaam has walked London Fashion Week, and has contributed to the House of Parliament on mental health, body image and LGBTQIA issues. Recently, Harnaam created a report on social media and body image for the British Council Youth Select Committee. She regularly protests unrealistic beauty ideals portrayed by the media.
Watch out for our upcoming documentary ‘Hairy Mary’ with Harnaam, which explores the stigma surrounding female body hair.
2. Megan Jayne Crabbe - @bodyposipanda
Megan Jayne Crabbe had struggled with anorexia for years but has learnt that being thinner does not necessarily equate to be healthier, or happier.
Megan told the Evening Standard that the body positive movement on Instagram changed everything for her.“I saw all these women of different shapes and sizes unapologetically loving themselves, and I realised for the first time that maybe I could do that, too. Maybe I didn't have to starve and hate myself forever. That's when I truly recovered, healed my relationship with food and with my body, and starting living.”
Follow for regular, colourful reminders that embracing your natural size is one of the most empowering things you will ever do.
3. Mama Cāx – @mamacaxx
This utterly gorgeous woman had been told she would only have three weeks to live when she was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 14. But she beat the odds and is now a blogger, activist and ambassador for Alleles – a company that makes seriously stylish covers for prosthetic limbs.
She is a champion of fashion as a form of self-love and expression for the differently abled.
4. Kelvin Davis – @notoriouslydapper
Kelvin Davis is leading the charge showing body-positivity isn’t just for women. Men feel an enormous amount of pressure to be muscular in order to be deemed attractive. The pressures on men to conform to certain beauty standards have grown immeasurably. This means that the #bopo movement is certainly not just a women-only thing!
Kelvin Davis who told Refinery29 that “men aren’t supposed to be emotional or vulnerable, especially when it comes to how they look. We are encouraged to just ‘suck it up’ and keep it moving. I don’t think that is mentally healthy at all.”
5. Naomi Shimada – @naomishimada
Plus-size model Naomi Shimada has one of the most delicious Instagram accounts out there. In her recent essay Shimada talks proudly about the naked female body and female sexuality, sparked by the backlash Emma Watson received after she showed a bit of underboob in a modelling shoot. "Feminism to me means IRL liberation from sexist role patterns," she said. "A woman’s sexuality is on her own terms, whether it’s for pleasure or creative work. Life for women is hard enough, we need to turn that energy into something positive because we can’t make any real change when we’re picking each other apart."
6. Cinta Tort Cartró - @zinteta
Stretch marks are something pretty much every woman can relate to but probably hate to admit. Twenty-one-year-old artist Cinta Tort Cartró's decided to celebrate stretch marks by transforming them into art the colours of the rainbow! As well as this she used her rainbow palette to enhance other typically hidden and stigmatized areas of the female body, such as period stains. You go, girl!