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Gentle Reminders: These Celebs Want You To Celebrate The Body You Have

Curves, cellulite, bellies, and all.

Celebrity News

Let's be real, at one time or another, all of us have struggled with how we view our bodies and positive self-image. Even the most confident and self-assured of us can find ourselves nitpicking and critiquing the stretch marks we see here or the extra bloat that we might see there. Despite the fact that we might be quick to offer the next person a compliment when they say something self-deprecating about their bodies, sometimes we forget to give ourselves that same grace.


And with it being summertime, and the streets calling us outside to partake in hot girl summer activities, it's easy to feel that self-doubt and insecurity stopping us from loving the bodies we have while we focus on the bodies we hope to attain. Don't get us wrong, having fitness inspo and "beach-body" goals to aspire to are cool, but so are the bodies we get to call our homes.

What's beautiful about this season in particular is how much self-love in the form of body acceptance has been emphasized. Adding their voices to that movement are celebs like Tracee Ellis Ross and Ashley Graham who are using their platforms to echo sentiments about showing your body gratitude instead of criticism.

Keep scrolling for some celebrities daring to bare the skin they're in and their bodies as they are now, fully and unapologetically.

Ashley Graham says "it's hot out there and so are you."

Recently, model and host Ashley Graham shared a slideshow of powerful images showing the range of very real shapes and sizes. In her caption, she wrote, "I hope these photos I've been tagged in of so many beautiful bodies motivates you to love the skin you're in. believe me when I say your body is beautiful, and i know it's easy to tell yourself the lie that you're not good enough, thin enough, sexy enough, 'flawless' enough to wear a tank top or a swimsuit, but it's hot out there and so are you."

In an interview with Porter earlier this year, Ashley revealed why it was that she is intentional about sharing photos of herself on Instagram showing her body. Hint: it ain't about the likes.

"I don't post myself half-naked to get the likes. I post myself half-naked so that someone who's 10 years younger than me knows that that side butt, that hip dip — that's not abnormal to have."
"I wish that, when I was younger, there had been someone as outspoken as I was, who was as fearless with their cellulite and back fat, so I could know that this was normal; this was what a body looks like."

Rihanna knows she is beautiful regardless of her weight.

Rihanna is a purveyor of slay at any size and she has worn confidence as a second skin for her entire career, both onstage as a performer and off as the Queen of Savage. For our favorite bad gal, self-acceptance is key. Sis told VOGUE she is a firm believer in embracing her body at any phase:

"You've just got to laugh at yourself, honestly. I mean, I know when I'm having a fat day and when I've lost weight. I accept all of the bodies. I'm not built like a Victoria's Secret girl, and I still feel very beautiful and confident in my lingerie."

Tracee Ellis Ross wants you to show your body compassion.

Earlier this year, Tracee Ellis Ross shared an affirming message via her IGTV in April with the title "Checking In 4/8". In it, she addressed the fact that our bodies need compassion not judgment. For her, gratitude is the attitude and it's a gift she'd like to pay forward.

"I really encourage and invite all of us to just receive the wisdom of our bodies right now and allow the softness, the weight--whatever that looks like and be grateful. Like, I feel like I've made it through this year. And in some ways I've gotten deeper. In some ways I've gotten bigger in some ways. I am forever changed in some ways... I don't think that my physical body is the most important thing to come out of this very difficult time... I think it is--this is a time for us to offer compassion everywhere to our bodies and to each other."

Danielle Brooks says your body is your ride or die.

Similarly to Tracee, actress Danielle Brooks took to Instagram to emphasize the important role our bodies play in our lives. She proceeded to thank her temple accordingly:

"Why I am grateful for MY BODY: The body is your ride or die, literally. So I'm thankful for Good Health!! I'm thankful that my body functions at [100] regardless of the imperfections the world might see. It holds me up. It sustains me through long work weeks. It takes me on trips around the world, and carries me through my most stressful days and my most exciting. My body has my back, because it knows that I am learning to listen to what it needs to have it function at its best. I don't take my body for granted, so thank you body for taking me on an incredible ride this year!"

Alicia Keys thinks your body is a miracle.

Alicia Keys spoke to ELLE to share her beauty and wellness tips with the publication. When the subject of her body came up, the songstress recalled being insecure about the change affiliated with having children. She said:

"When I had kids, I felt like, 'Oh, my gosh, I'll never look the same ever again.' And that creates insecurity. It fluctuates and flows, but I feel like today, right now, I feel really good about my body. Every day, what your body does is a miracle. We're like the walking embodiments of miracles, and I like to remember that."

SZA believes the standard should come from within.

In a 2018 panel discussion with Girl Collective, SZA explained her journey to achieving positive self-image and learning to accept your self for yourself:

"It's all about where it starts in your mind. I think there are a lot of standards that people told me about that I didn't see. I started, I was 190 pounds, I only wore my dad's big t-shirts and socks on stage, no shoes, and didn't even notice; never complained or tripped about my makeup."
"It was just a matter of where I was in my mind, but I did also come out of that space where I was like, I feel like I want to change. I want to be different. I want to grow. I want to learn. I think it's one thing to be comfortable, but then it's one thing to not see your full potential and your full picture. The standard should really come [from] within."

Lizzo wants you to radically love on yourself today and every day.

A list about celebs embracing positive body self-image would not be complete without including "Juice" artist Lizzo. Though Lizzo is transparent that some days, loving herself and her body isn't always easy, self-love and self-acceptance is something she puts work into daily. Just like the rest of us:

"I started talking to my belly this year. Blowing her kisses and showering her with praises. I used to want to cut my stomach off I hated it so much. But it's literally ME. I am learning to radically love every part of myself. Even if it means talking to myself every morning. This is your sign to love on yourself today!"

Featured image by Tracee Ellis Ross/Instagram

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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