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Tracee Ellis Ross/Instagram

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 Porterearlier 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

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Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

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