30 Times Celebs Were Our Body Image Heroes

Photo: Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock.
As women with, you know, bodies, we are well aware that even the most benign-seeming comment can determine whether we feel good or bad about ourselves. And we can only imagine that those highs and lows feel even more extreme when there's a spotlight on you 24/7. That's why we love how often female celebrities use their platforms to speak out in the name of body-positivity.

It's normal to have stretch marks and cellulite, but it's not always easy to feel confident about them. Celebrities speaking out about this and setting an example for their fans is one thing that makes it easier to appreciate our bodies as they are. Sure, we didn't need to hear any of these things from a famous person to know they're true, but it can be a real comfort to know that even women with teams of stylists experience the same body-image issues that we do.

Ahead, we've rounded up 30 of our favorite body-positive moments from female celebrities. We can learn so much about self-acceptance from how they view their bodies — plus pick up one or two ways to handle any internet trolls that try to come for us, just in case.

Got a personal favorite sound bite that we missed? Let us know in the comments section.
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Jessica Simpson
Simpson told Women's Health that it took a long time for her to love and accept her body. At one time, she even considered undergoing a breast reduction. "But after having kids,” she said, “I look at myself and I’m like, you know what, my boobs are actually really big, but I like how they are.”

Simpson added that, at this point in her life, she’s learned what really matters about a person — and that isn’t appearance: “I will never understand why people take someone down for what you look like. If I had a character flaw, take me down. But a body flaw? That’s not important."
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Ashley Graham
Graham’s flaunted her cellulite, posted unfiltered and unretouched photos, and stood up against a whole internet’s worth of body-shamers — and we’re only talking about what she’s done this summer. She’s clearly living by her own advice, all in the name of helping all women love their bodies: "Stop judging yourself, embrace the things that society has called 'ugly.'"

Graham even used her appearance on Sports Illustrated’s cover earlier this year as a platform to remind us that real is beautiful: “It doesn't matter what size you are. It doesn't matter if you have cellulite. It doesn't matter if things jiggle where they’re not supposed to. That’s still beautiful.”
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Photo: Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock.
Ellen Pompeo
Back in July, the Grey’s Anatomy star spoke out against eating disorder rumors that have, unfortunately, followed her for years: “I always thought it was irresponsible of the media to portray me as someone with an eating disorder, because if some girls look up to me and think that’s what you have to do to look like me, it’s a horrifying concept.”

Pompeo also proved herself to be a great role model for girls and grown women alike when she discussed aging: “Growing old is a privilege that not everyone is afforded. If my physical beauty is the only thing that leaves me and my health and my family stay, then that is what’s really important to me."
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Serena Williams
Williams took a moment between Wimbledon and Rio to remind us that, when it comes to her body, her opinion matters most. “I love my body, and I would never change anything about it. I'm not asking you to like my body. I'm just asking you to let me be me."

While we may not hold quite as many Grand Slam titles as Williams, we can follow her lead by being just as loving and unapologetic about our own bodies.
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Danielle Brooks
The Orange Is The New Black actress’ body confidence isn’t just inspiring — it’s downright practical, too. In the midst of the summer heat, Brooks posted an Instagram photo of herself wearing a crop top, with the caption, “This weather will NOT win over the #thickgirls!! Might not be small but I'm hot!! Literally and figuratively.”

Brooks has worn the style before, and makes the point each time that you should wear whatever fits your mood, style, and/or the temperature — rather than what may fit a narrow definition of clothing deemed "appropriate" for your body type.
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Chrissy Teigen
Teigen, our patron saint of realness, never shies away from sharing what having a post-baby body is really like. She’s discussed her stretch marks on social media multiple times now (first on Instagram and, recently, on Snapchat), and each time, Teigen goes out of her way to point them out with humor and playfulness.

Her posts are a great reminder that you don’t always have to take yourself seriously when showing your body some love.
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Joy Bryant
Bryant wrote about how her relationship with her body has changed with time in a beautiful essay for Refinery29. In it, she described how hard it is to be happy with the body you have when you have it: “My body started to change once I hit my mid-30s, filling out here, there, and everywhere. The young Bronx girl in me would have welcomed the change with open arms. The Hollywood me wasn’t so sure. I’d been naturally thin for most of my life, so I didn’t know how to handle the extra flesh gracing my frame at first, especially when it seemed like everyone else was getting skinnier.”

Bryant ended her essay with the suggestion that, as hard as it may be, learning to appreciate our bodies is the only thing that will really help us roll with, and eventually love, these physical changes.
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Photo: Jim Smeal/BEI/BEI/Shutterstock.
Ronda Rousey
Even elite athletes like Rousey can get distracted striving for perfection. In an essay for Refinery29, Rousey explained why that isn’t worth anyone’s time. “When we worry about perfection, our bigger goals are sacrificed. We can’t look up, work hard, and kick ass… I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that you don’t need to be perfect to be valid. Your flaws — your unsuccessful attempts at greatness or even mediocrity — are real. They make you better. And that’s beautiful because it’s never perfect.”

In other words, rather than dwelling on how you don’t look or what you can’t do, own who you are.
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Photo: Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutterstock.
Sasha Pieterse
In an Instagram post declaring her self-love, Pieterse made an important point about body positivity that’s often overlooked. "I decided...to love myself the way I am right now," she wrote. "That doesn't mean I don't want to improve myself, it means that I am making a point to love myself at every stage and chapter of my life."

Taking care of yourself and maintaining good health is just as much an act of self-love as taking an amazing selfie before leaving the house.
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Kristen Bell
Since becoming a mom, Bell has flipped the script on how the public views post-baby bodies. “I didn't lose my baby weight for over a year," she told Today.com. "And when I look down, even now, at the extra skin on my belly, it's a reminder that I've done something spectacular. It's a reminder that I'm a superhero. And I'm proud of it." Simply reminding yourself what your body is capable of can be a powerful confidence boost.
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Demi Lovato
Lovato, who is in recovery from bulimia, has spoken numerous times about the importance of loving your body as it is. She took to Snapchat earlier this year to share a photo of herself with the caption, “My body isn’t perfect, I’m not my fittest but this is me!! And I <3 it!”

Lovato’s made it clear that she never set out to be anyone’s inspiration, but by simply sharing her story, she’s set an amazing example for others.
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Photo: Rob Latour/Variety/REX/Shutterstock.
Chloë Grace Moretz
Moretz told Elle that it took a long time for her to embrace the features she once considered flaws, but when she did, she realized that "they're what make me who I am.”

Moretz now uses her presence on social media to show how important it is to love your imperfections: “I try to not post Instagrams where I Facetune my face and I wear a ton of makeup. I want to be as natural as can be. And I want to break it down for young women so they understand that you're not just 'born' like this."
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Photo: John Salangsang/BFA/REX/Shutterstock.
Kesha
The singer stomped out one troll’s body- and slut-shaming comments in the most Kesha way possible earlier this year, when she posted a photo of her bare butt with a powerful message: “I'm not perfect but I'm pretty fucking magical. and also, I am not, in fact, a whore. also bullying someone who has struggled publicly with body issues is pretty mean. thank god I'm in a place in my life where I feel empowered to address your nasty comments instead of letting them destroy me.”

She ended her post by defending others dealing with body image issues (and came up with our new favorite way to sign off an Insta post): “On behalf of anyone anywhere who struggles with body image, STOP IT. my body is not your business. in conclusion, kiss my magical imperfect ass.”
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Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Variety/REX/Shutterstock.
Stephanie March
In her moving essay about having her breast implants removed, March explains that her decision to get the implants in the first place was made for the wrong reasons. Namely, she was hoping that, by changing her body, her whole life would change:

“This isn’t about what anyone else thinks. It really does not matter anymore. I have accepted this episode as a part of my larger story. And I refuse to be ashamed of it. I am taking back my body, my story, and myself in a bathing suit. Today, the scars are fading into fine white lines. My breasts are small, well proportioned, and just right for my body. Every day, the evidence of all that happened fades a little more, and my year of living terribly recedes into memory.”
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Blac Chyna
Earlier in her pregnancy, Chyna faced harsh critics of her appearance, and she didn’t take the comments lying down. "To all you people out there with negative comments and insecure words (obviously because you have nothing else to do but criticize the next), I AM HAVING A BABY! Exactly what do you expect to see?! If I walked out in makeup and heels everyday to be beautiful to your means I WOULD BE MISERABLE AND UNHAPPY which are two vibes I refuse to transfer to my little one,” she wrote from a fan Instagram account. Pregnant or not, no one should have to sacrifice their comfort and happiness for others.
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Soledad O’Brien
Like other moms on our list, O’Brien’s view of her body totally changed after she gave birth. “I gained a ton of weight, I gained 50 pounds with each kid, so I was big, and I was just like, This body is for something, not just wearing my bikini,” she told Refinery29.

"Now I do Bikram yoga, and I’m strong — and I can do stuff I couldn’t do 10 years ago. I feel good about it. I’m turning 50 and I’m happy with how I look, and it’s not because I’m super skinny or I’m super hot — my body is serviceable, I’m healthy, and when I try and I work out and I try to build muscle and all those things, I like the way I look. I feel strong, and I guess that’s what I’m going for. I’ve moved away from hot and moved into strong."
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Photo: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock.
Iskra Lawrence
The plus-size model showed us how to deal with harsh critics when she took one troll’s comments and turned them into a joke. After being told her appearance promotes obesity and that "people like her [are] eating too many bags of crisps,” Lawrence Instagrammed a video of herself, defiantly eating potato chips in her underwear.

“This is for anyone who has ever been called FAT,” Lawrence wrote in the video’s caption. “I eat whatever I want in moderation. I will eat crisps but I'll also make healthy home cooked meals and workout regularly. The message is who gives a F what anyone else thinks of you. YOU are the only one who decides your self worth.”
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Jazmine Sullivan
As if the singer’s music video for Masterpiece wasn’t inspiring enough, Sullivan also gave us an amazing piece of self-confidence advice when we spoke with her.

"It’s not so much about physical beauty — or it shouldn’t be,” she said. “It’s more about who you are as a person on the inside. That’s what you should really focus on. That’s where the beauty starts and that’s where it’ll shine from.”
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Photo: S Meddle/ITV/REX/Shutterstock.
Tess Holliday
The leader of the #effyourbeautystandards movement has made it a point to clap back against concern trolls (total strangers who assume they know more about what’s best for your health than you do) whenever possible. One of her most memorable responses was back in April, while she was pregnant.

“While I've done my best to look as put together as possible, that's not real life, & it's not for most women,” Holliday wrote. “I'm not the first plus size woman in the public eye to have a baby & share it with the world, & I certainly won't be the last. However I'm part of a small minority that's telling you it's okay to not have a perfect baby bump, or not show at all, to be plus size & have a healthy child, & most importantly to find a care provider that doesn't shame you about your size. It's also okay to tell someone to fuck off when they give you unsolicited advice about what's 'best' for you & your baby.”
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Hillary Clinton
Sometimes all you need to say to silence a potential body-shamer is a simple “Come on.” That worked well enough for HRC when a reporter asked her how many calories were in the ice cream treat she happened to be enjoying. If that doesn’t work, it never hurts to “boo” your shamers, too.
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Jennifer Aniston
Even America’s sweetheart has had to come up with a few tricks to deal with her inner critic: "We are so overly critical of ourselves — with the obsession with perfection, trying to reach a goal that's unrealistic,” she told Refinery29. “We should take care of what we have and not take it for granted, because it’s our one body."

And, if anyone needed a reminder, Aniston added that “all bodies are beautiful; let’s face it.”
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Jemima Kirke
Kirke also shared with us how she deals with her own feelings of negativity, though they’re a bit more specific than Aniston’s: "This sounds so cheesy, but it's true. I try to look at myself as if I were a man who was really hot for me. I'll see all the things that make me me, and [I'm] like, that's hot."

She added that she happily does this exercise with her friends, too: "That's how I look at other women. I look at them like, If I was in love with this person, I would love every bit. And, I tell my friends. I’m not doing it to make them feel good. I really mean it."
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Jordyn Woods
The model (and BFF of one Kylie Jenner) has been using her ever-widening platform on social media to push a message of inclusion. Specifically, Woods wants to see the term “plus-size” — which she told us implicitly spreads the harmful belief that certain, bigger sizes are out of the norm — fade into obscurity: “Society has such standards about what 'beautiful' is, and what you have to look like in order to model or be an actress, or do anything, really… It’s so awesome that now, it’s almost cool to be a curve model, that the industry is having a plus-size moment, because what you realize is that most people today aren’t a size zero and we’ve gotten to a point where everyone wants to see what’s real. Realness is coolness."
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Photo: Marion Curtis/Starpix/REX/Shutterstock.
Meghan Trainor
In May, when the music video of her song “Me Too” premiered, the singer showed just how far she’s willing to go to stay true to herself. "I took down the ‘Me Too’ video because they Photoshopped the crap out of me,” Trainor told her fans via Snapchat.

“I texted the editors like, ‘I never asked you to touch my waist. I want my waist back,” she told USA Today. If there ever was a woman who owns — and defends — exactly how she looks, it’s Trainor, hands down.
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Photo: Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock.
Lena Dunham
Dunham told us that she wasn’t always the body-positive figure she is today: “High school was really hard for me… I had gained a ton of weight really quickly and not grown taller at all. I had acne… There was a real solid moment where I was like, ‘I’m repulsive.’”

It took her a lot of time and reflection to reclaim her sense of self-worth: “I think feeling those feelings and coming out the other end, realizing I don’t have to be the prettiest person here to have value or to have say — that really stuck with me.” And, don’t worry, even Dunham says she doesn’t feel confident 100% of the time — in fact, she says that’s totally normal. “I’ll have a moment where I’ll feel cool and sexy, and then inevitably something happens, like I fall over or I trip or I hit my knee. So even when I feel beautiful and adult, I also feel awkward and young and unsure,” she told us.
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Photo: Monica Schipper/ Getty Images.
Amanda Bigson
The Olympic hammer-thrower spoke with us back in 2015 about how you can improve your body image simply by finding your tribe: "What saved me the most as far as body image is athletics and getting into that world. I think everybody nowadays, for the most part, is really focused on trying to fit into this social world that we have come up with on our social media, and that's not the only world out there... There's all these different worlds and categories that you can fit into, and you just have to go out and find it. I found one and found confidence in it; I feel good about myself, and the people that I surround myself with feel it as well."
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Photo: Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock.
Abigail Breslin
After reading unwarranted criticism Selena Gomez received for her appearance in a few beach photos, Breslin took to Tumblr to speak out about the dangers of body shaming. “Everyone is always saying how we shouldn’t judge each other, so why are you commenting on a gorgeous, talented and smart young girls [sic] body when she’s on the beach having fun with her friends AND SHE LOOKS AMAZING,” she wrote. “How are young girls supposed to grow up normally and not feel bad about themselves and not develop eating disorders if it’s literally national headline news that a THIN girl may or may not have put on a few pounds, and YET still remains THIN?”

Breslin made an important point about how negative comments can have lasting effects and showed major support for her peer, which makes her message all the more powerful.
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Khloé Kardashian
No matter what kind of shade gets thrown Kardashian’s way, she always manages to handle it with poise and her signature sense of humor. In July she tweeted about how her weight loss has been depicted in the media: “I need to remember the date today!! Never would I have ever thought I would be in the media for being 'too skinny.' What on earth?!?!” She then pointed out the incredibly fine line she’s forced to walk as a woman in the spotlight: “First I'm too fat and now I'm too skinny. I love this game!!”

Kardashian’s tweets serve as an important reminder that, when all else fails, you can always just laugh at your trolls.
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Amber Rose
When we spoke with Rose last month, she revealed to us that she always seems confident because, well, that’s the only way to be. It just comes down to determination: “I always feel confident. I never allow myself to not feel confident. I try to tell girls to wake up, say, 'I’m going out there, I’m gonna kill it today, I look fucking amazing.' And that’s just what it is. You talk it into existence."
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Photo: John Salangsang/BFA/REX/Shutterstock.
Tracee Ellis Ross
In an interview with The Breakfast Club, Ross got real about how mainstream beauty standards affect women’s choices — and why that needs to stop. "I don’t like the idea that women might be shamed into making choices, or feel shame for the choices that they make," she said. “I’m making a comment on our culture. A culture of beauty that narrowly defines beauty and perpetuates this idea that women are only objects and worthy of love if we somehow match up to this ever-changing, always unattainable, like, arbitrary standard of beauty.”

Instead, Ross urged women to make choices around their appearances for themselves, and no one else: "We must shift our culture from viewing women as objects so that we are empowered to make choices not based on how other people see us, but instead how we feel.”
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