30 Times Celebs Taught Us To Love Our Bodies This Year

Photo: Gregory Pace/BEI/Shutterstock.
This year saw many female celebrities using their platforms to speak out about an issue very near and dear to our hearts: body image. Women like Serena Williams, Ashley Graham, and Kourtney Kardashian put themselves out there in the name of body-positivity, and boy, did we take notice.

In fact, we spent all of 2016 seeing famous women speaking publicly, either in interviews or via social media, about issues that many women deal with. They reminded us that we shouldn't stress out about post-baby bodies, weight gain, concern-trolling, and more. Instead, they called for self-love and self-care, no matter how hard it might seem to have a healthy relationship with our bodies. All the while, we were taking notes.

With that in mind, we decided to take a look back at everything these women taught us about body positivity this year. Sure, we may never get to meet Chrissy Teigen, but at least we can say we learned not to care about stretch marks thanks (in part) to her.

Click through to start your crash course in 2016's best body image moments. And please share your own body-positive lessons in the comments section.
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1 of 30
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When Demi Lovato said no one should be afraid to ask for support.

As a constant warrior for self-acceptance, Lovato told Glamour about the power of speaking up for yourself, even when it's difficult.

In the moments that she feels weak, Lovato said, "I voice it: 'Hey, guys, not a big deal, but I really wanna throw up right now. I just had to say it.' Because when you talk about it, you take the power away from it."

The National Eating Disorders Association recommends speaking with loved ones when you feel triggered. But, even if you don't struggle with disordered eating, Lovato's comment still stands — everyone needs a support system sometimes.
2 of 30
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When Ashley Graham talked about her mirror mantra.

Graham is a big believer in the power of words. She told us that, before she landed the cover of Sports Illustrated's 2016 swimsuit issue, she changed how she spoke to herself, which eventually changed how she viewed and treated her body:

"When you look in the mirror and say, 'I'm ugly, I'm hideous, I'm fat,' at the end of the day, you are going to become ugly or fat [in your eyes]," she said. "Honestly, we need to start treating ourselves a little bit better. That's what I've done with the affirmation I say in my mirror."
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3 of 30
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That time that Danielle Brooks said plus-size women deserve to be seen.

Brooks penned a powerful essay about the importance of plus-size representation in fashion and mainstream media:

"There is value in the plus-size dollar. In 2014, the plus-size apparel market generated over $17.5 billion. Both the fashion and media industries are missing out, big time. We want to shop ‘til we drop, be on trend, feel hot and sexy. We want to see ourselves in magazines — not as a quota, but on covers. I especially challenge you female leaders: Be a woman who stands for all women.

"Editors, we want to be seen. Designers, we want to be dressed. Retailers, we want options. Women, we must do this together."

Now that's a call to action we can get behind.
4 of 30
Photo: Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock.
When Jennifer Aniston reminded us to love our bodies just the way they are.

Aniston didn't mince words when she spoke with us about body image: "All bodies are beautiful; let’s face it. We are so overly critical of ourselves — with the obsession with perfection, trying to reach a goal that's unrealistic." She added that we only have one body, so don't take it for granted — instead, care for it, accept it, and love it.
5 of 30
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That time Aly Raisman shut down the idea that there's such thing as being “too strong.”

Raisman took to Instagram to give her grade-school tormentors a piece of her mind — and reminded her followers that's it's never a bad thing to look strong.

"Shoutout to all the boys from 5th-9th grade who made fun of me for being 'too strong,'" she wrote. "Thanks for forcing me to learn to love myself and my body. My muscular arms that were considered weird and gross when I was younger have made me one of the best gymnasts on the planet. Don't ever let anyone tell you how you should or shouldn't look."

And then Raisman signed off with a message we'll be sure to carry with us into the new year: "There is no such thing as a perfect body type."
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Photo: Julio Cortez/AP/REX/Shutterstock.
The time Hillary Clinton just said “boo” to calorie counting.

While on the campaign trail, HRC refused to let one reporter's silly question keep her from enjoying some delicious ice cream. When asked how many calories were in her treat, Clinton responded with a derisive, "Oh, come on," before actually booing him. She clearly had more important things on her mind, like eating some of the ice cream before leaving the shop, so what would make anyone think she gives a damn about calories?
7 of 30
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When Tess Holliday refused to listen to "concern trolls."

Back when Holliday was pregnant, she heard from a very vocal group of people who claimed to be concerned for her health as a plus-size woman. The model wrote an impassioned post on Facebook calling out these comments for what they really were:

"People still think it's okay to comment on my body: 'you don't look pregnant', 'you must be have quadruplets', 'you are putting your baby at risk' & a slew of other uneducated statements that are very far from my reality...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."

Then Holliday drove her point home with a reminder that what's "best" for you is a conversation for only you and your healthcare provider: "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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8 of 30
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The moment Chrissy Teigen embraced a #nofilter lifestyle.

Teigen's social media presence offers almost daily lessons in how to ignore the haters.

Here, we'd like to highlight the time she Snapchatted her stretch marks, and then explained why on The View: "I was actually just taking a picture of the bruises and then I saw the stretch marks in there. I have those apps, the Facetune and Photoshopping ones, and I just didn't feel like doing it anymore — and I'm never doing it again, because I think we forgot what normal people look like now."

Once again, the case for realness above all else has been successfully made.
9 of 30
Photo: Marion Curtis/Starpix/REX/Shutterstock.
When Jazmine Sullivan told us inner beauty is what really matters.

Sullivan's song, "Masterpiece," taught us that everyone is a work of art. Our conversation with the singer taught us that, in order to see yourself as a masterpiece, you must start with your inner self. Sullivan explained that self-confidence is "not so much about physical beauty — or it shouldn’t be. 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."

She also reminded us that learning and practicing self-confidence is "a process," and not to worry if we don't feel fantastic every day. "It’s all a part of the journey of life," she said.
10 of 30
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The time that Khloé Kardashian didn't stress out about pleasing everyone.

When the press reacted to her weight loss, the most outspoken member of the Kardashian brood tweeted her exasperation with the mainstream media's obsession with her body.

"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?!?!"

Another tweet reminded us that, sometimes, all you can do is roll your eyes and keep doing you: "First I'm too fat and now I'm too skinny. I love this game!!"
11 of 30
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When Meghan Trainor took a stand against those who Photoshopped her body.

Trainor made the drastic decision to take down the music video for her song, "Me Too," due to what she viewed as obvious photoshopping. In the singer's eyes, it was a risk worth taking. "They Photoshopped the crap out of me," she told her fans via Snapchat. She went on to explain why she pulled the video — and, in doing so, she completely defends her appearance just as it is:

"My waist is not that teeny, I had a bomb waist that night. I don’t know why they didn’t like my waist, but I didn’t approve that video and it went out for the world, so I’m embarrassed."
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That moment when Iskra Lawrence clapped back in the most powerful way.

Lawrence's response to an online troll should be in textbooks worldwide. This is how you handle a completely anonymous, out-of-line critic: with humor and more than a little defiance.

After one commenter called her a "fat cow," told her that she was promoting obesity, and probably ate "too many bags of crisps," the model posted a photo of herself lounging on a mountain of bagged potato chips. As if that didn't drive home her message of IDGAF enough, Lawrence also posted a slow-motion video showing her eating said chips. She who laughs last laughs best.
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13 of 30
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When Soledad O’Brien said she loves what her body can do.

The television anchor and correspondent described how having her first child completely changed how she viewed her body:

"The day that I felt most proud — and it really changed...how I felt about how I looked — was when I had my first child. 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."

That feeling has stuck with her since — it's what your body can do that's worth celebrating: "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."
14 of 30
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When Stephanie March learned that changing her body wouldn't change her life.

March's essay about having her breast implants removed ends with a powerful message: Happiness doesn't necessarily hinge upon appearance.

"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."
15 of 30
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That time Jordyn Woods told us that "realness is coolness."

While speaking about the "plus-size moment" the fashion industry appears to be having, Woods offered her own explanation: "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." We couldn't have said it any better — what's real is what we need to see most.
16 of 30
Photo: Gabriel Olsen/WireImage.
That time Ronda Rousey told us that our imperfections make us who we are.

“When we worry about perfection, our bigger goals are sacrificed," Rousey wrote in an essay for R29.

She added that it isn't enough to be content with imperfection — it's vital that we accept and love our flaws: "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."
17 of 30
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When Sasha Pieterse wrote that self-love means taking care of yourself.

In a moving Instagram post, Pieterse spoke openly about an aspect of self-love that's rarely discussed: "I decided...to love myself the way I am right now. 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."

The Pretty Little Liars star made an important point here — acknowledging that you'd like to improve upon something doesn't mean you're viewing your body in a negative light. It means you want to show your body complete love and care.
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18 of 30
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When Joy Bryant reminded us that bodies change with time — and that’s okay.

In her moving essay, "Girl, You Beautiful," Bryant tells the story of how she learned to accept her body at different points in her life — from her "skinny" teenage frame to her "filled-out" mid-30s body. She ends with the decision to stop caring about these changes, and to instead love her body as it is in that moment:

"In my experience...the world likes to sing a tune that goes something like this: This is what you should look like, this is who you should be,
who you are is not enough, it’s perfection you must seek.

"And when the world sings that song, sometimes it’s hard not to listen, hard not to agree. But I’ve danced to that tune for too damn long. It’s time to clean out my ears and flip to another station."
19 of 30
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When Serena Williams didn't care about anyone's opinion but her own.

Williams made it clear in the September issue of Shape that she has no time for other people's critiques of her body:

"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," she said.

Williams also acknowledged using her platform to be a role model: "I'm going to influence a girl who does look like me, and I want her to feel good about herself." We're already taking notes on the tennis champ's unapologetic self-love.
20 of 30
Photo: Clint Spaulding/WWD/REX/Shutterstock.
That time Anne Hathaway felt no shame about weight gain.

Hathaway got real about dealing with weight fluctuations in an honest Instagram post. "There is no shame in gaining weight during pregnancy (or ever). There is no shame if it takes longer than you think it will to lose the weight (if you want to lose it at all)," the actress wrote alongside a photo of DIY cut-off shorts. She then wrote that these changes are natural and shouldn't be a source of shame, before signing off with our new favorite hashtag, #lovewhatyouhavebeengiven.

"There is no shame in finally breaking down and making your own jean shorts because last summer's are just too dang short for this summer's thighs," she wrote. "Bodies change. Bodies grow. Bodies shrink. It's all love (don't let anyone tell you otherwise.)"
21 of 30
Photo: Zach Hilty/BFA/REX/Shutterstock.
When Hannah Bronfman celebrated the fact that everyone’s body is different.

The DJ and HBFIT founder spoke with us about her past struggles with insecurity and body image, explaining that she had to learn that no two bodies are alike to be able to accept herself.

"I celebrated the idea of not being necessarily a stereotype in terms of my body image. That's an idea that's really hard for a lot of people to come to terms with," she said.

Now Bronfman makes a point of sharing those feelings with others: "That's something that we talk about all the time at HBFIT, that idea of celebrating your body type and knowing that you look different from the people around you, and that’s okay."
22 of 30
Photo: Stephen Lovekin/WWD/REX/Shutterstock.
When Blake Lively said that new moms shouldn’t worry about “bouncing back” right away.

After having her daughter James, Lively didn't hesitate to call out the "unfair" expectations that weigh on new moms: “You don’t have to... be Victoria’s Secret–ready right away. You’ve just done this incredible miracle that life has to offer.”

We can't agree more with the actress' two cents about post-baby bodies: "A woman's body after having a baby is pretty amazing." Amen.
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23 of 30
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When Amber Rose told us she tries to stay confident, even when it’s hard.

As naturally confident as Rose may seem, she revealed that, from time to time, she struggles to keep her head up. Sometimes, you just have to fake it until you make it: “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."
24 of 30
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When Gina Rodriguez shared how she makes sure her lifestyle fits her body.

Rodriguez shared her approach to a healthy lifestyle with The Cut, and it just might go down in history as the most down-to-earth health advice we've ever heard.

"Getting information about your body and what you need to create the healthiest you is individual and personal," she said. "You don’t need to buy into any lifestyle besides your own and what best fits your body."

Is it just us, or does Rodriguez sound like she's basically quoting the rules of rational fitness? We could not be more on board.
25 of 30
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That time Kourtney Kardashian reminded us it's actually pretty simple to be a body image role model for young girls.

The eldest Kardashian sister opened up about why she won't say the word "fat" in front of her daughter. Even today, it's used as a derogatory term, and Kardashian explained that she worries hearing it in that way will damage how Penelope views her body: "There are so many conversations that we have without thinking the kids are listening. I just don't want to start getting anybody self-conscious."

She then acknowledged her own responsibility to teach Penelope body positivity: "They say if a mother is confident about her body, that the daughters are way more likely to not have eating disorders. I'm fine about my body, but I'll notice little things. If I'm like, 'Ugh, I hate this outfit! I'm changing!' My daughter will try on tons of outfits before she's happy."
26 of 30
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When Eve Torres chose not to sweat the “before and after” pics.

The former WWE wrestler posted on Instagram about her post-baby body and why her fellow moms shouldn't feel pressure to lose weight right after giving birth:

"I had originally taken this photo one week after I gave birth to Raeven with the intention of putting it side by side with my future 'skinny' body after I lost all my baby weight 'in just 4 weeks!' (Like they do in the magazines)... I realized that the only 'after' picture that matters is a happy, healthy mommy with her happy, healthy baby. I wish new moms wouldn't be burdened with the pressure to get back into pre-baby shape so quickly. Exercise (when your body is ready), eat for health, love yourself & your child, and let your body do whatever it's meant to do after the amazing feat of creating a human."
27 of 30
Photo: Mortimer P/DYDPPA/REX/Shutterstock.
When Alessandra Garcia-Lorido said size is a spectrum.

While speaking with R29 about Lane Bryant's This Body campaign, Garcia-Lorido said that size visibility doesn't end with "normal" models and plus-size models.

"People try to categorize with such extremes; you’re either a size 0 or a size 18; there’s an average, an in-between, that should be celebrated. There should be an equal amount of opportunity, work, and celebration for everybody," she said.

Moral of the story: No matter where your body may fall on the size spectrum, you're beautiful.
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28 of 30
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When Jennifer Weiner showed us how to call out body negativity when we see it.

As much as we love curling up with one of Weiner's renowned novels, her Twitter feed is actually where we get inspired to call out everyday body-shaming. Here are some of our favorites from the past year:

"I hate finding fat jokes in my chick lit. Worse than a black fly in my Chardonnay."

"'Mr. President. Sorry to disturb you, but there's been an incident. Another former beauty queen has gained weight.'"

"Life goal: to get to the point/raise daughters who see 'WW' and think Wonder Woman before Weight Watchers."

Leave it to Weiner to be incredibly real and incredibly funny all at once.
29 of 30
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The time JoJo shared why skinny does not equal healthy.

JoJo told Lenny Letter that she was taught to doubt herself — and her body — from an early age.

"When I turned 17, that’s when people started talking to me about my weight. They’d say, 'Don’t you want to be slim?' At 17, I was like, I guess? I always thought that having a thick, curvy body was cute, but if you’re telling me that people aren’t going to like it or that I look bad, I guess I do," she said.

She said her label asked her to lose weight for the sake of her health. That's when JoJo had had enough — and told the president of the label off with a serious mic-drop:

"I said, 'Let me stop you right there. I’m the picture of health. I live a balanced life. I’m active, I eat what I want, I get my vegetables in. Don’t try to make this about my health, because you know damn well this isn’t about my health. This is about me looking the way that you think a pop star is supposed to look.'"
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When Chrissy Metz realized her choices are her own.

"I remember being at Weight Watchers at, like, 11 years old and my mom just trying to figure it out for me," the This Is Us star told People. "It’s heartbreaking because, as a parent, you want your child to have the best life possible and you want them to be protected and in this little bubble where everybody finds them to be beautiful and perfect and their lives to be amazing. But that’s not always the case."

Metz said she dealt with an unhealthy relationship with food for most of her life until she turned 30: "I had this epiphany that my life is my own and my choices are my own." And, if her recent success on TV is any indication, she isn't letting anyone, even herself, keep her down.
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