What is beauty? Is it being 6 feet tall, skinny, curvy, different, the same, tanned, fair, natural? News flash: It’s all of those things, none of those things, and so much more. The Oxford Dictionary defines beauty as: “A combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.” Pretty vague, right? That’s because beauty itself is vague, everyone is beautiful for different reasons and there’s no one recipe for what makes a person beautiful.
It often feels that slowly, over time, women may have felt they needed to behave, look or dress in a certain way to be considered ‘beautiful’ by society. We’re conditioned to fulfill criteria that are continually portrayed by the media, that we didn’t actually create, so guess what? We’re not doing it! A number of celebrities have said ‘hell no’ to today’s ‘norm’ beauty standards and are fiercely taking back ownership of their bodies and frankly, we’re so here for it.
Now pop this song on and check out these inspiring women…
As one of the most straight-talking celebs out there, Chrissy Teigen tells it exactly like it is. The model and mother is fiercely unapologetic about her body, the trials of being a mother and life in the spotlight. Proving that body changes happen to us all, Teigen famously posted a picture of her stretch marks on Instagram with the caption “Whatevs.” We love when celebs are real.
Winnie Harlow is simply killing it. The model has spoken candidly about her vitiligo, a condition that affects the pigment of the skin. Not one to shy away from the limelight, Winnie is a trailblazer embracing her beauty in all its glory, dubbing her walk on the Victoria’s Secret runway, “Another step for representation.”
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Representing what the industry would call ‘curvy’ women – we would probably call it a damn hot natural figure – is the intensely funny, confidently herself, Ashley Graham. The model has been defiant about her appearance and advocates body positivity at every opportunity. Graham frequently holds talks at high schools about body image and the importance of body acceptance.
Aside from being incredibly talented, Janelle Monae isn’t taking heat from anybody. While a number of celebrities don ballgowns on the red carpet, Monae feels no need to conform and is mostly seen wearing a tuxedo stating, “I bathe in it, I swim in it, and I could be buried in it. A tux is such a standard uniform, it’s so classy and it’s a lifestyle I enjoy. The tux keeps me balanced. I look at myself as a canvas.”
For some reason, the world went into shock when Alicia Keys decided to stop wearing makeup. Writing on Lenny Letter, Alicia explained her decision saying, “Every time I left the house, I would be worried if I didn’t put on makeup: What if someone wanted a picture?? What if they POSTED it??? These were the insecure, superficial, but honest thoughts I was thinking. And all of it, one way or another, was based too much on what other people thought of me.”
Pink first appeared in our lives as the badass chick with bright pink hair. Throughout her career she’s become more and more fierce, laughing in the face of gender stereotypes. During her speech at the VMAs, Pink made an ode to her daughter by saying “We don’t change. We take the gravel and the shell and we make a pearl. And we help other people to change so they can see more kinds of beauty.”
Natural hair is here to stay and we’re here for it. Embracing the natural texture of her hair is Solange Knowles. Knowles is often seen with her natural afro in public and clapped back at a publication last year for retouching her braids with her powerful anthem “Don’t Touch My Hair.”
Women have hair. Seriously, we do. And for some of us, getting rid of that hair can be a long, grueling process. It’s your choice whether or not you keep it or remove it. Lourdes Leon has shunned her razor by skipping out on shaving altogether and embracing her natural growth. Stunning and statement – what else would you expect from Madonna’s daughter?
Tell us about the women who inspire you to be your own beautiful self in the comments below.
P.S. Does this song (Perfect To Me) make anyone else feel emotional?! 😭