The Unedited Images Influencers Want You To See


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2020 has changed everything, and among many other things, it’s really made an impact on the way that people use social media. Prior to 2020, we’d usually be scrolling through edited selfies and enviable travel snaps, but more and more, people are now using social media as a microphone to voice their beliefs and communicate with their community. Of course, the Instagrammable moments still remain, but we’re also seeing an influx of authentic, unedited, raw images, and TBH, we’re living for it.

Case in point, these incredible women who are breaking the “influencer” stereotype and capturing their life in all of its realness. And that includes their relationship with their bodies, from quarantine weight gain, stretch marks, cellulite, and postpartum bodies. Check out these empowering, unedited women…

Christina Abiola

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Some people may not understand why I post videos and pictures like these… some people would say this is scary and they hope this doesn’t happen to them. I get it! When the standard of beauty in the world doesn’t show you stretch marks or darkskin what else do you expect! Imagine if the top model In the world was a dark skin women with stretch marks!!!!! I want to represent the unrepresented. My marks will never go away! I will live with them forever why hide them!??? I want to feel free in my skin and I want to know who’s joining me!! #freethestretchmarks #stretchmarkqueen #repost #joinme #selflove #loveyourself #skin #lovemyskin #postpartumbody #explore #explorepage #momlife #stretchmarks #confidence

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Mom, beauty influencer, and general queen, Christina Temitope Abiola isn’t afraid to challenge outdated beauty standards, and that includes the stigma that surrounds stretch marks. Instead, she showcases her stretch marks with pride; a self-proclaimed #stretchmarkqueen. We love what she’s doing!

Millie Mackintosh

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With Sienna nearing 10 weeks old nothing has given me more purpose than knowing that a small life depends entirely on me to feed and nourish her as she grows. I try to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle and I count myself lucky that throughout my adult life I’ve felt and identified as pretty body confident but now all that has changed along with every other aspect of my life, which makes me look at my body in a totally new light and it’s been a big adjustment! Fitting into my pre pregnancy clothes seems a long way off and I have no intention of rushing into ‘getting my body back’ but it would be a lie if I said I feel totally happy and at one with my body post pregnancy. The process has been made a lot harder by some overly strong and hurtful comments online about my appearance (as much as you try and ignore them). I’m in awe of what my body has achieved over the last year but I find it hard not seeing the girl I know to be me looking back at me in the mirror. I now see photos of myself pre-pregnancy and remember thinking at the time I didn’t like my body at certain angle but now I look back and think I looked great! It’s made me realise how critical I am of myself and how it’s so crucial, as women, that we learn to let ourselves off the hook. My mantra has always been that you exercise because you love your body not because you hate it, so any movement I do now is with the intention to feel good and never to punish myself. Sienna is worth every extra inch, pound and stretch mark. My body made me a Mother and for that I’ll always be grateful 💗 #postpartumbody

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Throughout her pregnancy and since the birth of her daughter Sienna, Millie has been open and honest about her experience as a mother, from breastfeeding struggles to postpartum weight gain. She uses her platform to remind herself and her female followers to love their body and it’s amazing capabilities. With that said, she doesn’t deny that it can be difficult at times, and we love her more for it.

Ashley Graham

In a recent interview, Ashley Graham discussed one of her Instagram posts that instigated a self-love movement of women showcasing unedited photos of their bodies. She revealed that she had never intended to start a movement with her post, but instead posted it absentmindedly, because stretch marks and rolls are normal, and therefore, should be normalized on social media. #Facts.

Char Ellesse

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AD | who was i then? SWIPE | back then i was still living in my hometown. back then i was “straight” seeking the approval of men at any chance i could. back then i wore lace fronts and 5pairs of eyelashes at once. back then i wanted to do anything to fit in w the rest of the girls at the club (who were mainly straight white girls) back then i made my blackness palatable in order to not be seen as a stereotype. back then i denied myself of who i really am, who i wanted to be. back then i hadn’t allowed myself to discover my true identity. but today, i’m proud to stand in my unapologetic queer blackness, w nothing but pride ✊🏾 i want to encourage you to reflect on who you were back then, and realise how far you’ve come in exploring your identity #whoiamreally – for every time this hashtag is used @thenue_co will donate $10 to @glaad and 100% of profits from the sales of their ‘HOW ARE YOU REALLY?’ tshirts (pictured here) during the campaign period ✨

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Self-acceptance is a very personal and powerful journey. Founder of Girls Will Be Boys, Char Ellesse, shared her story to encourage others to explore their identity and reflect on their growth. An important movement for everyone.

Danae Mercer

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Shade VS sun / or NONE OF THESE IS SHAMEFUL. I got an EMAIL the other day from a stranger: ‘Gross. Get surgery.’ An email. Which means they googled me, found my journalist website, and filled out a form. ALL. TO. BODY. SHAME. So let me say this again: NONE of our angles are SHAMEFUL. NONE of them are GROSS. And NONE of them need the OPINION OF OTHER PEOPLE. I don’t care if you’ve got abs Or you don’t. If you’re skinny Or full of curves. I don’t care if your peach is popping Or your tummy is bopping. I DO NOT CARE. This doesn’t CHANGE if you have CELLULITE. It doesn’t DECREASE if you’ve got STRETCHMARKS. HOWEVER you look, YOU are you. A bundle of heart and soul wrapped in a body. Captured in flesh but so much MORE. And anyone who comes into YOUR SPACE Whether it’s into your DMs or your EMAIL or your PAGE or simply your ENERGY Insisting that YOU are GROSS? Or STUPID or UNWORTHY? Girl, don’t listen to a warped word they say. Because they’re viewing life through their own tilted lens And their vision does not NEED TO IMPACT YOU. SO hold your head high. Celebrate ALL your angles. And realize that YOU, Exactly as you ARE, You’re already incredible. No body shaming required. #selflove #selfacceptance #bodyacceptance #instagramvsreality #bodyshaming #iweigh

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Danae Mercer uses her platform to dispel Instagram’s obsession with picture-perfect poses. Instead, she posts real selfies, often side-by-side images of her body; one with great lighting and a poised stance, and another more natural snap. It’s eye-opening and refreshing.

Olivia Bowen

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Lockdown done me dirty 🤨😂

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This just has to be one of THE most relatable posts on social media right now.

Negin Mirsalehi

Weight fluctuation is a very normal thing! Founder of haircare line Gisou, Negin Mirsalehi, breaks down that stigma and reminds us that however you want your body to look, the most important thing is that you’re kind to yourself.

Who inspires you? Let us know in the comments below.