After shopping for new spring clothes and flipping through our favorite magazines, we can feel less inspired and more like we’re not good enough.
Even though we know that Photoshop transforms normal girls into superhumans, it doesn’t make us feel any better about ourselves. The standard of beauty is still unattainably high, where edited fashion advertisements are considered more beautiful than real imperfections. Women can feel expectations to seem flawless, but we want you to see the beauty in your flaws.
Thankfully, there are a few body-positive companies that are dedicated to showing women of all shapes, sizes, ages and skin tones. These companies, their models and their products remind us that we should strive to be happier—not skinnier, curvier or prettier.
You’re already beautiful, and these brands can help you feel that way.
Healthy is the New Skinny
“We are born to be free-thinking, unique people, and we live in a culture that teaches us to blindly follow, consume, and strive to be like the people we are told to be like!” Katie Willcox, the founder of Healthy Is the New Skinny, said on her Instagram. “Screw that! I use my mind to think for myself!”
Willcox doesn’t believe in following the crowd. With her husband, this healthy model started Healthy is the New Skinny, a company that challenges the idea that thin means healthy. To the Willcox duo, health and beauty is more than the number on a tag.
Healthy Is the New Skinny’s mission is to remind all women that they are worthy of feeling beautiful, regardless of shape or size. To promote this positivity, you can buy Healthy Is The New Skinny tanks, hoodies and t-shirts.
When lingerie company Victoria’s Secret created the ad above, Dear Kate responded: “As if women need a reminder of our society’s homogenous definition of beauty, the [Victoria’s Secret] ad features ten models with almost identical body shapes.”
If it’s possible, we now love this lingerie-meets-sportswear company even more. They continue to feature smart, successful women of all sizes and body types in their lookbooks and advertisements.
Dear Kate knows that you have beauty and brains, which is why they offer undergarments and activewear that are both pretty and fit for an active lifestyle. We know you’ll enjoy chemical engineer Julie Sygiel’s no-VPL leggings and period-proof panties that are fit for every woman.
Delicate lace, cheeky prints, bright colors and stretch marks decorate aerie stores. This lingerie company vowed to stop retouching their models last year. They proudly display cellulite, freckles, tattoos and stretch marks.
aerie, owned by American Eagle Outfitters, has changed the face (and the body) of beauty at the national level. With a focus on customer interaction through social media, the company posts, tweets and pins body-positive quotes from female role models like Jordin Sparks and the brand’s fans. These raw and honest portrayals of self acceptance are labeled with the hashtag #AerieReal.
We love that aerie shows us what bras will look like in our cup sizes. We also love that their underwear is comfy and cute. And we really love that they are promoting self-love.
Barbie’s exaggerated breasts, tiny waist and spindly limbs are unrealistic—she would not be able to survive with her current dimensions.
We know that Barbie dolls are a fantasy, a dramatic interpretation of beauty. But we also know that it’s problematic to reinforce dangerously unattainable ideals into young girls’ minds. This is why we support Lammily, a doll made with average, healthy dimensions.
Nickolay Lamm, the artist behind Lammily, saw that the average girl—the one who gets grass stains when she plays outside and gets bruises when she falls—was not present in the toy aisle. Instead, he found that girls’ toy aisles were “dominated by divas, princesses, and mermaids.”
Even though the dolls have careers—some are teachers or doctors—they don’t show “the real steps you must take to achieve your dreams.” Lamm wanted his dolls to be different. He wanted them to work hard, set goals and be imperfect.
He uses the slogan “Average is Beautiful” not to inspire “mediocrity” but to “show that reality is beautiful.”
“We believe that beauty should be fun, easy, imperfect, and personal,” explains Glossier’s website.
This new skincare brand, started by Into the Gloss creator Emily Weiss, embodies a true Feather Girl. Its products are meant to brighten and enhance your natural beauty: Liquid Skin Tints even out tones (like foundation’s baby sister), the Balm Dotcom repairs dry skin and the Soothing Face Mist kisses skin, making it appear fresh and awake.
The best part about the brand? They are dedicated to showing women without airbrushing them into oblivion. Glossier creates products for real girls who have real “imperfections”—and they want to see those imperfections. Their skincare products let your freckles, pores and beauty marks shine through.