Kelly Bastow Interview: The Art of Body Positivity

A photo posted by @moosekleenex on

The Body Positivity movement has picked up some major steam in the last few years due to brave people who refuse to give in to stereotypes. Because of them, more people around the world are beginning to see that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. One of these brave women is Toronto-based artist Kelly Bastow. Kelly specializes in body positive art that celebrates all body types from the biggest of big, to the smallest of small, and everything in-between. We had the pleasure of chatting with Kelly about her artwork and inspiration.

Chubstr: Hey Kelly, thanks for chatting with us, we love your artwork.  How did you get started in art?

KB:  Like most artists, I ‘ve been drawing since I was a kid. I did go to art school but I really couldn’t hack it and I ended up dropping out. But I’m doing well without it so that’s fine.

Kelly Bastow Art: Skin

Chubstr: What made you focus on body positivity art?

KB: I just wasn’t seeing much diversity and representation of bigger people in art. In 2014 I made my first pattern of big woman and women of color which got such a positive response. People told me “Thank you so much! I love seeing myself represented in art.

Kelly Bastow Art: Passel

Chubstr: That’s exactly what I thought when I saw your male body positive piece, “Passel”. I thought “Wow, that looks like me!”  I feel like men have kind of been shut out of the body positivity arena because of our macho bravado, but us men have feelings too.

KB: Absolutely, 100%. Men are insecure too. I have a lot of guy friends, not one of them who doesn’t have an insecurity about something with their bodies. Chubstr has been so great with male body positivity too. I was on the site and was just seeing pictures of guys who are fresh to death! They have swag, and are looking like a million bucks! It’s really refreshing to see.

Chubstr: Thank you!  What’s the main goal of your art?

Kelly Bastow Art

KB: To connect with my viewers. I want to make people feel calm and at ease when they look at my artwork. I want to make people feel better about themselves.

Kelly Bastow has certainly succeeded in making people of all shapes and sizes feel better and at ease with themselves. We need more people out there ready, willing, and able to forsake societal norms to show the true scope of reality and beauty. You can check out more of Kelly’s work on her website,, or on Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter

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