When it comes to the body positivity movement, 2015 was a year for the books. It’s becoming more common to see ourselves represented positively by plus-size influencers in all areas of professionalism, media, and thought leadership. If this year was any indication of where things are headed, 2016 promises to bring even more positive exposure. As the New Year approaches, we take a quick look at the body-positive landmarks that called for rounds of high-fives in 2015.
This year we saw the internet explode over fat guys getting their groove on. First, there was the Dancing Man video. Some jerks tried to fat shame Sean O’Brien in person and online by taking pictures of him dancing, and the disappointment on his face when he realized he was being made fun of. Thousands of supporters rose up to put together a huge dance party for him in Los Angeles in May. The party was attended by the likes of Andrew WK (who, if I am not mistaken, is an authority on how to party hard), and DJ’d by Moby. TAKE THAT, HATERS.
And it’s called Mr. Babe. So, obv it’s already awesome. The magazine focuses on fashion-conscious men, retail resources for extended sizes, and profiles of plus-size celebrities like Jack Black. There’s only been one issue so far, but we think the future is bright for Mr. Babe in 2016.
Body-image activist and blogger Jes Baker published her first book this year and it’s already the new Self-Esteem Bible. In the “Handbook for Unapologetic Living,” Jes advocates for self-love and mental health, and provides research on the life-changing benefits of this positive mindset. Our own Bruce Sturgell even contributes an essay to the book discussing why body acceptance (and Chubstr) is important to him.
OMG, #DADBOD. All the culture blogs were exclaiming something we’ve known OUR WHOLE LIVES. A guy who is soft around the edges of his body has major sex appeal. Celebs like Seth Rogen and Jason Segal have always been major hotties in our eyes. Welcome to the club, everyone else. Let us know if you have any further questions.
It’s amazing to see plus-size celebrities owning their size and making it part of their public persona. Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson, two funny AND beautiful women, both released personally curated and designed clothing collections this year. Melissa teamed up with one of the most well-known retail brands, Lane Bryant. Some of her pieces are even available from clothing rental company Gwynnie Bee. Rebel’s line can be found at Torrid. Both collections feature fun designs and prints that break the mold of frumpy, traditional plus-size offerings of yesteryears.
It’s easy as a plus-size person to discourage ourselves from competitive activities. The images we see of runners and athletes are not often relatable. In 2015, we saw a few plus-sized athletes make waves in the running community. Runner’s World shared the story of Derek Mitchell, a 570-pound man who set out to run a 5K every month from March to the end of the year. He totally surpassed that goal when he completed over 20 races, including two 10ks.
Women’s Running also published a cover with plus-sized runner Erica Schenk. Erica told the magazine, “Some women believe that since they have curves they can’t run or shouldn’t run. Running is for every body anytime.”
We’re still gushing over the lavender-haired fashion maven taking the win on one of the most controversial seasons of Project Runway. She was the first designer on the show to create a plus-sized collection, but proved she isn’t just a one-trick pony as she designed for straight sizes, and told us in an interview that she’d be down to design for men too. We <3 you, #DesignerAshely!
The world can no longer ignore diversity of size in the media thanks to the whirlwind that was Tess Holliday in 2015. When she first got on my radar, she was a self-made independent model gracing web pages of little start-up plus size clothing companies. Now she is signed to MiLK modeling agency in the UK and is modeling for H&M, Torrid, and basically anyone who can get their hands on her.
She’s a force to be reckoned with on social media; she started the #effyourbeautystandards campaign which inspires people to share pictures of themselves when they feel beautiful outside the norm.
We can’t help but toot our own horn a little about the exciting year we’ve had. If you’ve been a fan of Chubstr this year, you may have noticed we had some major milestones. In just the last few months, we officially opened the Chubstr Shop! We’ve been working hard tracking down tons of stylish clothing, shoes, accessories, and lifestyle gear so that you can always find something you like right here.
We were also featured in tons of other publications, especially after we discovered plus-size male model Zach Miko. See our mentions in New Now Next, Globe and Mail, MTV.com, E Online, and PopSugar! Best of all, we couldn’t have had all of our success without the passion and support of our readers. Thank you to everyone who reads and shares our articles. You prove to us every day that our mission is real and important!