Updated: Feb 9
Last January, The Filipina Feminists featured four women who are leading the revolution against toxic beauty standards. Iza Calzado, Jameela Jamil, Sophie Mayanne, and Cai Cortez are teaching us to love and accept our bodies more by challenging the status quo.
Why we love her: Iza Calzado is not only a brilliant and talented actress, she is also an advocate for women. She co-founded She Talks Asia, an all-female media and retail organization that aims to spark and sustain conversations about women empowerment, as well as produced and directed #TheBodyLoveRevolution, a campaign focused on self-love and accepting one’s body—flaws, scars, and all. It's not a secret that Miss Iza Calzado was "overweight" growing up. In an interview, she revealed that she might have lost the weight, but she didn't lose the issues in her head. Despite this, she's learned to love and accept her body, and we are inspired by her because of that.
Watch the video below from She Talks Asia’s YouTube channel and be inspired to love your perfectly imperfect body too:
You can also watch this BTS video of Iza Calzado talking about the campaign:
British Host and Actress, and Founder of @i_weigh Movement
Why we love her: First of all, her great acting in the NBC series The Good Place is awesome! But we love her because of her passion and determination to spread #bodypositivity. She became who she needed when she was younger through the #iWeigh movement. It’s a campaign that moves people to weigh themselves, not in terms of kilograms, but in the challenges they’ve overcome, their talents, and what they love most. In her first #iWeigh selfie, she answers the question "What you weigh?" where she included her relationship, how she loves her job, and how she speaks out for fellow women.
As a fellow feminist-in-progress, Jameela is brave to call out fellow celebrities who promote toxic diet culture and body shaming. Watch her interview with Channel 4 News:
Photographer and Creator of @behindthescars_
Why we love her: Sophie Mayanne is a revolutionary body positive activist who created Behind the Scars, a photo campaign that normalizes scars by sharing the stories behind them. After undergoing a major surgery in 2018, E found it a lot easier to embrace her scars when she found this Instagram account.
Sophie features people in all shapes, skin colors, and abilities so they can talk about their health and self-love journey. In the process, she is bringing light to numerous health conditions that we may never have learned about. Through her photos, she shows us that beauty is not defined by a singular mold. And more than beauty, it is people's strength, despite difficulties, that should amaze and inspire us.
Filipina Actress and Model
"Naniniwalang: walang himala. Dahil pwede rin maging sexy ang mataba!" — Cai Cortez
Why we love her: Cai Cortez is a Filipina actress known as the "Pambansang Best Friend" for her numerous roles as the lead's bestie. She is also a model and endorser for various local brands like Zilingo. Cai is proud to be a model who represents other body sizes and serves as an inspiration that you can be fat and sexy at the same time. In the Philippines, most of us are greeted at reunions with comments like "Uy tumaba ka (Hey, you got fatter)". But in normalizing and welcoming all body sizes in industries like beauty and fashion, we are closer to a world where there is no shame in taking up more space.
Of all the things we learned about our bodies when we were growing up, there is so much more we have to unlearn. The world taught us to be insecure about our bodies and unkind to others about theirs; it's time to revolt from these ancient teachings. Our bodies have endured a lot of hardships. Each scar, flab, and spot has a story to tell. What's yours?
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