Campaigners and TV stars strip off in Soho to promote body positivity

(Picture: Jonathan Donovan)

All bodies are beach bodies.

And a group of body positive campaigners have come together to remind us of that fact.

Women of all shapes and sizes including blogger Natalie Lee and Stonewall Young Campaigner of the Year, Ellen Jones, marched through Soho in their bikinis yesterday to show that everyone, regardless of size or weight, should feel confident whatever they’re wearing.

The flash mob was coordinated by writer and activist Natasha Devon MBE and Stephen Bell, co-creator of Portrait Positive, an exhibition of photographs shot by Rankin showing models with physical differences.

It’ll be launching at the National Portrait Gallery later this year.

(Picture: Jonathan Donovan)

The charity Changing Faces, lingerie brand Curvy Kate and campaign Positively Perfect were represented at the march, and every campaigner carried a placard emblazoned with body positive slogans.

Natasha Devon MBE, who has a 30cm scar running the length of her abdomen following life-saving surgery in 2013 said: ‘The wallpaper of our world is increasingly festooned with photoshopped bodies who represent an unattainable ideal and this is having a measurable impact on the mental health of the nation, particularly in young people.

‘The aim of the Body Positivity movement is often misrepresented as wanting to replace “skinny” with “curvy”, but that’s not what it’s about.

‘It’s really about abolishing any kind of ideal and allowing people with a diverse range of body types to celebrate their bodies. I think this flashmob conveyed that message.’

(Picture: Jonathan Donovan)

Natasha, who tours schools and colleges throughout the UK working with young people added: ‘Social media has meant that young people are more exposed to unrealistic ideas of beauty than ever before. I see the impact of that every single day.

‘It was very far from easy for me to strip down to my bikini for this flash mob. I’m 37, a size 16 and scarred. I’m not exactly society’s ideal. But knowing I’m doing it for the millions of young people who struggle with body dysmorphia and eating disorders gave me the courage I needed.’

With Girlguiding’s National Attitude Survey finding that 52% of 12-14-year-olds avoid every day school activities because they dislike how they look and girls as young as five believe society values them more for their appearance than for their achievements or character, it’s clear that the body positivity movement is more necessary than ever.

No matter what size or shape you are, remember that you’re 100% beach body ready.

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