By Angie Michel
Society often tells “plus-size” women to shrink and hide—to slim down, to cover up, to occupy less space, and to make less noise. Five of these women talk back in JCPenney’s latest advertising campaign, each unapologetically proclaiming, “Here I am.”
The clothing retailer’s #HereIAm campaign features influential “plus-size” women promoting body positivity and fat empowerment. Author Jes Baker, singer Mary Lambert, blogger Gabi Fresh, designer Ashley Nell Tipton, and yogi Valerie Sagun speak candidly about their experiences with body image issues and fat shaming, and then respond to society’s superficial standards.
Among the most poignant quotes from the now-viral video is Baker’s.
The bodies don’t need to change. The attitude does.
Despite what the media suggests, our bodies—muffin tops and belly rolls included—don’t need fixing. Our thoughts about them do.
As the media continues to sell us quick fixes, pills, and potions that will supposedly better our bodies (and lives!), let’s follow JCPenney’s example and cultivate radical self-compassion and revolutionary self-love instead. Let’s stop our minds from bullying our bodies and realize we don’t have to earn our place here. Let’s take up space and speak our truth.
Let’s say—just as we are—“Here I am.”
JCPenney. (2016). #HereIAm.