8 Canadian Body-Positive Accounts to Follow
They teach us how to care, seduce and love ourselves.
by : Gabrielle Lisa Collard & Nicole Garbanzos- May 20th, 2022
Instagram: @spencer.barbosa, @bethany.c.caldwell, @brittneecblair
Throughout history, women have been taught to seek their sex appeal in the eyes of others, condemning them to be passive and disembodied objects of other people’s desire. Despite a society determined to keep them in a mould that does not resemble them, these women have chosen to turn away from this gaze and rediscover all the power and voluptuousness inherent in their individuality.
Jessica is a 27-year-old content creator from Montreal. In her Instagram bio, where she has over 30,000 followers, she describes herself as a “fat queer Afrofeminist, neurodivergent, anti-racist and fat liberationist.” Irresistibly authentic and determined to live her best life at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities, she is one of those women who, by their very existence, prove that there are many ways to be happy, accomplished and sexy. In her early twenties, through social media, Jessica discovered the body positive movement, which (at the time, at least) promoted the acceptance and appreciation of marginalized bodies. Thanks to these images of fat, black and queer people who were confident, beautiful and desirable, her view of herself was transformed.
Claudia, 34, has enchondromatosis, a rare congenital disease that causes numerous benign tumours on the body. In 2016, following complications during a high-risk operation, she became paraplegic. Today, as public appearances, speaking engagements and sexy photo shoots continue, Claudia is reclaiming her sensuality and is a spokesperson for people with disabilities. Having been teased growing up because of her differences, Claudia has worked very hard on her self-esteem and appearance. Although reconnecting with her sex life was not the first thing on her list, Claudia and her partner are working to restore this fundamental aspect of their lives to its proper place. Learning to make love again in this different body, which she compares to losing her virginity again, implies a complete rethinking of the sexual act, but above all cultivating that assumed sensuality which characterizes her.
Author, actress, model and lecturer, Gabrielle, has immortalized the story of her youth and transition in the autobiographical novel, The Daughter of Her Own, currently being adapted for the small screen. As one of Quebec’s most prominent trans women, Gabrielle is hopefully paving the way, for an ever-growing number of marginalized people in Quebec’s cultural milieu, both in front of and behind the camera. In her personal life, she admits to many preconceived ideas and being forced to come out of the closet, so to speak, each time. It is the support of the queer community and the lens of the cameras that helped her to come to terms with her body and sexuality. Today, Gabrielle loves her legs, which remind her of her mother’s, and she shows them off on the days when she feels good. She loves lingerie, especially lingerie that is made for various body types (her favourite: the Quebec-based, inclusive and inclusive Origami Customs), and sees the fact of having her picture taken as a form of rebellion: fighting against the stern look women are taught to look at themselves.
Running a personal blog that offers a ton of workshops and events to choose from, Winnipeg’s Karina Walker also uses her platform to speak on topics that involve body empowerment. She mainly focuses on body neutrality, while also helping her followers and clients to develop a better relationship with food and exercise. With each post, she promotes self-acceptance and works towards higher self-esteem. Walker challenges the diet culture, introduces a redefined approach to mindful physical movement, and voices her take on various issues like body shaming and toxic masculinity, and how body image also affects our own kids as well.
A model and public figure. Toronto’s Brittnee Blair uses her voice to speak authentically about post-partum and the physical obstacles we may encounter after giving birth. With each post, she shares her journey of maintaining body positivity into motherhood. Blair believes our bodies are our home, and the way she honours this is by writing open letters to them. She’s transparent and proud of the body she has and wouldn’t want to have it any other way.
Chrislene Jean Baptiste
Montreal native, who’s also the founder of the Montreal Fat Babe Squad, Chrislene Jean Baptiste wants to offer us the love we may have never had growing up. Big on self-care and candid, un-cut Instagram captions about day-to-day predicaments, each post will definitely inspire you to appreciate yourself a bit more. She shares notes to herself talking about her body and past experiences, how to further heal our inner child, and embracing our feminine energy. In some of her posts, Baptiste also shares a photo of herself in a bikini empowering the importance of celebrating ourselves exactly as we are.
All the way from Chilliwack, Bethany Caldwell is proud to be someone who pushes boundaries and uses fashion to do so. She’s a big supporter of inclusive brands and believes that every body is a bikini body. With this, she tries to make space for the ones who never felt like they belonged. Caldwell believes that there is no wrong way to have a body and emphasizes the fact that everyone is entitled to fashion, beauty, and self-love. She encourages her followers to celebrate their differences and appreciate every imperfect trait of their bodies.
Caledon’s own Spencer Barbosa, aka TikTok body-positive royalty, is proud of the body hair she has on her legs and her back. She preaches bare-faced confidence and pays the utmost pride to the stretch marks she has. She believes in being your own number one fan at all times. With each of her videos, she addresses the physical flaws we all have and shows us how to celebrate them in the process. From stomach rolls to arm fat, Barbosa reminds us that we are more than just our imperfections.
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