Why Body Positivity Feels More Radical Than Ever Before

body positivity with wildflower

As an ultra-thin ‘ideal’ returns, curve models like Wildflower collaborator Taylor Giavasis have become vital. 

Summer is here, and no doubt your self-critique is in overdrive. No matter how many times we tell ourselves that this year will be different; this year, we’ll reject the pressure of a ‘bikini-ready’ body, no longer agonize over beach day photos – as soon as temperatures rise, so do the same old slew of insecurities. 

If this year feels particularly brutal, you’re not alone. The arrival and accessibility of semi-glutide injectables has re-idealized thinness not seen since the Victoria’s Secret era. In the same breath, pop stars are taking to the recording studio en masse to discuss weight loss. On her new album Brat, Charli XCX confesses, ‘Nowadays, I only eat at the good restaurants. But, honestly, I'm always thinking 'bout my weight.’ On the remixed version of Charli’s song, “Girl, So Confusing,” Lorde sings, ‘I've been at war in my body, I tried to starve myself thinner, And then I gained all the weight back.’ Then there’s Billie Eilish, who dedicated an entire song on her new album to the psychological implications of being “Skinny.”

This month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Rent the Runway is seeing a notable trend toward smaller sizes. Only 0.8% of models graced the AW24 runways — a significant decline from previous seasons. Rumors continue to percolate that straight-size models are now relying on drugs like Ozempic to stave off hunger, making weight maintenance more feasible. As a result, body nonconformity feels nothing less than radical, making curve models the new mavericks. This is particularly true of Wildflower collaborator Taylor Giavasis, who founded ‘The Naked Diaries,’ an Instagram scrapbook dedicated to body diversity. Followers will submit intimate self-portraits, or art, sharing poems or short stories that unravel their relationship with their bodies. 

These kinds of perspectives feel more necessary than ever before. Before their more recent body transformations, the Kardashian’s fuller figures ushered in an alternative body type for women who only recognized thinness as beauty. When they started to lose weight, I more or less followed suit. I downloaded a calorie counter app that restricted my diet to 1200 calories a day which I paired with 1-2 high-intensity workouts a day. Within four months I had lost my period, and often couldn’t speak without salivating. Food occupied my thoughts, all day, every day, and I was constantly tired from over-exercising. My body dysmorphia reached fever pitch when I cried my entire birthday because of the photos my boyfriend took of me. I was 27. 

While they may not have been raised on Victoria’s Secret catalogs, today’s adolescents are constantly bombarded by beautiful – often digitally-tweaked or medically-enhanced  – girls. It’s impossible to understand the true effect of seeing a suddenly homogenized body type, but it’s easy to see how dangerous it might be. Moreover, our culture's tendency to pendulum-swing has left us with whiplash as to which bodies are considered ‘trendy.’

If Taylor Giavasis can teach us anything, it’s that your worth isn’t dependent on a flat tummy or hourglass figure. That every weight loss journey is followed by, Well, now what? That, in reality, beauty knows no size or shape. It’s a harrowing thought that I’ve dedicated weeks of my life to thinking about the way my body looks — and, transparently, I don’t know if I can, or will, stop any time soon. But, every summer gets a little bit easier.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.