The 7 greatest body image messages of 2016

If 2016 did one thing right, it's this

1. Denise Bidot’s stretch marks

US plus-size department store Lane Bryant made headlines when the below campaign image went viral last week. Why? Because model Denise Bidot’s stretch marks are clearly visible in the unretouched shot. Bidot has revealed it’s only the second time her stretch marks haven’t been photoshopped out of images in her nine-year career.

2. Lorna Jane’s curvy model

The activewear label caused a serious stir on social media in November when they posted an image of a curvy girl wearing their clothes. A far cry – and a refreshing change – from their usual roll call of tanned and toned size sixes, the image resonated with women worldwide.

3. Ashley Graham’s barbie

2016 was plus-size model Ashley Graham’s year: after penning an essay that called out social media body shamers for Lenny Letter, she scored her first fashion magazine cover and her very own, realistically-shaped Barbie.

4. Ronda Rousey’s beauty coup

Pantene bucked the trend of what a beauty brand ambassador should look like when they signed MMA Champion fighter Ronda Rousey for their latest campaign. “I’m fully aware that I might not be the first person people think of to collaborate with a beauty brand,” Rousey said. “I’ve been called ‘Miss Man’ and ‘savage’ because of my physique, but to me, strength isn’t only about having muscles.”

5. Victoria’s Secret stretch marks

They’re not exactly known for promoting positive body image, but Victoria’s Secret took a commendable step in the right direction when they shared unretouched photos of Angel Jasmine Tookes in the fabled fantasy bra – with her stretch marks showing.

Jasmine Tookes

6. Robyn Lawley challenges ‘plus size’

The newly crowned Westfield beauty & wellness ambassador spoke out against plus size labeling in October, telling The Daily Telegraph that “it’s degrading” that a size 14 is considered plus size. “If the national average is a size 14, then we shouldn’t be segregating people of that size. I feel healthy and natural at that size,” she said.

7. Chrissy Teigen’s post-baby body

Hollywood’s reigning queen of relatability scored bonus points when she snapchatted her stretch marks to the world, with the caption, “LOL my thighs have tributaries.” She followed the post by highlighting how Hollywood elite lose their baby weight, saying their secrecy placed unrealistic expectations on real women. “Anyone in the public eye, we have all the help we could ever need to be able to shed everything,” she said. “We have nutritionists, we have dieticians, we have trainers, we have our own schedules, we have nannies.”

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