Body Positive Role Model of the Month

Every month I will dedicate a post to a person who is a true Body Positive Role Model, whether it be a singer, actress/actor, model, athlete, or even someone in my life! 🙂

November 2013

Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence
You’ve all probably seen a coming, this month’s Body Positive Role Model. The amazing, HILARIOUS, and confident, Jennifer Lawrence.
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But, seriously, she is the benevolent pedagogue to this generation of girls and women on loving one’s body. Listening to her talk about her serious disgust with the media and our culture’s obsession with thinness and outward appearances is moving and quite frankly, evolutionary. What’s even more astonishing is that she doesn’t just preach acceptance of one’s body, but she practices it!
 
Here is an interview she had with People Magazine:
“When we were doing the first The Hunger Games, it was a big discussion, ’cause it’s called The Hunger Games – she’s from District 12, she’s obviously underfed, so she would be incredibly thin. But, I just kept saying, ‘We have the ability to control this image that young girls are going to be seeing,’ ” she says in an interview with the BBC.
“Girls see enough of this body that we can’t imitate, that we’ll never be able to obtain, these unrealistic expectations, and this is gonna be their hero, and we have control over that,” she explains.Lawrence admits that she has refused to lose weight for a role in the past. “It’s better to look strong and healthy,” she asserts.

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Not going to lie, I teared up a bit… Lame right? Nah, it’s just so refreshing for me to see and hear a fellow body acceptance advocate be in the lime light.  
 
Another amazing way she’s shined as a Body Positive Role Model and Body Acceptance Advocate (Ok, so they’re one in the same), was when she answered a father reading his daughter’s question at a Hunger Games event. Her answer to the long-ended, but definitely needed question: “Screw those people!” Watch the video – it’s amazing (click the image below)…
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  THANK YOU, J-LAW, you are helping change the world! ❤ 
 I swear, we would be the BEST of friends if we knew each other… ::sigh::
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September 2013

Kevin Moore

Courtesy of Reembody Facebook Page.

Courtesy of Reembody Facebook Page.

September’s Body Positive Role Model is Kevin Moore. You may have seen his recent article on my blog or through Facebook or another social media site, The 6 Most Shockingly Irresponsible “Fitspiration” Photos from his blog Reembody.
 
In this post he goes through some of Fitspiration photos and dissects them and discussed how they are dangerous and irresponsible. What makes me love this post even more is that it’s written by a man! As you can see, all of my BPRMM have been females. Women have been the head of the body acceptance movement. I think it’s so crucial to have men be part of that movement too. Especially since he his a Pilates instructor, movement therapist and martial artist. He is obviously very in tune to his own body and wants to help others do so as well, without the constant degrading of one’s physique. 
Kevin tries to help people around the world to:

  • get reconnected to their bodies
  • rethink and “refeel” how they move
  • get stronger and healthier as a result
Reembody.me

Reembody.me

As described on his Facebook page:

Reembody is Kevin Moore’s project dedicated to reconnecting people with their own bodies through education, group movement classes and individual training.
 I ask that you read his article instead of me simply pulling quotes from his beautifully written post – click here!
Thank you Kevin for all you do!
 
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AUGUST 2013

MOLLY BARKER

Photo Courtesy of Molly Barker's Facebook Page.

Photo Courtesy of Molly Barker’s Facebook Page.

This is Molly Barker, she best describes herself as a mom, recovering alcoholic, former Ironman triathlete, Girls on the Run Founder, Author, Public Speaker and Social Entrepreneur. And she is August’s Body Positive Role Model of the Month!
 
If you haven’t seen or heard of her yet, you most certainly will in the upcoming years!
 
Girls on the Run (as I’ve posted about before) is an international non-profit organization that dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. She is also a public speaker where she focuses on breaking free of the “Girl Box.”
 
In her words: “We sadly give up on our real selves and desperately cling to behaviors, people, and things that we think will somehow help us measure up to what are truly unattainable cultural and internal standards.”
 
She also launched “The Naked Face Project.”

Molly has also wrote two books, “Girls on Track: A Parent’s Guide to Inspiring our Daughters to Achieve a Lifetime of Self-Esteem and Respect”, and “Girls Lit from Within” which is specifically for 3rd – 8th grade girls.

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Courtesy of Molly Barker’s Facebook Page.

Courtesy of Molly Barker's Facebook Page.

Courtesy of Molly Barker’s Facebook Page.

The woman is truly a Body Positive Role Model! Her life experiences and knowledge has helped her shape the amazing work she does today.

 
“I find joy through creating safe spaces where thought-provoking dialogue and authentic connection provide people with the tools and the courage to see, unravel from, and eliminate our own and often unconscious buy-in to the societal and cultural boxes that limit our potential.” – Molly Barker
While all of what she does and stands for is beyond amazing, I personally got to experience the organization she created over 15 years ago… 
 
I saw how the curriculum and mission transformed 3rd – 5th grade girls into more confident and value themselves. It’s truly a remarkable program… OH, and it’s all incorporated to train the girls for a 5K! 
 
“Running is used to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment. Important social, psychological, and physical skills and abilities are developed and reinforced throughout the program. At each season’s conclusion, the girls and their running buddies complete a 5k running event which gives them a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. The result—making the seemingly impossible, possible, and teaching girls that they can” – Girls on the Run
 
Courtesy of Molly Barker's Facebook Page.

Courtesy of Molly Barker’s Facebook Page.

 
To learn more about this AMAZING, Body Positive Role Model, follow her on Facebook and checkout her Blog Page!
 

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JUNE 2013

LIZ FERRO

June’s Body Positive Role Model is the one, the only, Liz Ferro! Liz is one of the most amazing women I’ve ever met. She is a great role model for young girls (and people in general) and an inspiration to so many, including me.

I recently read her book, Finish Line Feeling. This is by far my favorite memoir I’v e ever read! It’s about Liz’s journey from being a foster child and sexual abuse survivor to founder of the nationally recognized running organization, Girls with Sole. Liz describes throughout her memoir how athletics basically saved her life – sports helped her find joy and fulfillment in life whilst also forming her into the strong, confident, inspirational woman she is today. Her story is heartbreaking but also uplifting, and you’ll also be sure to find yourself laughing out loud through her wittiness and humor.

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The main reason for choosing Liz as June’s BPRM is what she promotes and does for young girls. She wanted to start an organization to help at-risk girls who may have experienced abuse of any kind through her love of athletics. She wanted the girls to experience the “finish line feeling.” That euphoria one experiences have crossing the finish line of 5K, triathlon, or Ironman. And that she has.

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Girls with Sole Mission:
Use free fitness and wellness programs to empower the minds, bodies and souls of girls who are at-risk or have experienced abuse of any kind.

Girls with Sole Vision:
Our vision is a world where every girl thinks of herself as an athlete- and is inspired and nurtured in mind, body and soul- to achieve her fullest potential and inner most success.

A couple of weekends ago, I ran in the 3rd Annual Girls with Sole LULA 5K. LULA stands for  Lacing Up for a Lifetime of Achievement. I was the 500th person to “like” the Facebook page and won a free race entry! I am so glad I won the race entry – not to have a free race entry, but because I got to run in an amazing event for an even more amazing cause… It was so heartwarming to see the excitement on those young girls’ face before their first 5K, and even more so to see them cross the finish line and experience, as Liz would say, that “finish line feeling.” Liz signed my book for me (I had finished it the night before the race), and the first thing she said was, “You read it and you’re still acting like you like me!” No Liz, I don’t like you, I LOVE you! I LOVED the realness of her book and for sharing her story with the world.

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She is the recipient of both the 2011 Classic Woman Award from Traditional Home Magazine and the American Red Cross of Greater Cleveland Hero Award. Girls With Sole has been featured in Ohio Magazine, Runner’s World Magazine, and CBC Magazine. Liz is a mom, wife, motivational speaker and author.

Among all her amazing achievements is her athletic ones. According to her book, to date Liz has completed sixteen marathons (two of them 50K Ultras), four Iron-distance triathlons and countless road races and triathlons.

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THANK YOU, LIZ FOR ALL YOU DO – KEEP MOVING FORWARD! 🙂

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MAY 2013

ASHLEY HARTMAN, MPH, CHES

Courtesy of Ashley Hartman's Facebook Page

Courtesy of Ashley Hartman’s Facebook Page

I am totally lucky to know personally this month’s Body Positive Role Model, Ashley Hartman! I’ve known Ashley since my freshman year at BGSU through peer education and the wellness-y student organization we were both part of.  Ashley is one of the most inspirational, incredible, professional, knowledgeable, determined, and wellness-y person I know! Her love for public health and promoting health and well-being among others is so contagious! One of her many platforms is on positive body image.

First, before I go into WHY Ashley is May’s BPRM, here’s a little background on this superwoman.

Courtesy of Ashley’s Facebook page.

Ashley is currently a Program Associate at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, whilst also being the LaunchPad Fellowship Field Coordinator with the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.  She previously worked with Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, where she oversaw field organizing and outreach programs designed to increase the number of Planned Parenthood activists in Ohio and increase support for their issues (info from her LinkedIn account 🙂 ).

Courtesy of Ashley’s Facebook page.

Ashley graduated from BGSU with a Bachelor’s of Applied Health Science and holds a Master’s of Public Health from Ohio State University.

From the day I met her to now, she constantly inspires and motivates me because of her passion for all she does.

In her Blog, “Chowey Creates Change“, she discusses some VERY important issues in public health and beyond. Her brief description of her blog is:

“I am making changes big and small for personal and social well-being, and blogging about it here. Common topics include feminism, fat acceptance, fitness, and work/life balance.” – Ashley Hartman

Ashley is constantly posting in social media about public health-related issues, policies, articles, etc. Her fitness goals and posts are always uplifting and encouraging.

Courtesy of Ashley’s Facebook page.

Her take on “fat acceptance” is truly inspirational as well! She really emphasizes loving your body, not matter what the media says!

Ashley’s recent Facebook post really opened my eyes even more to how amazing she is… She spoke out about her recent weight-gain and how she does not always feel so accepting of her body. Here is some of the amazing post:

… Since 2011 I have gained a substantial amount of weight, around 70 pounds. While I post a lot on here any body acceptance and healthy at every size, I often feel very disappointing in my self in my weight gain. The past several days in particular I have felt uncomfortable in my clothes, and ashamed of the way I look. These types of thought patterns can turn healthy behaviors into hurtful ones. It can turn activities that should be done to care and love yourself, into punishment.

I want the way I engage in fitness and eat to come from a place of loving my body, a want to care for, nourish and enjoy my body. But this past week I know my motivation to engage in “healthy behaviors” has come from a negative place. I tried to eat less because I was ashamed of my weight gain. I made sure to do all my workouts because I feared the weight I could gain if I didn’t. There is a thin line between healthy behaviors, and hurtful ones. I was flirting with that line this week… – Ashley Hartman

What I find so amazing about this post in particular is her REALNESS and desire to find that happy medium between engaging in fitness and eating and loving her body. She not only inspires others to obtain a positive body image, but also aspires to obtain one as well. I can relate to Ashley, as I’m not always accepting of my body – it’s not that we are not practicing what we are preaching, it’s a journey to battle the constant media exposure of what we “should” look like and our own inner voices.

Ashley is an amazing woman, who has accomplished so much and inspired so many – including myself. 🙂

THANK YOU, ASHLEY FOR ALL YOU DO! 🙂

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APRIL 2013

KATE WINSLET

For the month of April, I’d like to highlight Kate Winslet, actress, singer, and natural beauty.

I know that she was in the media a while back, but HEY I just started this theme and I think she is amazing a deserves to be posted in my blog. 🙂

On January of 2003, Kate Winslet was featured on British GQ cover. Notice something about this image of her? It’s like half of her! Her curves were Photoshoped out completely! But, unlike most celebrities, she spoke out and let the world know that the stick figure they saw on the cover was NOT what she really looks like.

She told Britain’s GMTV, “I don’t want people to think I was a hypocrite and had suddenly gone and lost 30 pounds, which is something I would never do, and more importantly, I don’t want to look like that! … They made my legs look quite a bit thinner. They also made me look about 6 feet tall, which I’m not – I’m 5 foot, 6 inches.”

But that wasn’t the only time she’s been the victim of Photoshop and stripped of her true beauty. In the November 2011 issue of Bazaar she was featured. Check out the photos below (courtesy of Beauty Refined) of Kate in the magazine and of her during the same month!

Kate continues to fight against society to show that women are much more than a pretty, Photoshoped face/body. She even makes sure to share her beautiful wisdom with her daughter, Mia. Hats off to you, Kate, for being a true Body Positive Role Model! 🙂

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