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The year in a nutshell: an alarming percentage of individuals in the political and entertainment spheres seem to have a problem understanding that women own their own bodies, which should never be touched without said owners' consent. But counter to that, we've also got more women vocally celebrating their bodies than ever. As we work to identify and bring to justice those who fall in the former category, we've rounded up 15 examples of the latter to show that, despite how it might feel, not everything sucked in 2017.
1.Ashley Graham's Openness About Cellulite, a "Non-Issue"
You're still more likely to find stories about blasting/lasering/freezing away your cellulite than accepting it, but in an interview with V Magazine (opens in new tab), Graham shared a personal anecdote about how her mother helped her come to see lumps and bumps as no big deal. "She just made it a nonissue. It doesn't define my worth. If women like you and me continue to preach that, then I feel like younger girls are going to grasp it and they're going to be like, 'Who cares!'"
2.Chrissy Teigen's Annual Stretch Mark Acceptance PSA
Relatability hero Chrissy Teigen continued her crusade with a yearly showing of her stretch marks (opens in new tab), because they're "whatevs," as she put it. This is a great tradition that we must preserve.
3.Lady Gaga's Super Bowl Performance Response
She didn't have to respond to dudes with beer guts criticizing her body, but she did—and it was classy and entirely far more mercy than they deserve. "I could give you a million reasons why you don't need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed," she captioned a photo of herself from the halftime show (opens in new tab). "Be you, and be relentlessly you. That's the stuff of champions." Also great: when her fans jumped in (opens in new tab).
4.Demi Lovato's Celebration of Her Non-Thigh Gap
Once more for those in the back or those in the front who can't see small font: "I don't have a thigh gap and I'm still beautiful the way I am. #recovery#selflove #EVERYbodyisbeautiful." Pretty clear, those hashtags, so no more fighting in the comments about whether that means people who *do* have thigh gaps are excluded. (They are not.)
5.Hillary Duff Beating the Gossip Rags to Her "Celeb Flaws"
"Ladies, lets be proud of what we've got and stop wasting precious time in the day wishing we were different, better, and unflawed," Duff captioned a pap pic of her on vacation with her son (opens in new tab). "You guys (you know who you are!) already know how to ruin a good time, and now you are body shamers as well. #kissmyass." Solid gold.
6.Jasmine Owens' Beach-Body Revelation
"I simply wanted to share a photo of me enjoying life freely without hiding my body," the 25-year-old said (opens in new tab). "This was the first time I had ever wore a two-piece to the beach, let alone in front of my husband, and I felt the need to share the confidence I had in myself." Though there were some negative comments (what else is new), there were were many, many more likeminded people who applauded Owens' self-love.
7.Kelly Clarkson's Confidence in the Face of Fat-Shaming
If you're going to write "You're fat" to Kelly Clarkson (why though), you're not going to get the satisfaction of her anger.
8.The Followup to Amanda Roberts' Skin Removal Surgery
After the body-positive Instagrammer underwent surgery to remove excess skin from her weight loss, some fans attacked her for what they perceived as her false self-acceptance. "They said that if I truly loved myself, I wouldn't want to change anything about myself, but the way I see it: If you love yourself, you'll do whatever YOU feel is best for your body," Roberts told BuzzFeed (opens in new tab). Amen.
9.Pink Feeling Her "Post-Baby Body"
Directly contrasting the past conversation around the great celebrity pregnancy-weight-dropping race, Pink posted an Instagram whose message conveyed that you can still love your body while wanting to improve it. "I know I'm not at my goal or anywhere near it after Baby 2 but dammit I don't feel obese," she wrote. "The only thing I'm feeling is myself."
10.Rihanna's Statement to the Body-Shamers (in the Form of a Gucci Mane Meme)
It's the classic story: Boneheaded men wonder if Rihanna will make "being fat a new trend." (opens in new tab) People are understandably like, "Who asked you?" But instead of taking the bait, RiRi rises above it all with humor, which she would do again (keep scrolling, ladies and gentlemen).
11.Serena Williams' Reddit Essay
After her daughter's birth, Serena "GOAT" Williams wrote a moving essay (dedicated to her mother) about being proud of her body and what it can do. "I'm not sure how you did not go off on every single reporter, person, announcer, and quite frankly, hater, who was too ignorant to understand the power of a black woman," she wrote, addressing her mother. "I am proud we were able to show them what some women look like. We don't all look the same. We are curvy, strong, muscular, tall, small, just to name a few, and all the same: we are women and proud!"
12.Zendaya's Modeling Offer to a Woman Being Body-Shamed Online
Left: the clapback. Here, the context: After she spotted a woman being body-shamed online, Zendaya enlisted her fans' help tracking her down (opens in new tab) to offer her a modeling gig. Way to turn a situation around, and way to use your powers for good, Internet.
13.Sara Shakeel's Stunning Stretch Mark Collages
In a powerful Instagram series, the Pakistani-based artist superimposed glitter and diamonds onto stretch marks, bringing attention and beauty to "something you [don't] talk about on a regular basis." (opens in new tab)
14.Kendrick Lamar's Ode to Natural Beauty
Alongside a split screen of a woman with makeup vs. a bare face and slicked-back vs. natural hair, Kendrick Lamar raps the pictured lyrics (opens in new tab) on "Humble." Not bad to have a body-positivity moment in a heavyweight contender for Track of the Year.
Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at MarieClaire.com. She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.
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