Lizzo And 8 Other Celebrities Who Are Contributing To The Body Positivity Movement

Lizzo on stage in Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls
(Image credit: Amazon Studios)

Ever since the release of her third album, Cuz I Love You, Lizzo has been unapologetically living her best life as a Grammy winner, game show host, and Instagram baddie. But she’s also an outspoken advocate for feeling good in your own body.

Let’s talk about how Lizzo and these eight other celebrities are contributing to the body positivity movement in big ways.

Lizzo on stage in Love, Lizzo doc

(Image credit: HBO Max)


Not only does Lizzo talk the talk when it comes to body positivity, she walks the walk: within the past year she launched her size-inclusive shapewear/activewear line, Yitty, which includes sizes XS to 6X. But, she also embarked on a quest to find back up dancers that evolved into a revolutionized approach to competition game shows. The heart, kindness, and girl-on-girl support in Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls surprised critics and even won an Emmy for outstanding competition series.

Lizzo’s discography is also full of self-love anthems, including her Grammy-nominated single “About Damn Time.”

Brendan Fraser in The Whale.

(Image credit: A24)

Brendan Fraser

Critics were quick to judge Brendan Fraser’s body when he returned from an acting hiatus this year, but The Mummy star also received backlash for donning a fatsuit for his role in the recently released 2022 movie, The Whale. In response, Fraser spoke candidly about his own experiences with weight in a Newsweek interview:

I'm not a small man. And I don't know what the metric is to qualify to play the role. I only know that I had to give as honest a performance as I can.

Fraser worked closely with the Obesity Action Coalition, as detailed to Vanity Fair, to prepare for the role of a 600-pound man named Charlie in The Whale, working to portray the character in a respectful and knowledgeable way. 

Fraser also recently spoke out against the insane diet he was put through for his 1997 role in George of the Jungle during a Variety interview, saying his brain was literally “misfiring” from lack of nutrition.

I’m so glad to see Fraser return to the screen this year, but I’m even more glad he’s speaking out about the ways beauty standards in the movie industry have messed with his health.

jameela jamil as titania in she-hulk: attorney at law

(Image credit: MCU)

Jameela Jamil

Jameela Jamil first came out as a critic of “diet culture” when she saw press material of herself for The Good Place and barely recognized the highly-edited photograph. In the years since, Jamil has taken a stand by refusing to allow publications to edit her photos.

Jamil has also been known to take to Twitter to call out celebs who promote unhealthy body images—for example, she’s called out more than one member of the Kardashian family for promoting detox supplements and using disparaging language about losing weight.

You can catch Jamil’s podcast/inline community, “I Weigh,” for more discussion about mental health, social issues and diversity.

Serena Williams in Being Serena

(Image credit: HBO)

Serena Williams

It’s hard to imagine anyone hating on legendary tennis athlete Serena Williams, but even champions have to deal with societal pressures to look or act a certain way. 

In addition to the struggles she faces as a woman of color in a male-dominated field, Williams has also been criticized for looking “too muscular,” but comments like this don't phase her. She had this to say in an interview with Vogue UK:

I like who I am, I like how I look, and I love representing the beautiful dark women out there. For me, it’s perfect. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Williams continues to be an advocate for loving your body and appreciating all that it’s capable of. After all, it’s Williams’ strength and so-called “big arms” that made her the greatest tennis player of all time.

Jonathan Van Ness in his upcoming Netflix series

(Image credit: Netflix)

Jonathan Van Ness

Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness took to Instagram and Tik Tok earlier this year to share their “wellness journey.” They had this to say about people commenting on their weight change:

Your worth is not dependent on your weight. I am beautiful in both of these pictures. My husband was just as obsessed with me in both of these pictures. We are all beautiful. Be nicer, I think that's the point. When it comes to bodies, be nicer.

Since sharing the video, JVN has continued sharing updates about their physical transformation as they train in gymnastics. We love Jonathan Van Ness for reminding us that weight loss is not the overall goal of health and physical fitness.

Laverne Cox in Inventing Anna Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

Laverne Cox

Trans model, actress, and activist Laverne Cox says she used to hide the things that made her “trans,” but now she’s learned to love and accept her body despite not fitting into Hollywood’s narrow beauty standards. Cox shared her thoughts on passing at the Daily Front Row’s Fashion Media Awards (via Page Six) in 2015:

It took me years to internalize that someone could look at me and tell that I am transgender. That is not only OK, that is beautiful. Trans is beautiful. All the things that make me uniquely and beautifully trans, my big hands, my big feet, my wide shoulders, my deep voice, are beautiful.

Perhaps most importantly, Cox also addresses her privilege as a person of wealth with access to products and treatments that the average person does not.

Demi Lovato in naked dress on Jimmy Fallon 2022.

(Image credit: Photo By Todd Owen Young, NBC.)

Demi Lovato

Having grown up in the spotlight, much of Demi Lovato’s personal life has been the topic of celeb gossip. However, the former Disney channel star has learned to be very open with the public about her struggles with body image.

Lovato previously shared with fans that she had recovered from an eating disorder by devoting herself to exercise. Years later, Lovato shared with fans that her workout habits had turned into an exercise addiction.

I respect Lovato so much for not only speaking out about her history with eating disorders, but speaking out again when she realized her healing journey wasn’t complete. She’s also a big advocate for “body neutrality,” which she summarized in a 2019 interview with Teen Vogue:

We hear the term body positivity all the time. To be honest, I don't always feel positive about my body. Sometimes I do not like what I see. I don't sit there and dwell on it. I also don't lie to myself…I used to look in the mirror if I was having a bad body image day and say 'I love my body, you're beautifully and wonderfully made.' But I didn't believe it. I don't have to lie to myself and tell myself I have an amazing body. All I have to say is 'I'm healthy.' In that statement, I express gratitude.

Shout out to Lovato for keeping it real and honest when it comes to her healing.

Sam Smith in the "Unholy" music video

(Image credit: Capitol Records)

Sam Smith

“Unholy” singer Sam Smith has become a role model for body positivity by sharing uplifting posts to Instagram, starting with a vacation pic where they encouraged followers to let nothing stop them from feeling the sun on their skin:

Smith has since become a champion of loving our “fluctuating bodies,” sharing that body image issues are especially difficult for them during the holiday season. The singer had this to say on Instagram (via NME) about loving yourself despite of the number on the scale:

Let’s love our fluctuating bodies. Look in that mirror and shower that reflection with Christmas kindness. Be super soft. It’s an everyday struggle for me. You aren’t alone xx

“You aren’t alone” is my favorite part of the post.

Nicole Byer on Netflix's Nailed It!

(Image credit: Netflix)

Nicole Byer

Whether you know Byer from her current gig as the host of Nailed It! on Netflix or from the earlier days of her career as a correspondent on MTV’s Girl Code, the comedian and actress has always been outspoken about feeling beautiful, sexy, and attractive despite being fat. In response to haters, Byer began captioning her social media photos with “#VERYFAT” and “#VERYBRAVE” to reclaim the hashtags from internet trolls.

#VERYFAT, #VERYBRAVE turned into a tongue-in-cheek movement for women who want critics to know that their weight does not cancel out their beauty. Byer even wrote a book with a title inspired by the hashtags, appropriately called “#VERYFAT #VERYBRAVE: The Fat Girl’s Guide to Being #Brave and Not a Dejected, Melancholy, Down-in-the-Dumps Weeping Fat Girl in a Bikini.”

Basically, Byer wants you to know that she’s hot AND she’s big—the two are not mutually exclusive.

Shoutout to these celebs and many others who are contributing every day to the body positivity movement.

Emily Marek

She/her. Lover of female-led comedies, Saturday Night Live, and THAT scene in Fleabag. Will probably get up halfway through the movie to add more butter to the popcorn.