In a (North American) society obsessed with thigh gaps and perfect curves, it's inspiring to see so many women embrace every single part of their body.
In a new hashtag we can totally get behind, #EmbraceTheSquish is all about showing off those thighs, bellies and arms without having to hide anything.
According to Hello Giggles, the movement was originally started by body-positive Instagram user nourishandeat, otherwise known as Gina.
"Livin' that unbuttoned jeans + belly squish life 💕 because sometimes you've just gotta let that top button GO," she wrote on her social media page.
Following her post, thousands of women began sharing pictures and kickass messages motivating others to love your body from head to toe.
The movement also expands on the importance of sharing images of how our natural bodies sit — without having to suck it in or flex to appear slimmer.
As model Allison Kimmey notes, fives years ago she made a promise to her bathing suit (in the photo below) that she will do it justice.
"In my young twisted mind I hadn't been worthy of embodying this barely there Pucci two piece since buying it 10 years ago.
"So today, on my 30th birthday, my 30th year living in THIS BODY... it is very apparent that I had it all wrong. And instead it is the swimsuit that earns the honour of being adorned by YOU, not you earning a chance to wear whatever it is your heart desires," she wrote on Instagram.
5 years ago I made a promise to this bathing suit to do it justice. In my young twisted mind I hadn't been worthy of embodying this barely there Pucci two piece since buying it 10 years ago. So today, on my 30th birthday, my 30th year living in THIS BODY...it is very apparent that I had it all wrong. And instead it is the swimsuit that earns the honor of being adorned by YOU, not you earning a chance to wear whatever it is your heart desires. 👏🏼I 👏🏼rock 👏🏼the 👏🏼shit 👏🏼out 👏🏼of 👏🏼this 👏🏼bikini.👏🏼 💕I do this because I KNOW MY WORTH. 💕I do this because I HONOR MY BODY. 💕I do this because I LOVE MYSELF. ⚡️⚡️Happy birthday body. Happy fucking birthday.⚡️⚡️ Just do you babes! Xoxo Allie
Other women noted they are not a size zero, don't have "perfect" waist to hip ratios and don't have perky boobs either.
And while the social media site can seem cluttered with models, celebrities and even friends who live a filtered, almost-perfect life, there have been many hashtag movements that have influenced us to just be us.
As Bustle notes, hashtags like #EffYourBeautyStandards, #HonorMyCurves and #ImNoModelEither have all inspired women to just be themselves.
Take a look at some of our favourite messages below and check out the #EmbraceTheSquish hashtag here.
I don't have the perfect body! I don't have the perfect waist to hip ratio! I am not a size zero! I don't have the perfect, perky boobs! I don't have the 'thigh gap!' And I don't have slim body! However I do have a big heart! I love my peach 🍑 I love my tummy and my rolls I love that my thighs are touching each other #mermaidlifestyle I love my curves in all the right places - Never be afraid to love yourself and #embracethesquish 💜 - @bigandblunt @effyourbeautystandards @whatfatgirlsactuallywear @theconfidencecorner @selfiesforselflove @selfloveclubb @selfloveliv @bodyposipanda @yourstruelymelly @jewelzjourney @volup2 @thestrutbymic #bigandblunt #bigandbeautiful #effyourbeautystandards #whatfatgirlsactuallywear #selfieforselflove #theconfidencecorner #bopowarrior #loveyourself #selflove #volup2isdiversity #plussizestylewatch #honormycurves #celebratemysize #beautyisnotgeneric #body4me
REAL TALK: Self love in this movement means nothing if we don't talk about how the fear of fat was created, how it perpetuates real discrimination and oppression of fat people, and how it's not based in the reality of fatness. You can't just love your belly roles or cellulite, we have to ask why do we hate them in the first place. We have to recognize that they aren't inherently bad. We have to dismantle fatphobia. If you are perceivably thin, loving your fat rolls still reinforces the idea that they are not supposed to be loved. Self love alone doesn't change the world. Self love must come through the understanding that you should have loved yourself all along because having fat isn't something to fear or feel negatively about. #bodypositivity #cellulitesaturday #embracethesquish #fatbabe #effyourbeautystandards #bopo #selflove #takingupspace #babe #plussizefashion #radicalbodylove #losehatenotweight #honormycurves #fatpositive #bigandblunt
January 23rd 2016- January 23rd 2017 💙 💙 Firstly I want to say this is not a look how skinny I was or look how well I've done post. This is to hopefully show you that no matter how lost you are in your own head, it is possible to escape! It is possible to find happiness again!!! 💙 💙 Secondly you do not have to be this shape, size colour or gender for your struggles to matter! You are always deserving of help if you are struggling!!! 💙 💙 It's a year ago today since I was sectioned under the mental health act. I was so ill I was doing everything I could think of to not take in ANYTHING. I had given up. My eating disorder had taken over and I wanted to die. So I was sectioned and forced to get better. I was put on an ng tube. I was forced to watch as the scale went up every week and I could do nothing about it. (Not that I didn't try) I hated everyone who put me through that! I was on drugs that put me out so I wouldn't hurt myself or anyone else. This time last year I was a mess. 💙 But the people I loved stayed by me. My best friends and my boyfriend came to see me all the time and my parents where there every day. They where there to remind me to try. So I did. Eventually I asked my boyfriend if it was ok if I ate, he told me I should. For the first time in my life I realised that I loved these people more than my ed. so I fought, I fought like hell!!! 💙 💙 I'm not telling you this for sympathy or to diminish anyone's struggles, (everyone's struggle is valid!!! No matter how long it takes!!) I was in this for 10 years before I got out. But I want you to know that it is possible!!!!! No not all my problems have gone away. Yes I still have the thoughts. But I am strong enough now to resist! Keep going! You can get through this hell and I will be with you every step of the way!!! We can do this together!!!! 💙💛💜 (I don't want to answer any questions about weight) #positivebeatsperfect
Here's that selfie Cooper photo bombed. Haha 💜 💜 💜 💜 💜 💜 💜 💜 #fatbabe #nerdlife #girlswithglasses #girlswithpiercings #girlswithtattoos #bigandblunt #effyourbodystandards #honormycurves #hotnerd #alternativegirls #plaidshirt #alternativecurves #ootd #fatisnotabadword #undercut #sideshave #naturalhair. #bopo #bodypositive #plussizefashion #curlyhairdontcare #thickandproud #fat #tummylove #embracethesquish #onemillionagainstbodyshaming
Yesterday in #selflovebootcamp was about #scarrednotscared a # created by the amazing Michelle at @mindsetforlifeltd. I didn't get a chance to post about it, but honestly y'all, her page says it all. Please follow this badass warrior if you aren't already 💓💓💓 @mindsetforlifeltd @mindsetforlifeltd @mindsetforlifeltd 💘💘💘💘💘💘💘💘💘💘💘💘💘💘💘💘
Happy #embracethesquish Monday, y'all! Not even gonna apologize for how self-indulgent this might sound: I LOVE THIS PICTURE OF ME. • Look at that JOY! Looking back at old photos of me, my smile is colored by worry. Worried that my squish would show, that other people would notice it and judge me... But the squish is BEAUTIFUL because it's part of the amazing bod I've got! • Since embracing ~da squish~ I've not been thinking about how I look in pictures, it's more important that I'm able to capture the genuine, here-and-now moments that I experience, whether that be alone or with friends. No more asking my friend to show me her screen so I can check how I look in the pics we just took together! • Okay super energized today even though it's like 8 AM which is so weird, but let's not question the good thing, right? . . . . . . #edrecovery #effyourbeautystandards #recovery #health #edrecovery #eatingdisorderrecovery #edwarrior #eatingdisorderawareness #anrecovery #bedrecovery #bnrecovery #ednos #bopo #bodyposi #bellylove #rollsarentjustforcinnamon #bodypositive #honormycurves #embracethesquish #selflove #riotsnotdiets #beautifulbelly #recoveryispossible #bopogoddess #haes #selflovebootcamp #bopounicorn #boporainbow
A few small tweaks can COMPLETELY transform my body. All I did was lift up my underwear, suck in, and flex my muscles. BOOM. I'm all of a sudden way more attractive? Uh, NOPE. But, I do look unbelievably different. I want you to see this and understand why we must not compare ourselves to anyone else, any social media images or magazines. It's all manipulation. Showing off what we have, and hiding what we don't want others to see. And hiding what we aren't able to accept about ourselves. When I'm trying to look most muscular, I flex to show it off and suck in my "fat" to hide it away. Luckily, I'm NOT ashamed of my body in its natural state. But most men and women feel uncomfortable without showing off his or her "best self." I encourage you to START LOVING YOUR BODY at every stage☝🏼flexed or relaxed, with more or less fat, pimples, stretch marks, cellulite, whatever it is. Because your body deserves acceptance. It craves validation. And it all and only needs to come from you. I hate the phrase "I'm my own worst critic," because it's become accepted. Over a year ago, I promised myself a change: start being my biggest cheerleader. Join me, warriors 💕 #ThisIsNOTATransformation #EffYourBeautyStandards
Acceptance is an important step. Acceptance of where our bodies are at, is the first step to learning how to love them. Even if you want to release weight, you still need to accept your body where it is right now. When you do this, it will remove all notions that your body is somehow flawed because it doesn't fit societal ideals. This is the first step in a world full of messages that tell you your body shouldn't be accepted. When you can accept your body and stop focusing on trying to change it, then you will have the headspace and mental bandwidth to work on the real transformation. The inner transformation. When you release emotional weight, your body may become lighter too. It may not. Either way, when you really do the internal work, you will no longer be held back by how your physical body takes up space in this world. You will understand your worth and the immense power you hold to manifest and create your own life on your own terms. # Join us in the EAT FROM LOVE private Facebook group! We're a tribe of body positive women who are done with dieting and ready to start living! #eatfromlove #mindsetfirst
When I decided to #bemorethanabody I had to look deeeeeep to figure out what I was. Turns out, it's who I am that I have come to love and appreciate. I am not a what. A what is an object. A body is a what but I am not a body. I am a person. Think of how powerful that one shift in perspective is. Decide WHO you're going to be because YOU are very much needed in this world. You're not here to be validated by how you take up space. Rather focus on how you fill that space with the unique light only you can shine. Shine bright! 💙 #stretchmarks #looseskin #scarrednotscared #embracethesquish
I was asked how I could be both body positive and focused on losing weight and that certainly is an interesting question 🤔 The line between what's "healthy" or "unhealthy" or "body positive" can be really hard to define. And I've realized what I think is healthy and body positive is definitely, like most things, based on individual beliefs and opinions. Maybe you agree with mine, maybe you don't. I think what's most important is that you follow what YOU believe is right for you. My journey has always been founded on 2 principles: health and happiness. Health for me is more than the losing weight aspect. Healthy is not to "look better" it's to be better, fitter, stronger both inside and out. It's more than just eating right and exercising. It's striving for cerebral expansion and mental sharpness. Its emotional intelligence. It's a healing heart. It's becoming in tune with your authentic soul and discovering your truth. It's a freezing, thawing, and growing of your entire being. Honoring, taking care of, and respecting your body is an entity to total wellbeing. Your body shelters and protects your soul, nurture it with the love it deserves. Happiness is more of the body positive side which is not about losing or gaining weight for me. You are not you because of your body. You are YOU because of how you act, think, and feel! I am NOT happier because I'm losing weight 🙅🏼 I am happier because I'm more content in WHO I am. Body positivity is an internal confidence for me. That doesn't mean I'm free of insecurities. It means I don't allow them to consume nor define me as much anymore. It's ok to love yourself AND be a work in progress at the same time!! I think you should continuously strive for self improvement in every capacity! I'm not always confident with what I look like and still have my down days, but when I redirect that negative attention and realize all the good things about WHO I am, that's where self love not only begins to grow, but flourishes 🌿✨💕
So, it's late Sunday night and I'm poorly. I have a bad chest, I'm all snotty and coughy, I can't hear very well and basically, I've aged 80 years. And because I feel so poorly, my mental health has dropped. I feel crap, and down and low. For some reason, I'm nervous about posting this. Now. I rarely get nervous, I have a 'fuck it deal with it later' attitude. So why do I feel so vulnerable? I looked at this pictures, and scrutinised every inch of them. My thighs, my stomach, my face, my hair all came under fire. I was fat, ugly, gross, disgusting, all the horrible words in the book. Then I paused. What the fuck am I doing? Why the self hatred? Where's it going to get me? Nowhere. So I did the opposite. I complimented myself. I like my style. I like my face. I like my tattoos. I like my boobs. I like my arms and contrast between the pink wall and me! So stop with the negativity! And stop spreading it! It won't make you any happier, smarter, and it sure as hell won't make you kinder. This world is tough. There will always be people who don't like you, who don't like your message, your style, everything about you. But that shouldn't hold you back. Be kinder than those spreading negativity and hatred. Compliment others. Compliment yourself. Spread kindness. Spread love. And when in doubt? #embracethesquish ❤