Feministing Jamz: The Best Video Antidotes to January Body Shaming

Happy New Year! Are you sick of all the extra body shaming yet?

While the new year can be a great time to be thoughtful about our intentions for the year, it can be hard to wade through all the body shaming bullshit that comes as a result of our cultural obsession with thinness. There’s a multi-billion dollar industry that profits from making us feel inadequate and trying to solve this imaginary problem.

But there is always resistance. Here’s a selection of music videos of women who are talking about being big and not just being ok with it, but learning to love it.

Looking at all of these videos I was reminded that even though white plus size models are getting a lot of work and credit for body acceptance, we need to recognize that women of color – and Black women in particular – have built this movement from the ground up.

Missy Elliott – The Rain

In addition to this being one of Missy’s best songs, it’s also one of her best and probably most iconic video of her career. Elliott was producing, rapping, looking fly – doing it all, really – and, not to be outdone by anyone who had shit to say about her weight, she just went ahead and had Hype Williams shoot her on a fish-eye lens while wearing a garbage bag bubble suit, which I really see as a pre-emptive “Fuck you, I’ll make myself bigger and STILL look fly AF” for anyone who really had shit to say about her size.

Lizzo – My Skin

In this video by Minneapolis rising star Lizzo, she calls for all of us to wear our skin and everything underneath it with pride. She’s done being at war with her body, and is ready to appreciate it and love it. In this video we see Lizzo and two other women of color standing proud in their bodies, anointing themselves with glitter, and just being badasses.

Mz 007 – Important

Mz 007 is fat, fly, and yes – very important! This St. Louis, MO rapper is here to tell you that she’s gorgeous, and she doesn’t care what you have to say about the way she looks. She’s here to love herself and have fun. Fuck you, haters!

Nicki Minaj – Anaconda

“This one is for my bitches with a fat ass in the fucking club. I said where my fat ass big bitches in the club? Fuck the skinny bitches, fuck the skinny bitches in the club. I wanna see all the big fat ass bitches in the motherfucking club fuck you if you skinny. Bitches WHAT?” Y’all, how could I not? She’s missing no meals!

And before anyone starts with me about how people are shamed for being very thin: Yes, I know. As a person who got a lot of unwanted attention about being very, very thin for the first half of my life, I get it – it’s unpleasant. But we live in a society in which fat is one of the very worst things you can be, where fatness is conflated with laziness, a lack of intelligence – especially for women and femmes of color. Fat women make less money than thin women. The world is literally built for skinny people – from chairs and seats of all kinds, to restaurant booths, to the subway turnstyle. So no, it’s not the same kind of shaming to say “fuck the skinny bitches.” It’s just not. It’s resistance.

Take care of yourselves in ways that make you feel good, fam. Riots, not diets!!!

New York, NY

Verónica Bayetti Flores has spent the last years of her life living and breathing reproductive justice. She has led national policy and movement building work on the intersections of immigrants' rights, health care access, young parenthood, and LGBTQ liberation, and has worked to increase access to contraception and abortion, fought for paid sick leave, and demanded access to safe public space for queer youth of color. In 2008 Verónica obtained her Master’s degree in the Sexuality and Health program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She loves cooking, making art, listening to music, and thinking about the ways art forms traditionally seen as feminine are valued and devalued. In addition to writing for Feministing, she is currently spending most of her time doing policy work to reduce the harms of LGBTQ youth of color's interactions with the police and making sure abortion care is accessible to all regardless of their income.

Verónica is a queer immigrant writer, activist, and rabble-rouser.

Read more about Verónica

Join the Conversation