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11 Of The Best Body Positive Fashion Moments In 2016

30/12/2016 3:49 AM AEDT | Updated 30/12/2016 3:51 AM AEDT
Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images

The fashion industry is still working its way to real size inclusivity, but it undoubtedly played a major role in shifting toward more body positivity in the media ― and among those who consume it.

In 2016, there were champions of body positivity starring in major campaigns and magazine covers and wearing store-bought awards show dresses instead of conforming to strict sample sizes.  

Because we could all use a reminder of some of the good things that happened this year, check out 11 body positive moments in fashion below. 

1. Ashley Graham’s history-making Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

JAMES MACARI/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

Graham’s February cover marked the first time a plus-size model headlined the hotly anticipated Swimsuit Issue, leading the way for her incredibly fruitful year ahead.

2. Bryce Dallas Howard calls out the industry for its lack of options.

Steve Granitz via Getty Images

Howard revealed in January that she often buys her own dresses at department stores instead of borrowing from sample-size-loving designers, so that she can choose from “lots of options for a size 6, as opposed to maybe one option.” She both won the hearts of women everywhere and pointed out how truly size-exclusive fashion can be. 

3. Christian Siriano’s Spring 2017 runway show.

Peter White via Getty Images

The designer is a longtime advocate of inclusivity and champion of great style for women of all shapes and sizes. He further proved that there’s a place for varied bodies on the runway when he cast five plus-size models in his show at New York Fashion Week. 

4. The All Woman Project.

Heather Hazzan and Lily Cummings

Co-founded by models Clementine Desseaux and Charli Howard, this empowering campaign was organized to shake up the industry standards of beauty and offer up new role models for underrepresented women.

5. Jasmine Tookes’ unretouched Fantasy Bra photos.

Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images

The news that Tookes is the third black woman ever chosen to wear the elaborate bra was cause for celebration, but this behind-the-scenes image released by the brand, proudly featuring the model’s stretch marks, was the icing on the body positive cake. 

6. Refinery29’s 67% Project.

Today's #InstagramStories wants you to #SeeThe67 💪 Photographed by @alexandra_gavillet

A photo posted by Refinery29 (@refinery29) on

Refinery29 launched an initiative back in September to more accurately represent the “67 percent of women who identify as ‘plus-size’” in its online content. It partnered with Getty Images to roll out a series of inclusive stock images and committed to featuring more diversity on the site moving forward. 

7. Self Magazine’s final print issue.

SELF MAGAZINE/KAI Z FENG

Self cast self-love champion and curvy model Iskra Lawrence as its final cover star, leaving a lasting visual message and reminder that health is not one-size-fits-all. 

8. This awe-inspiring take on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

This video, in which women of all shapes and sizes stripped down to their underwear and recreated the VS show in front of friends and colleagues, was super empowering ― plus it just looked plain fun. 

9. These Women’s Running magazine covers. 

The running-focused magazine continued its streak of delighting us when it put a plus-size model on its March cover, and further impressed us by teaming up in November with plus-size model Candice Huffine on Project Start, a running initiative launched by the model and the mag to help beginners get started on their own running programs. 

10. Tim Gunn’s scathing op-ed about the fashion industry. 

Jim Spellman via Getty Images

Leave it to Tim Gunn to rally for body positivity while throwing the best shade at the same time. Calling out the industry for its lack of choices for women over a certain size, Gunn once again cemented his status as a champion of all women in the pages of The Washington Post. “I profoundly believe that women of every size can look good. But they must be given choices,” he said, calling out designers as “not interested” in catering to women over a certain size. “This is a design failure and not a customer issue. There is no reason larger women can’t look just as fabulous as all other women,” he said.

11. Ashley Graham’s British Vogue cover.

Shot by Patrick Demarchelier for Vogue UK

Ashley Graham both kicks off and signs off this list, as there’s no denying her impact in fashion in 2016. She nabbed a ton of covers throughout the year, but became the first plus-size model to cover British Vogue in December, giving us hope for the year ahead and beyond.  

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