Body Positivity and TikTok: A look at Curvy Girl Community

Overnight TikTok took over the social media scene with a brand new formula, exposure not only to the accounts you follow like so many other platforms but also to new accounts in the form of the For You Page. I initially didn’t think of this as a huge gamechanger until I started to come across accounts like Curvy Girl Community. Plus Size Support and Body Positivity movements typically live in corners of social media where you must seek them out. The algorithms of many social media sites do not prioritize the content of plus-size creators and many of the people who need these movements the most, don’t know how to seek them out.

I still remember the first Curvy Girl Community post I saw, a simple dancing video but all of a sudden I wasn’t looking at someone Addison Rae’s size, I was watching someone who looked like me. I instantly followed the account and it seems I wasn’t alone as they have garnered a 100k following in a little over 4 months. I decided to reach out to the 8 woman team behind the account and get their thoughts on TikTok, body positivity movements, social media, and life as a plus-size woman in general. The account began as a simple hashtag. Jacquelyn Tayor (aka JQ) made a post about using #curvygirlcommunity to support and uplift other plus size women. As of July 14th, the hashtag #curvygirlcommunity has been viewed 48 Million times on TikTok. This overwhelmingly positive response led to the idea being thrown out to create a TikTok account to share plus-size content, love, and support. 7 other girls decided to join JQ in her mission and @CurvyGirlCommunity was founded.

These women are actively working towards a better world. One where body positivity applies to everyone and is not necessary to be celebrated because it is the new normal. With the young audience that TikTok provides they are helping so many young girls who may not hear these messages otherwise. I know that seeing strong women like them when I was in middle school and high school would have been a game-changer for me and how I looked at myself. I asked some of the members to give a piece of advice to their 13-year-old selves and here are their takeaways:  Do not let anyone make you feel insufficient. Do not compare yourself to the women you see on magazine covers. Be kind to your body, be patient with yourself, give yourself the same love and support you give to others. - JQ never give up on her dreams and to always say she’s beautiful no matter how hard it gets. I’d like to tell her that she’s going to become an amazing woman when she grows up and that she will impact people’s lives like she’s always wanted to do/ - Rebecca Start building a better relationship with your body. You can choose not to hate the parts of your body that other people tell you to hate. Tune out the people who have something to say about it, because they'd find something to pick at even if you were "skinny." The only person who needs to be able to look in the mirror at the end of each day and be proud of what they see is you! - Natalie I would tell her to stop losing weight for other people, to stop putting on a face that isn’t hers, and to stop existing for other people. I was putting on a show to protect myself, to keep myself from getting hurt, but all it was doing was hiding my real self. I would tell her to be who she is, not who she thinks she should be.  - Maria  I would probably grab myself by the cheeks and say, " Hey, you do not know the woman that you are becoming !!! You will love yourself and want to help others realize their worth. You are beautiful the way you are every inch, every bump, and every curve. You're Cheyenne and don't try to be anyone else !!”  - Cheyenne Bullies are only projecting their pain and insecurities on to you. Please pay no attention to what they say, and if you can be gentle and kind, do not contribute to their pain.  - Kalu I would tell myself to get out of my head so much and enjoy the things I never let myself do. I was so hard on myself and it prevented me from doing activities with friends and just being happy in general. - AJ While it may seem just like silly little viral dances to many, accounts like Curvy Girl Community are changing girls' lives. You just have to scroll through the comments on any of their videos and see how many girls thank these 8 women for helping them learn to love themselves. That impact makes them an invaluable resource and one that should be celebrated and shared.

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