“Stretch marks are fucking gold stars!” #Pluskini
Body positivity went viral today. Cherrell Brown, a Brooklyn-based community organizer and leader in the post-Ferguson activist scene, put a call out to her 36k+ Twitter followers today for photos of plus size women in bikinis. Motivated by the news of Sports Illustrated’s first ever plus-size model, Brown, who goes by @Awkward_Duck in the Twittersphere, mused “That mode[l] is beautiful, and I guess that's plus sized in the modeling industry. Can we get more, though?” She then asked the internet to help her show the world what “actual” #pluskini photos look like.
Her followers responded with pride, vulnerability, support, relief, joy and sisterhood. @Sailortweek commented “All of the stunning photos coming out of #Pluskini makes me not so ashamed of my body shape. You ladies are INSPIRING.” Pretty soon the hashtag was trending in the US and Twitter users were changing their avatars to photos of their tummies, arms or other body parts they’ve been taught to be ashamed of.
Here’s a taste of the movement. For more, check out #Pluskini on Twitter.
Eventually the hashtag evolved into a space where plus size women were sharing photos of themselves “wearing anything society told you you shouldn't.”
Not everyone was ready to post photos of their bodies on the internet, but Brown made sure to support the shy hashtag lurkers as well. “If you're not comfy sharing yet, know you're dope,” wrote Brown. “And brilliant. And great. And stretch marks are fucking gold stars! Count them. Love them.”