9 Times Celebs Posted Body Positive Pictures to Empower Others

Whether they're shutting down body shamers or celebrating the skin they're in, these stars used their bikini pictures to make a statement

01 of 09


Padma Lakshmi Instagram

The Top Chef host proudly showed off her stretch marks in an Instagram story. "Hey stretch," she wrote alongside her leg, posing on a bed in a sheer white turtleneck.

Lakshmi has been open about her body in the past, once claiming she gained about 17 lbs. in a season of her hit show. "I'm the only person on Top Chef who consumes every single thing that's made," she has said.

02 of 09


Courtesy Serena Williams

After her historic Wimbledon win in 2015, critics spent time picking apart Williams' body — instead of, you know, focusing on her tennis domination — criticizing her for being too muscular and being "built like a man." In response, Williams simply posted a series of smiling bikini photos from her post-win vacation to Sweden, in which she showed that she was too busy being happy and successful to be bothered by the body shaming.

03 of 09


Selena Gomez/Instagram

After Gomez hit the beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in April 2015, wearing a bright pink bikini, she became a target for trolls who attacked her for her weight. In response, the singer posted a photo of herself relaxing on a lounge chair by the pool, along with the caption, "I love being happy with me yall #theresmoretolove," proving that she wasn't going to let some degrading comments get in the way of loving herself.

04 of 09


Ashley Graham/Instagram; Inset: Paul Morigi/WireImage

Graham posts plenty of empowering, inspiring photos on her Instagram account, but in January, she posted a bikini shot while on vacation in the Philippines designed to inspire other people to embrace the skin they're in — cellulite and all.

"I workout. I do my best to eat well. I love the skin I'm in. And I'm not ashamed of a few lumps, bumps or cellulite.. and you shouldn't be either," she captioned the photo of her thigh, perfectly framed by the gorgeous beach.

05 of 09


Amy Schumer/Instagram

The comedian has received plenty of body-shaming comments over the years — and she's never hesitated to shut them down. After appearing on the cover of InStyle in a sexy white bathing suit, Schumer also posted a series of bikini-clad photos on Instagram, which she captioned, “I feel great. No haters can f with my baseline." Considering how much fun she's having in those pictures, it doesn't look like anyone can bring her down any time soon.

06 of 09



The singer — who completed treatment for an eating disorder in 2014 — fired back at body shamers on Instagram with a gorgeous picture of herself relaxing in the pool in Palm Springs. "Not a slave to perfection right now," she wrote. "F--- it. ***body shamers please f--- off ain't nobody got time for it."

07 of 09


Demi Lovato/Instagram; Inset: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Lovato has been open about her journey toward loving her body after struggling with an eating disorder, and often posts on social media encouraging fans to love themselves and their bodies. "Regardless of what society tells you these days... You don't have to have a thigh gap to be beautiful," she captioned one inspiring bikini picture in 2015. "It is possible to love your body the way it is."

08 of 09


Courtesy Ariel Winter

Back in November 2015, the Modern Family star shared an adorable photo of herself on a boat with her two young nieces, and received a barrage of negative comments from people who critiqued her bikini for being "inappropriate." Winter fired back with another Instagram post, saying, “Who knew that an innocent photo with my nieces would turn into this?” she wrote. "The height of a girl’s skirt or whatever she is wearing for that matter, does not imply what she is asking for. … It sickens me to think at 17 years old, a photo of myself with my nieces is suggesting that I’m ‘asking for it.'"

09 of 09


Nia Jax/Instagram

The WWE star may seem confident inside the ring, but she admitted that she often feels insecure outside of it.

"Posting a picture of myself in a bathing suit is VERY hard for me. I have never been one to show off too much skin, and it's not just because I'm a larger woman. After this amazing #Wrestlemania weekend I had a chance to speak to a bunch of young women & men. Most, if not all of them, mentioned that my #BodyPositive mindset had helped them to be able to find confidence within themselves, which really touched me and even brought me to tears numerous times," she captioned a swimsuit selfie.

"Don't get me wrong, there have been many occasions where I wished I could be thinner or have a different nose or hairline to fit in, but I realized that fitting in is not always as important as it seems; I realized that I love standing out in positive ways!"

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