Growing up it wasn’t easy to find girls or women that looked anything like me on the platforms I idolized. I would read fashion magazines from a very young age. I guess I always knew I was meant for this business but it was sad to have no figure to relate to. Back in the 90’s and early 2000’s we never had an Ashley Graham or Tess Holiday on the cover of glamorous fashion magazines. This made it hard to picture myself, a plus size girl even remotely close to anything in the fashion world.
Today things are very different. I love that I have experienced this era as a young woman in her early 20’s. Moreover, I am happier that my future daughters get to live in a world that is accepting diversity when it comes to body size. Body love is a conversation women are having on the regular today more than ever before in history.
We still have quite a lot of body shaming going on but even that hasn’t stopped South African body positive activist Oyamabotha from preaching the importance of radical self-love.
She is the co-founder of ABAB which stands for ALL BODIES ARE BEAUTIFUL. This is a movement by curvy women for curvy women. They hold regular monthly meet ups where they table conversations on matters of self-love and body image. A place to share the struggles we as curvy women face and how to conquer them and become better versions of who we are.
As an individual Oyamabotha is a force to reckon with. Her confidence is through the roof and at times even infectious. She is loud and proud about loving the skin she is in; being a curvy girl that works out and enjoys it. She allows herself to be sexy and feel sexy in lingerie and being okay with not looking ready for the gram. Young girls need women like Oyamabotha to show them the beauty of being exactly who you are, no filters, flaws and all. It is important to love yourself on camera and off camera. She talks about her struggles and her victories with the aim of inspiring whoever happens to come across her posts.
She has taken center stage during fashion week and walked runways for incredible South African designers. Oyamabotha has had opportunities to work with major brands in the business. She even captured the attention of the likes of Bonang Matheba. Oh yes! She flawlessly wore a piece from Bonang’s lingerie collection.
Oyamabotha is a fierce and confident girl.
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This is all for my curvy girls who are constantly stigmatized when it comes to fitness, health and flexibility! Don’t test us tu! – Check out my latest IG TV video where I show you the before and after math of this REALLY cool and cute AFF suspension yoga pose #virginactivesilo #virgineactivecollection
She is proof of what little girls grow up to be if they are raised on the importance of high self-esteem and loving their bodies just the way they are. Oyamabotha shows us that you can do it all as a woman. You can be beautiful, drive a successful career, get as many degrees as you want, be sexy and get time to fix the crowns of your fellow queens.
Mental health awareness is a huge conversation at the moment. Did you know that personal negative body image contributes a lot to mental depression especially among young women? Creating movements that breed the discussion of self-love and its importance to self-improvement and self-care is vital to the female species.
I feel inspired to be more confident than I already am. This happens every time I look at Oyamabotha. I feel that while you read this you might feel the very same way. I appreciate her effort and hard work. May she continue to inspire fierce young women to do the same great work.
Media courtesy of Oyamabotha’s Instagram.