Body positivity was created in the 1960s by Black, queer women looking for a space to celebrate their marginalized bodies, a space where anyone who didn’t fit society’s strict beauty standards could belong. Like many other parts of feminist history, the movement was eventually hijacked by average-sized white women with hourglass figures, whose focus on the aesthetics of body positivity diminished the true meaning.
Nevertheless, there’s an abundance of Black women still leading the way on this issue — and in doing so, they’re inspiring hundreds of thousands of followers to proudly own every aspect of their existence. So, this Black History Month, we’re celebrating them and returning body positivity to its roots. Here are 11 Black activists you need on your Instagram feed.