Body Positive Art & Artists for July (Body Positivity Month)
By Featured Blogger: Toni Lee
Dear San Fernando Valley,
Happy July! As California reopens for the summer, many residents of Los Angeles, San Fernando included, are expected to travel to local beaches with family and friends. In turn, the comfy sweatpants and baggy sweatshirts worn all throughout quarantine are replaced with bathing suits and swim trunks—and a resurgence of the term body positivity. The body inclusivity and body positivity movement encourages individuals to feel confident with their body type, and calls out apparel brands that cater to only one physique. Of course, everyone’s body type is unique and beautiful in their own way, and any pounds lost or gained during the prolonged pandemic should not deter the way we perceive ourselves.
We here at DSFV always strive to highlight inclusivity and diversity in the artists, artwork, and art events that we spotlight. Below are a couple of artists that promote body positivity in their masterpieces:
Stephanie DeAngelis is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Los Angeles, known for her vibrant artworks that encourage individuals to embrace their appearances shamelessly. One notable attribute of DeAngelis’ work are her feminine characters, who are depicted in nude, executing tasks done in our day-to-day life. As a proud feminist, the Los Angeles based artist describes the reason for this lies in her passion to prove that all female body types are not meant to please another man. Instead, everyone is encouraged to be proud of their bodies and do whatever pleases them, not someone else. As stated in her interview with Society6, “Bodies should be celebrated, in whatever way you choose.” For more examples of DeAngelis’ work, be sure to check out her website and Instagram @steph_angelis today!
Another Los Angeles illustrator that promotes body inclusivity is none other than Elisa Lee. Throughout her illustrations, Lee persistently showcases the diversity within the fashion realm, often creating characters of different racial backgrounds and body types. Born in Korea, Lee’s transition from her motherland to the US opened her lens to the fashion industry, which later channeled into her artwork. In a recent interview with Reverie Page Lee discussed the exclusivity of fashion in Korea versus the wide range of sizes available in America’s retail companies. The lack of diversity in Korean clothing sizes fosters an unhealthy desire to be extremely skinny, as the clothes in women’s clothing are mainly curated for petite girls, while American fashion has more inclusion. Inspired by this discovery, Lee strives to emulate various physiques in her artwork, as seen on her Instagram @elisa_illust and on her website.
In today’s world, there are so many individuals advocating for a more inclusive and welcoming community for everyone. Alongside paintings and illustrations, music and television are also pushing for a more body positive environment. From Lizzo to Taylor Swift to Beyonce, mass media is at its peak and all forms of medium can express so much. The San Fernando Valley and other constituents of the greater Los Angeles are utilizing their platforms to promote body positivity for all genders, race, skintone, and silhouettes. To our readers, let’s not strive to have those so-called perfect bodies displayed through Instagram models, but rather beautiful ones that are healthy and stunning in their own way. This summer, we here at DSFV hope everyone can strut in whatever cute summer outfits you have planned. We love you <3
DSFV Team (Toni Lee)