Body positivity is everywhere — and while it’s spectacular that more people are accepting and loving on their bodies as they are, in the commercialization of the bopo movement, its roots in fat liberation has kind of gotten erased. The faces of inclusivity have somehow become pop stars who, for the most part, nail every beauty ideal. Hoping to extend the representation of body love so that it includes women above a size 24, Miami-based illustrator and photographer Paola Zuccaro is making art of big-bodied, brown women who adore the way they look.
For the last three years, the Venezuela-born Zuccaro has used different digital mediums — like writing, photography and graphic design — to widen the portrayal of the woman’s figure and make body positivity more inclusive.
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“In Venezuela, you never see someone being happy they are fat. That’s like the worst thing you can be. And I see that in the Hispanic community in general. So I wanted to do something different and embrace who I am,” the 23-year photography student told FIERCE.
The women that Zuccaro illustrates aren’t just fat — they’re happy.
From a plump nude woman gleefully saying “I love my body as it is” to a bikini-wearing, ice cream-eating youngin’ encouraging girls to “take up space” to a fat trans woman joyously laughing as she exclaims that “trans people are not a burden,” her art creates a world where pudgy is poppin’.
Here, fat women are mermaids and bunnies who know there’s magic in their panzas.
“You rarely see illustrations of fat people, and when you do, they’re usually sad or being bullied. That doesn’t represent me. I’m fat, and I’m fine. I don’t hate myself because I’m fat,” she said.
Zuccaro tells us she likes to break stereotypes, and with her art, she is shattering the myth that being plus-size is a flaw that needs fixing.
Check out some of her work below:
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