The body positivity movement is one of strength, power, and love, led by influential women and men who celebrate bodies of all shapes and sizes. But what happens when those very influencers who are promoting body positivity lose weight? While some people might claim hypocrisy, many influencers and celebrities are getting the balance between cherishing bodies of all shapes and sizes and encouraging people to prioritise health and wellbeing over appearance.

Gabriella Lascano is one such influencer who publicly shared her weight loss journey over social media.  After being a central part of the body positivity movement, the plus-sized celebrity created ripples within the fashion world last year by announcing her weight loss goals and denouncing the plus size movement. 

Weight loss drugs such as Mysimba tablets can be life-changing for people with high BMIs or those who are at risk of life-limiting health conditions because of their weight. Just take a look at Kelly Clarkson who has lost a significant amount of weight recently following a difficult divorce and a diagnosis of pre-diabetes. Kelly’s weight loss involved becoming more active, adjusting her diet, and taking a prescription medication, although she has not revealed which one, resulting in weight loss of more than 60lbs.

Anger in the industry

While some plus-sized influencers are proudly sharing their weight loss successes, others are furious, calling out the weight loss industry for targeting plus-sized models and influencers to promote their drugs. These influencers are split in two camps: those who are outraged that weight loss companies would try to exploit them for their influential role in the plus-size movement and body positivity, and those who are happy to spread the word about weight loss programmes, with some claiming that it is their moral duty as influencers to let their followers know that they have choice.

Prioritising health

While some body positivity influencers expressed anger at creators of weight loss drugs and diet plans for approaching them to endorse their products, others are claiming that they are merely trying to find the balance between body positivity and being healthy. Celebrities such as Kiki Monique and Jake Beaven-Parshall are trying to get that balance right, with Monique claiming that she doesn’t care if she remains the same size, as long as her back no longer hurts.


Just as the body positivity movement encourages people with bigger body types to be proud of their shape, it must also celebrate those who recognise the impact that size can have on health and wellbeing, and who want to improve their health by taking control of their weight. Influencers who lose weight acknowledge that people have a right to look how they want to, but many also now call out the plus-sized movement for encouraging women to achieve sizes that may be seen as attractive to some, but which undoubtedly impact health. It is ironic, then, that followers express such anger and disappointment when popular plus-sized figures choose to lose weight. There is a sense as though an influencer is betraying the cause when they decide that they need to look after their health, either because of a bad back, pre-diabetes diagnosis, other health implications, or because they just want to have more energy and to be able to sit in a standard aeroplane seat or play in the park with their children.

The very definition of autonomy is the ability to self-rule: to determine what is best for you at a particular time in your life. Body-positive influencers are not  fat shaming those who chose not to lose weight, they are simply showing their loyal followers that if and when they decide that they want to try something a little different, they can feel free to do so of their own free will.

Leading the way

For people who need to lose a significant amount of weight in order to prevent or reverse life-limiting health implications, the weight loss journey can be a long one. Body positive influencers and celebrities who have lost weight healthily have a significant role to play in demonstrating that it is possible to lose weight healthily, and sharing their weight loss goals, challenges and successes. There can be stigma around weight loss interventions, from bariatric surgery to taking weight loss drugs. However, losing weight is not easy, even with a little extra help. Influencers have the public visibility to demonstrate what healthy weight loss really looks like, and to show that there is no shame in asking for help along the way. A combination of exercise, a healthy diet and weight loss drugs can be the best solution for some.

Not all weight loss approaches suit all people; for the best results, it is vital that individuals seek medical advice on what will suit them, that they set achievable goals, and that they recognise their new lifestyle as just that: the first step to long-term and permanent transformation. Body positive influencers who choose to lose weight are often met with criticism or accusations of hypocrisy or conflicts of interest. In fact, when done well, all they are doing is demonstrating to their followers and the rest of the world that body positivity is about loving your body, whatever size it is.