In January of this year, four students put together a committee heading an up-and-coming, St Andrews- based body positivity campaign which aims to celebrate diversity in body types, genders and abilities.
Bare Revolution was set up with the intention of showing “the beauty in diversity” and members of the committee share with The Saint what ‘body positivity’ means to them and the importance of celebrating diversity.
The new initiative can be found on Instagram via @barerevolution, where insight into each of the committee members’ (Rosalind Main, Frieda Robson, Anneka Kuck and Lucy Beall) role and motivations in the team can be read. Each member offers a poignant and personal account of why body positivity and celebration of diversity is important to them. The page has a clean and fresh aesthetic, with more to come in the following months as they kick start their campaign.
The body-positive organisation hope to put together a catwalk fashion show at the end of the semester, with the promise that model castings and upcoming shoots for which will be released in the up-coming weeks. The Saint chatted to multiple members of Bare Revolution’s committee to find out more about their venture and how St Andrews students can get involved.
When asked to describe Bare Revolution’s main focus as an initiative, Ms Beall, Ms Kuck and Ms Main explained that the aim was to celebrate diversity and embrace what makes us all different, representing a range of genders, body types and abilities. With this in mind, the students hope to host a fashion show which welcomes, recognises and celebrates all.
Ms Main, a masters student in Contemporary Art Practices at Edinburgh College of Art, model and activist, marks the importance of collaborating with students at St Andrews with the aim of spreading a body positive concept. “It’s so important to see our concept reach the people at St Andrews but also further afield too! So I’m glad and very excited to be working on such an empowering idea with a great group of individuals.
“I’m a fashion model and body positivity activist having co-founded an online campaign for more diversity in Scottish fashion with model and create partner Morgan McTienrnan. Spreading positivity and campaigning for change is what we all strive to do!”
“Bare Revolution is a way to showcase every body as art. We wanted to create a space where people would be able to see themselves represented, or maybe identify a bit with our stories.
“Our main goal is to make people feel welcomed by our cause, and we’re hoping to be able to give everyone a space where they feel accepted.” adds Ms Kuck, a second -year Russian and German student at St Andrews.
The term “body positivity” has been employed more and more frequently over the years in popular culture, with countless campaigns emerging over various platforms, particularly social media, encouraging people of all races, genders, body types and abilities to accept and love themselves. Despite its somewhat universal message of self-love and self-worth,“body positivity” can mean something different to each individual who chooses to explore it.
Ms Beall, who is in her third year of studying Art History and Classics at St Andrews, sheds light on her own personal definition of body positivity, and the hope it provided her with when confronting a severe lack of representation of disabled bodies in the media.
“For me, I grew up seeing absolutely no one who looked like me in the media. There was no one with a visible disability for me to look up to, and if there was someone featured in a show or movie, they were often the butt of a joke.
“I thought there was something wrong with my body, but there wasn’t: there was something wrong with the way I was viewing it, simply because I was not viewing it around me. That is when I began to share stories of my life and photos of my scars, and it really gained a lot of national attention.
“For me, being body positive gives me hope. For others, I hope body positivity can allow them to view themselves in a positive light, and see how much their bodies do for them, and hopefully find the beauty in that. I think it’s extremely important in today’s society to show that.”
Ms Main and Ms Kuck also commented on the lack of representation and diversity in the media and the fashion industry which ultimately galvanized them into action.
“I have been a fashion model for ten years and throughout my time, I always felt there was a lack of diversity in garments, from size to who is able to wear them.
“That’s why it’s vital to be part of campaigns like Bare Revolution – to empower everyone and remind people that we are all beautiful just as we are.”
Ms Kuck adds, “I remember over the summer I was thinking about the lack of representation in fashion shows especially in St Andrews,and decided to reach out to Lucy, who I knew had worked with a lot of inclusive and body- positive movements before.
“We’ve ended up with this amazing team who all want to see more positivity and inclusivity in our little bubble of the world.”
Despite simply being told to love ourselves, Ms Kuck reflects on the challenges of accepting oneself in practice and the concerted effort that truly goes into being body positive.“
For me, body positivity is something that feels a bit hard to talk about. I talk a lot about how important it is to love yourself, accept your flaws, etc. when in reality I don’t know how much I actually do that. I’ve had a hard relationship with my body, with food. But I’m trying my best to get there with acceptance, and I think that’s what body positivity is to me. It’s about trying your best to love yourself, even when it’s hard.”
What can we see from Bare Revolution in the future? Building a positive community appears to be a focal point for the initiative, and the team encourage as many people as possible to get involved with the campaign by following their Instagram page and looking out for updates on their fashion show, whether that be to take part in castings and shoots or come along to watch.
“We’re trying to reach as many people as we can, this is something for everyone. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Bare Revolution!”