These 10 Beautiful, Body Positive Women All Wear A Size 16

If you flip through the latest issue of pretty much any women’s magazine, chances are you’ll see page after page of petite, slender women advertising itty-bitty clothing and pushing the same impossible standards of beauty. There’s nothing wrong with being petite and slender, of course, but there is a problem with pushing one body type as the ultimate ideal.

Right now, the average woman in the U.S. rocks a size 16. That’s based on research by Washington State University that was published earlier this year in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology, and Education. Researchers hope that clarifying the size of the average woman will encourage retailers and designers to carry more diverse styles and sizes, since right now clothes are usually still tailored towards women who are smaller than a size 16-18.

No two women’s bodies are alike, even when they wear the exact same size. Society tries to sell us the myth that we should all strive towards one ideal look, but each woman has her own unique features, body type, and sense of style, and all of us deserve the ability to celebrate and express who we truly are. That’s why I asked some women who wear a size 16 to send their photos to Berry, so we can all take a moment to appreciate what the “average” woman looks like. (Hint: she looks damn good.)

Here, 10 stunning and totally unique size 16 women share what they love about the skin they’re in.

1. Emily W., 30

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“I love my body because it makes me feel confident and powerful! I show strength in all that I do.”

2. Jazmine T., 30

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“I am proud to be a size 16, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to show others that a size 16 woman is just a beautiful as a size 8. I am perfectly imperfect, and that’s just the way I like it, curves and all!”

3. Leah A., 33

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“I’m from south Florida (a place obsessed with the model ideal), and I’m a very proud plus size woman. I wear a 16, and I’m sexy as hell.”

4. Eva B., 50

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“If you want to cuddle with me, you will have something to hold onto. I LOVE that I am shapely and sexy and everyone says I don’t look my age.  Size 16, I’m rocking you!”

5. Whitney T., 28

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“I love myself and my body. The one thing I love the most is my butt! I know it’s crazy, but I have always had a nice butt, even with weight gain and weight loss.”

6. Hillary K., 29

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“I love that I’ve learned over time how to accept my curves and realize that every woman needs a little meat on her bones. I am a tall woman, so I’ve got some height on top of the curves. I admire my frame, and I’m happy that I’m healthy.”

7. Alicia W., 28

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“The thing I love most about my body is its strength. I’ve been up and down in weight, and I’m finally comfortable in my own skin regardless of size. The strength that my body shows me every day regardless of how I look is what I truly love.”

8. Emma R., 19

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“I love my long legs, I admire my hair, and I like my eyes! I’ve learned to love all parts of my body—if I was to change a thing, nothing would be in proportion. I aim to show my curves in the right way, through classy fashion. I want to show all young girls how to really learn to love your body.”

9. Victoria P., 24

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“I’m about 5 feet tall and usually wear a size 16-18. That means I’m all curves. And, although I never stop working on myself, I really like what I see in the mirror every morning.”

10. Beth A., 24

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“My body has always been strong because of my background growing up and playing sports. I’ve found strength in myself physically, but also emotionally over the years. I’ve never felt fat. Rather, I’ve always felt beautiful and confident being myself and rocking the skin I was born in! I’ve found that confidence matters more than natural beauty, size, or weight.”

Related-ish: I Tried Size 12 Jeans From 5 Different Stores

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