We’re all for the body positivity movement that’s currently taking over on social media, with celebrities, bloggers, and “normal” people alike coming together to embrace their bodies, no matter what narrow ideal society deems as beautiful or perfect. And the best body-positive Instagram campaign, “Don’t Hate the Shake,” is also the most fun.
Here’s how it works: People of all shapes and sizes post videos of themselves dancing to promote body confidence, proving that a body dancing and enjoying itself is the most beautiful body of all.
The original campaign, started in 2015 by body-positive activist Melissa Gibson, set out to spread body-positive vibes on Instagram by encouraging people to show off their dance moves in all their glory, not giving a damn about what body parts might jiggle in the process.
Using the tag #donthatetheshake, Gibson began to encourage her Instagram followers to pick a song they love and just dance, letting go of fears about what their bodies look like in movement. Now, thousands of people from all over have shared their videos, and it’s refreshing and inspiring.
The safe, positive space on Instagram encourages women (and men!) to shake what their mamas gave them — it’s really that simple.
Here’s why we absolutely love “Don’t Hate the Shake” and you will, too.
1It’s helping to remove pervasive body shame and stigma.
With so many messages in society telling us that we’re not thin enough or that if we’re above a certain size we should hide behind baggy clothing, a movement like this comes as a bold reminder that there is beauty in every body. This message that isn’t relayed nearly often enough, and this body-positive campaign is the perfect adversary to body-shaming.
2It celebrates the beauty of diversity.
When we see people outside the narrow cultural ideal of beauty shakin’ it and having a blast to some Beyoncé, it reminds us that it’s OK to embrace our bodies no matter our size or shape, which is truly a fabulous thing.
3It’s a reminder that all bodies are worthy of celebration.
If you spend enough time on social media, or watching TV, or reading women’s magazines, it can be easy to be convinced that you have to look a certain way to be beautiful. But “Don’t Hate the Shake” throws away all that garbage and celebrates all bodies. So much WIN.
4It celebrates what our bodies can do.
With so much focus on exercise and movement as a way to change our bodies by making them smaller, more “toned,” or otherwise “better,” it’s easy to forget about all the things our bodies can do. Dancing is great exercise, sure, but that’s not what this is about. “Don’t Hate the Shake” is about appreciating the way your body can move in its present state, which is something we often take for granted. Simply moving is what our bodies are really good at, and it doesn’t matter if we’re burning calories or getting our heart rate up. Our bodies are capable of so much more than we give them credit for, and this lets us revel in those moments.
5It’s about living life to the fullest.
Be honest: It can be really scary to imagine filming yourself rocking out to your favorite song for all your followers to see. But that’s exactly why you should do it! These videos are empowering, of course, but they’re also freeing, joyful, and a whole lot of fun. Life is too short and too serious not to enjoy the present moment, cellulite and belly rolls be damned. “Don’t Hate the Shake” is infectious…so get shakin’, girl.