Caroline Goldstein
Updated March 04, 2020 8:01 am
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After posting a bikini selfie on Instagram on February 16th, Jennifer Lopez inspired a body-acceptance movement on social media. Two days after J.Lo posted her picture, Maria Kang, the founder of fitness community No Excuse Moms, posted her own bikini selfie on Instagram with the hashtag #jlochallenge. And so the virality began.

“This is (almost) 40!⁣ Thank you @jlo for inspiring this spontaneous pic in a white bikini this morning,” Kang captioned her photo, which also showcased her “mirror freckled with toothpaste,” plus “unpacked luggages on the ground, an iron, dog dryer and husband shaving somewhere in the background.” I.e., an actual person (not a celebrity) in their actual home (not a mansion) with their actual husband (not a famous athlete) loitering around in the background.

But the focus of Kang’s selfie was ostensibly less on her real-life environment, and more on her willingness to celebrate her real-life body for all of filtered, Face Tuned, and otherwise-edited social media to see. And she urged other women—specifically mothers—to do the same.

Women across social media took up Kang’s clarion call and posted their own bikini mirror selfies.

Like Kang, so many women used the opportunity to speak honestly about their emotional relationships with their bodies.

Most of the women taking part in the challenge are mothers, over the age of 25, not Photoshopped, and, more generally, are representing bodies that are either misrepresented or not represented at all.

We’re happy to see this new wave in the body-acceptance and body-positivity movement, and we hope it’ll inspire a stronger and even more inclusive movement from here on out.