Image credit: Spencer Barbosa on youaresomethingbigger.com
When I came across video from influencer Spencer Barbosa on my TikTok For You Page a couple years ago, hitting the follow button was a no brainer. A champion of self-love, pushing back against societal beauty standards, and feminism, her content was immediately refreshing.
This is an influencer who, in the way she carries herself and the type of content she posts, comes across in a wonderfully authentic way. This, as we know is a huge factor when it comes to finding personalities online that we feel naturally drawn to. She has crafted a presence that feels much less like influencing and more like a pep talk or chatting with the older sister you never had. In this she has created a safe and understanding space, being transparent in the fact that the self love she promotes is an ongoing journey for herself as much as it is her viewers, further driving home the fact that she is a real and relatable to us, and not someone who has it all together, but has good days and bad days just like the rest of us.
Not only that, but when the internet is filled with airbrushed, seemingly “perfect” looking influencer and models, it can be incredibly easy to internalize this content and use it as an image to mold yourself into in order to be considered beautiful, or worthy, or feminine.
Image credit: @spencer.barbosa on Instagram
Spencer Barbosa, is helping to turn the beauty and fashion industries’ definition of “perfect” on it’s head. Because contrary to the messages these industries may be feeding us, “perfect” isn’t any one thing. Most of the time, these flawless pictures are not rooted in reality, and heavy editing removes the aspects we have been taught to think aren’t beautiful, but that exist. To combat this, she often posts side by sides on Instagram of posed and unposed and edited and unedited images as a reminder to not believe everything you see on the internet but also as a reminder that neither is more beautiful than the other.
One of Barbosa’s most viral videos is one where she shows off her body hair to go against the all too common sentiment that this natural feature that women have is somehow “unladylike.” This video was a huge deal for me, and based on the 6.8 million likes and countless appreciative comments the video received, was something many people needed to hear. I had never seen someone with such transparency on camera and as someone who struggles with insecurity surrounding that, especially because I never felt like it was that common, it was incredible to see her putting herself so beautifully and candidly on display, and to see that so many people could relate.
Image credit: youaresomethingbigger.com
Since gaining popularity online, Barbosa has also established her own clothing brand, “Something Bigger”. This brand is a true reflection of the message she preaches, selling bright a cheerful apparel with positive messages displayed boldy across them. She cites her reason for founding the brand as “I created this brand because I wanted to make clothes that everyone feels beautiful in. Often times clothing makes us feel insecure however, you are not made to fit clothes… clothes are made to fit you. I have always dreamed about being a girl boss and empowering others to feel confident through clothes.” And also states that she hopes her brand “makes you feel empowered to treat yourself like someone you love” (youaresomethingbigger.com)
Spencer Barbosa is an influencer doing things right. Especially knowing that many women from a young age are taught to view natural, normal, aspects of themselves with shame, it is reassuring to know that there are voices out there helping to change things for the better and bring hope and positivety to young impressionable minds. Do you follow Spencer Barbosa? Who are some of your favorite body-positive influencers?
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