These Gorgeous Photos Destroy Ridiculous Stereotypes About Love

February 19th 2016

Photographer Substantia Jones gained a lot of attention for her photo series depicting a broad range of couples in love, from plus-size individuals to LGBT people.

The images were published in Jones' body positivity photo series, the Adipositivity Project, timed to last year's Valentine's Day. People have expressed appreciation for the additions, which tell the love stories of people of color, people with disabilities, people who are overweight, and people in the LGBT community, to name a few examples.

Jones, who embraces the word "fat," told Mashable in a recent interview that she wants to challenge the social view that "fat people are unworthy of love."

"It's become a means to juice up the holiday, to validate the relationships of the otherwise invisible, or to provide an alternative to the whole damn heart-shaped month of February," Jones told Mashable, adding: "The unenlightened like to believe fat people are unworthy of love and long-term romantic partnerships. To that, we say, 'Bite me.'"

Jones added that "marginalized populations" have to carve out a presence for themselves in the world, since they are largely ignored by the media.

"Marginalized populations — fat people, people of color, the disabled, the LGBT community, and older folks — too rarely see themselves represented in the media and are even less often portrayed in a positive or neutral manner. So we must make our own visibility," she told Mashable.


Jones' Valentine's Day series for the Adipositivity Project has been around for years, but she told Mic that she is "particularly excited" that this year's series includes a same-sex male couple for the first time. She added that some participants in the project have said the images helped them let go of negative feelings they have about their bodies.

"Some tell me seeing my photos has been transformational for them, easing their body shame and arming them with what they need to push back against size-ist bigotry," Jones told Mic. "Others just tell me they're pleased to add the Adipositivity Project to their fat acceptance arsenal."

Jones is one of many people who promote the message behind the body positive movement online. In recent years, many people have used social media to celebrate a broad range of body types that aren't usually seen in the mainstream media.

Last year, self-described "yoga enthusiast," "fat femme," and "body positive advocate" Jessamyn Stanley inspired many by posting photos on social media of herself doing yoga. Her goal is to inspire people of all body types to give yoga a shot, despite the stereotype of yogis typically being ultra-thin.

"Y'all, we've got to stop making ‪#‎yoga‬ so competitive," she wrote in a Facebook post last year. "Every time one of us makes a comment comparing our asana practices and shaming ourselves by saying another practitioner's pose progress is 'better' than our own, we just continue to sow the seeds of negative body elitism."

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