When it comes to representation, beauty brands are not only recognizing their role, but they are starting to step up in ways that are challenging the unrealistic standards the industry help set. The latest beauty brand to do this is Isle of Paradise, a UK-based self-tanning company, who recently launched one of the most inclusive – and beautiful – campaigns I’ve seen. Dreamed up to help people achieve body acceptance, it features 10 body positive activists of different genders, sizes, colors, and abilities.
To be fair, Isle of Paradise was built with inclusivity in mind. “It’s essential for the category and the industry to become more representative,” Jules Von Hep, the company’s founder and celebrity spray tanner, told Harper’s Bazaar UK. It was his own experience with body shaming and homophobia that ultimately led him to build his brand. For the campaign, which is dubbed “#OwnYourGlow,” Von Hep stars alongside plus-size model Tess Holliday, disabled beauty blogger Tess Daly, influencer Joseph Lycett Barnes, beauty blogger and activist Simone Powderly, and other rising stars.
“I had to face my real demons, and that was the fact that I was going to have to be in my underwear, with my ‘disabled gut’ out, surrounded by a bunch of strangers,” Daly recalls of her experience on set, which she says enabled her to look at her body in a new light. “We are all different, and we are all beautiful in our own way. It’s high time I practiced what I preach.”
“Regardless of what you like, you have a choice of how you present your body in this world, and you are deserving of feeling good in the skin you’re in,” says Holliday. Amen to that.
While the images are inspiring, no doubt, the campaign is meant to do more than make you feel good – it’s intended to make you act and retrain your brain against body shaming. You can download a free ‘Get Body Posi’ booklet online, which is described as “the ultimate guide to acceptance, body positivity, and inner happiness.” Inside, you’ll find personal stories of self-acceptance from those involved in the campaign, approachable tips for letting go of perfection, and ways to break free from the comparison cycle.
One of my favorite takeaways: Write down the name of one person with whom you fall into a comparison trap and how it makes you feel. The guide then advises you to message this, word for word, to the person you’re comparing yourself to. “Chances are they’ll come straight back and tell you how ridiculous you’re being,” it reads. Makes you think, right?
“The Isle of Paradise mission is not only to tackle the body confidence issue head on but to provide consumers with a solution that will encourage them to take the all important first steps to achieving body acceptance” says Von Hop. Plus, as part of the campaign, Isle of Paradise is donating to the mental health charity Mind.
Consider this campaign a crash course in your loving your body – a class we could all benefit from.