In 2018 we're at a point where body positivity is accepted more than ever. Granted, we still have setbacks, but with models like Kendall Jenner clapping back at trolls who tried to shame her for a blemished complexion at the Golden Globes and Gigi Hadid who publicly took down body-shamers on Twitter, things are looking up. Then there's Meghan Markle flying the flag for freckles by showing them off rather than hiding them. The conversation is moving forward—slowly, but it's happening.
Following suit and spreading the body-positivity message is author and journalist, Radhika Sanghani. Sanghani has spent her whole life shunning her side profile from photographs, but now she's done with hiding and wants to empower people with larger noses. In an article for Grazia, Sanghani spoke about society's issue with bigger noses, noting the lack of leading ladies in stereotypically "hot" roles across widespread media and the criticism women with strong profiles have had to deal with—which she adds is incomparable to men with strong profiles.
She went on to say that "big noses have been taboo for all too long. Times are changing, and fashion and beauty are becoming more diverse than ever. Catwalks are suddenly full of plus-size models, Hollywood is finally starting to understand the importance of representing all races, and it's no longer unusual to see a model with a disability or condition like vitiligo in a major ad. The only taboo that hasn't been broken is the big nose, and it's not right. We've seen the unfiltered spotty skin, the stretch marks, the cellulite, and the body hair all being reclaimed as our own and beautiful online. But noses are still hidden in subtle head tilts and awkward poses. We need change. It's why I'm using this article to launch the #SideProfileSelfie."
Sanghani clearly isn't alone in feeling this way, as many have joined the conversation on Twitter. She is using social media, where many pose and conceal the parts of their faces they're not comfortable with, to show it's okay to share the real you. With advertising campaigns, TV, and films often using stars with perfect, ski-slope noses, it's no wonder that those with stronger profiles feel ashamed or "less pretty."
It's not a completely new conversation, but we're pleased to see it's reaching headlines this week. In the past, Meryl Streep has vocally expressed that she used to hate her nose and thought she was too ugly to be an actress. She, unlike her male peers, has been subjected to scrutiny and criticism throughout her career regardless of her incredible talent as an actress.
Sanghani's goal is to help other women love their noses, as learning to love hers has been "life-changing." She hopes to reclaim strong side profiles like we've reclaimed acne, cellulite, and body hair. All she asks is that you take a side profile selfie and post it to social media with the #SideProfileSelfie tag.
The digital world is such a powerful platform for change, and the response so far to the campaign has been overwhelmingly positive, but this is just the start. It's so refreshing that as a society we're finally shifting the conversation forward and accepting ourselves and others. Body positivity is winning, and Sanghani's movement is another step in the right direction.
This article was originally published on Byrdie UK and has since been updated.