12 Celebrity Women Who Are Changing Beauty Standards

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Beauty is an ever-changing, highly subjective concept, yet the media sometimes makes it seem like there is only one set way for women to be beautiful. Magazines, television, and movies present the public with a highly standardized version of beauty that is generally very thin, white, able-bodied, gender normative, and highly airbrushed. Lately, people have been challenging these beauty standards in many ways, and starting to finally believe that there are many, many ways to be beautiful. The women on this list are people in the media who go against certain norms, and show that they are gorgeous without fitting the cookie-cutter standards of society.

12. Kim Kardashian

Say what you will about Kim Kardashian, but one thing that she has done for the world is change people’s opinions about what makes a woman beautiful. Her butt is known worldwide, and helps show society a version of beauty that isn’t what was shown on the covers of magazines until only just recently.

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11. Mindy Kaling

Whether it’s in her writing or her acting, Mindy Kaling likes to tell women to be confident about their appearance and their abilities. She is one of very few Indian-American women on television. She writes The Mindy Project and plays the lead role in the show, and her character often shows her confidence saying things like, “It is so weird being my own role model.”

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10. Ruby Rose

Ruby Rose has been gaining popularity lately in her multiple careers as a model, actress, DJ, and former MTV VJ. Her latest project was acting on Orange Is the New Black, where her character discusses her reluctance to conform to gender roles. She says that she calls herself a woman only because the options are so limited. It seems that men and women of all sexual orientations find her attractive. Ruby challenges gender roles and makes people rethink what beauty looks like on a man or a woman.

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9. Adele

Adele’s powerful voice isn’t the only thing that people talked about after this singer made her big debut. Many people criticize her for her weight, but the star shakes it off, saying that she’s happy with how she looks, and doesn’t feel the need to change.

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8. Ashley Burnham

Ashley Burnham just made headlines as the first First Nations woman to be crowned Mrs. Universe at 2015’s event in Belarus. Mrs. Universe is a competition for married women ages 25 to 45.

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7. Beyoncé

Since branching out of Destiny’s Child and going on to pursue a solo career in music, Beyoncé has been breaking records and blowing people’s minds. The woman is unstoppable and clearly irreplaceable (pun intended), and she is widely regarded as one of the sexiest women alive. She serves as a role model to African-American girls and girls with curves worldwide.

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6. Winnie Harlow

Chantelle Brown-Young, also known as Winnie Harlow, was a contestant on America’s Next Top Model, cycle 21. Winnie is from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and has a chronic skin condition called vitiligo, which causes the depigmentation of parts of her skin. Her highly unique look has caught the eye of many people in the fashion business. She placed sixth in the competition, but she was quite successful after the show, working with Desigual and Diesel, and being featured in magazines like Glamour and Cosmopolitan.

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5. Tess Holliday

Tess Holliday took over Twitter with her #effyourbeautystandards campaign and showed women that they don’t have to look a certain way to be beautiful. She speaks openly about body positivity, and encourages girls to love themselves the way they are instead of constantly trying to change something about themselves in order to be happy. Earlier this year, she became the largest plus-size model to be signed to a mainstream modeling agency when she signed with Milk Model Management.

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4. J.Lo

Latina bombshell Jennifer Lopez was one of the earlier champions of the big booty. J.Lo has hit it big as an actress and a singer (and author, designer, dancer, producer, etc.), and she also helped pave the way for Latinas in the entertainment industry. Her booty is reportedly insured for $27 million dollars, and started to change a lot of opinions about what makes a woman beautiful.

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3. Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox is a beautiful transgender woman who is best known for her role on Orange Is the New Black, where she plays the role of a transgender woman in prison. She was the first openly transgender person to appear on the cover of Time magazine.

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2. Carmen Dell’Orefice

Carmen Dell’Orefice is 84 years old and is known as the oldest working model. She began her career in 1947 when she was on the cover of Vogue at the age of 16. In 2014, she graced the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, continuing to show the world that beauty is ageless.

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1. Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks was a top-earning model who was making waves in the modeling industry. She was the first African American model on the cover of GQ and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. After conquering the modeling world, she moved on to television, creating the highly successful reality show America’s Next Top Model, which has had 21 “cycles” since it first aired in 2003. On this show, Tyra continues to mix things up in the modeling industry by including contestants of many sizes, shapes, races, gender identities, and sexualities, helping to change what a typical model looks like, and what society judges as beautiful.

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Sam Hodder