Come As You Are: The BodCon, 2021

As a culture, as a society, and especially as a generation of media consumers, we are obsessed with size. Too big, too small, not big enough, not small enough – size in its superficiality is connected to our identities as people, but often negates obvious extenuating factors such as genetics, fitness level, or even happiness. 

That’s why an event like The BodCon is so refreshing and important in a post-diet-fad-obsessing world, in celebration of all bodies, whether thick or waif-like. The BodCon is the first and only virtual conference focused on body confidence and the movement towards radical self-acceptance, and it takes place this Sunday, February 21, 2021. 

As we still navigate the digital-first world, this year’s event will be held virtually, and features an incredible roster of Keynote Speakers, including Jameela Jamil, actress, known for her role in “The Good Place” and creator of I Weigh, Sarah Nicole Landry, the body confidence activist and creator behind The Bird’s Papaya, Hunter McGrady, the first plus size Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model and Chrissy King, writer, speaker, Anti-Racism and creator of #BodyLiberationProject.

When we sat with Chrissy King, who is thrilled to share her story as part of this all-star panel, we asked how she began her journey toward self-acceptance. She said,

“falling in loving with yourself is the greatest love story of all time. And part of loving yourself, is making yourself a priority. One thing that I always ask myself is, ‘how can I show myself compassion today?’ We’re oftentimes very kind and compassionate to others, but then we have a hard time showing ourselves that same compassion, that same grace, that same love, that same forgiveness.”

Chrissy King, writer, speaker, Anti-Racism and reator of #BodyLiberationProject.

We’re so conditioned to believe that self-loathing is a normal part of our psyche, that the concept of radical self-acceptance is a new cultural construct that we’re navigating, and a stark – yet very welcome – change from ideology around the “ideal body” and the torture we put ourselves through to attain it. Centuries ago, artwork portrayed curvaceous silhouettes as being the most desired, and in the 80s and 90s, emaciated figures filled the pages of fashion magazines. Now, we’re starting to see an array of body types, and in a time where we can explore the death of the “ideal” body, the conversation is less about conforming to a standard, and instead about having a come-as-you-are attitude toward ourselves.

“You know, it all starts with one conversation. All it takes is one person to work with someone [in our industry] that will change the trajectory of the way the world is. Then, it’s up to all of us, together to keep that ball rolling,” said Hunter McGrady, in a recent chat we had. Hunter is famously known for being the first plus-sized cover model of the coveted Sports Illustrated Swimwear Issue, and is using her platform to drive authentic conversations about self-acceptance. “I’m seeing more and more people understanding and demanding the need for representation and the need for true inclusivity. it’s, it’s not enough to not do something about it.”

Hunter McGrady, Model.

While Hunter recognizes there is still a long way to go in the modelling industry, and in our society at large, she is hopeful. “I talk to my thinner friends who fit an archetypical body-standard, but still have their own, especially being womxn. While our journeys are different, they know, as well as I do, that we have to stand together if we want to see change. Some topics may not affect you directly, as we saw over the summer last year, but we have to stand up with your fellow people and say, okay, let’s do this together.” 

This event is for every body. Yep, just as they are.

Participants from around the world will gather to hear from different voices who are pushing the boundaries of the space and affecting the decisions brands and marketers make to connect with them. You’re the one person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. You may as well make the most of it.