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As we soak up  the remaining rays of summer sun on the official last day of summer, we’ve come to an end of our body positive summer campaign #DropTheTowel.  For our final shoot, we teamed up with body positive intersectional feminists Virgie Tovar, Sonya Renee Taylor, and Aqueila Lewis. These three forces of mother nature herself came together at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts to support our ultimate message of self-love and Body Positivity for all, encompassed within this campaign.  Much more than a movement, #DropTheTowel is a call to action, a revolution for all shapes, sizes, colors, disabilities and genders to not just reclaim their place at the beach (or any other body of water), but in the world at large as well.

This sentiment is something that the womyn featured in this photo series know about deeply as they are all intersectional Feminist activists enacting their truth daily, despite the conditions that the world tries to enforce upon them and all womyn.

Photoshoot directed by Laurel Dickman.  Photography by Suma Jane Dark for Wear Your Voice Magazine and Makeup by Bernadette Rose


Sonya Renee Taylor


Radical Self Love advocate and poet Sonya Renee Taylor is the founder of The Body is Not an Apology an online platform dedicated to creating a more equitable, compassionate world one person at a time. She is also an author, spoken word artist, speaker, humanitarian, social justice activist, and educator. Sonya Renee has also won multiple National and International poetry slams, including the 2004 U.S. National Individual Poetry Slam competition. She has, of course, forever won our hearts here at Wear Your Voice; exemplifying and enacting daily all that we stand for as intersectional Feminists. 


Virgie Tovar


In addition to joining Wear Your Voice with her weekly article Dear Virgie, Virgie Tovar is one of the nation’s leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, November 2012) and responsible for the viral hashtag campaign #LoseHateNotWeight. Virgie is the epitome of all that it means to Wear Your Voice, and her unapologetically bold and Feminist ways inspire us and womyn worldwide. 

Aqueila Lewis


Aqueila Lewis is not only an award winning spoken word poet, she is also a multi-talented artist; well-versed in journalism (print and radio) composing, singing, poetry/spoken word, and has been modeling as a plus-model for the last four years in both print and runway. Aqueila also currently holds the titles as Ms. Oakland Plus America 2014 and SF Raw Performing Artist of the Year 2015. Clearly this warrior womyn does it all and then some, which made her an integral part of our intersectional Feminist view for this photo series. 











Clearly we took this last shoot not only from the beach to the streets, but to an opulent museum and popular San Francisco landmark, which lends itself to the showcasing of goddesses such as the womyn featured. Yes, the Palace of the Fine Arts may in fact have seen some glorious womyn bearing it all in oil paintings, watercolors, and perhaps on stage in the past, but we decided to let life imitate art in this powerful statement of solidarity, which proves that you don’t have to be a size nothing to be featured in an editorial spread (and because all womyn deserve to be celebrated on grand pedestals that normally only our marble or granite statue counterparts get to experience).
















[divider]#DropTheTowel: A Look Back [/divider]

In every #DropTheTowel photo series conducted this summer, we have highlighted a particular issue that matters most to us.  The features have included: focusing on the pervasive act of food shaming, creating awareness around the Fat Phobia epidemic, challenging white feminists to bring diversity to gender equality campaigns, highlighting the increasingly alarming rate of trans violence in the United States by featuring trans womyn wearing their voices on these issues, and most recently, our trans male photo series, which underscores the importance of raising awareness by showcasing trans men celebrating their bodies freely and joyfully in a safe space created by community where everyone was able to drop their towel.


With one final series, we say goodbye to summer (for now), although we will still be dropping the towel until next year and encourage all of our readers to continue participating and sharing on social media! Don’t forget to utilize #DropTheTowel along with your photos for a chance to be featured here in the future!

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Being raised in New England, the west coast has always felt like a breath of progressive, laid-back, open-minded, fashion-forward air to my free-spirited soul, which is what drew me to California. Escaping the more cookie-cutter traditional white picket fence life, has led me on an adventurous journey toward self-love and acceptance, and ultimately body positivity! I am in Oakland, because I moved to the Bay Area for graduate school to become a licensed Somatic Psychotherapist, and after exploring different city options, I discovered that the eclectic, unique, and honest vibe of Oakland resonated with my funky spirit and style! My role in WYV as Senior Columnist is producing weekly articles on Body Positive Fashion, Fat Acceptance, and many of my other passions such as social justice, childcare, and chronic illness advocacy. Of course I'm constantly being inspired by my very diverse (fashionably and otherwise) Oakland peers, local business owners, and fat/body positive activists! Come follow my photographic adventures on my instagram: @somewhere_under_the_rainbow

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