Gloria Lucas wants to work towards decolonizing the body positive movement, by providing a community of body positive activists that focuses on spotlighting the unique body image issues that affect communities of color.
After fighting and winning her own battle with an eating disorder, Lucas founded (NPP) a network that focuses on eating disorder awareness and body image issues in communities of color. Lucas believed that the body positive movement focused on the stories and ultimately the empowerment of white women, and it neglects to empower and share the stories of women of color.
Lucas told Hufffington Post that “NPP first addresses the fact that the problem isn’t really us; it’s the way the system works. People of color receive very mixed messages about their bodies. There’s the message that we’re inferior, that we are dirty, that we are ugly, that we are not intelligent.” Lucas says that these ideals have been passed down for generations affecting women of color today.
Lucas’s work is so important. By decolonizing the body, Lucas is giving women of color ownership of their bodies. So often, people of color are compared to white people, causing warped body image issues. She is shedding light on the struggles that are totally unique to people of color and is attempting to fill in the gaps, that can’t be filled by general movements, like the body positive movement.
The NPP network includes a website, an Etsy store and a support group. Lucas works with creatives in Los Angeles to design empowering graphic tee’s, buttons and stickers about self-love and body acceptance for the Etsy store.
Even better, Lucas told Huffington Post, “I’m really focusing on highlighting the voices of brown women. Part of the reason we don’t love ourselves is that we don’t get celebrated, we don’t get recognized. I want to use my t-shirts and my posters and my stickers to celebrate us.”
Next on deck: Lucas’s zine about eating disorders, and she hopes to take her clothing on the road with a fashion truck. Her inspiration and guidance is much needed to help shift these social ideals of beauty, and to help young people of color realize their worth.