Films & TV Shows That Scream Body Positivity 

Body positivity films

The body positivity movement has been nothing short of fierce these past few years. And it has not stopped at cinema. Here are 6 TV shows and movies that scream body positivity for your warm nights in. 

My Mad Fat Diary

Director: Tim Kirkby

My Mad Fat Diary is a British TV show that follows Rae, a teenager who’s spent four months in a psychiatric hospital after an attempted suicide. She leaves the hospital and reconnects with her friend group. We find out that none of them know about her body-image problems or her hospital stay. 

my mad fat diary rae and finn

My Mad Fat Diary does a shamelessly spectacular job of depicting what experiencing love as a teenager going through a mental-health crisis is like. The show is also, in my opinion, one of the few shows with a plus-size lead that positions the plot perfectly around the character’s body image. With none of the usual cliches that we regularly find in ‘body-positive’ media. One of my favorite aspects of the show is when we follow Rae as she explores her sex life with the boy she’s interested in. We, for once, got a healthy relationship between a plus-size female lead and a man that is relatively smaller than her. And their bodies aren’t the center of the plot.


Director: Anne Fletcher

Dumplin’ follows Danielle, the teenage daughter of a former beauty queen. Danielle signs up for her mother’s beauty pageant when she gets tired of the pressing beauty standards she grew up with. This is her protest. What she doesn’t account for are the other contestants who follow in her footsteps. 

dumplin stage scene

It is a funny, witty comedy about a teenager who puts her foot down after being bombarded with the same load of body-negative crap her whole life. One thing I particularly liked was how it touched on the mother-daughter relationship throughout the movie. This isn’t something we see brought up a lot in movies, not when it comes to addressing body image, but it is a very big aspect for a lot of people. 

To The Bone 

Director: Marti Noxon

To The Bone follows ‘Ellen’ through her journey as she struggles and battles with her anorexia nervosa. Ellen is accepted into a group home run by an unconventional doctor. The movie then follows her (and her roommates’) journey to getting better.

lilly collins scale

Watching To The Bone felt like watching a film about eating disorders that did not stigmatize the characters, but didn’t glorify them either. It simply made them real. Ellen was irritable, and she often lied to her family about having eaten. She was stubborn and stuck in her ways, and she was trying to get better. This is often the complexity of the human condition, nothing is ever only one thing. I think this movie captures that wonderfully.


Creators: Aidy Bryant, Alexandra Rushfield, and Lindy West

shrill party scene

A woman, Annie, seeks out ways to change her life without changing her body. Annie is trying to make it as a journalist, but her boss keeps shutting down her attempts to write down. Annie goes to a ‘feel-good’ party, where everybody wore whatever they wanted, and it unearthed a new part of her life – a part where she could flaunt her body and love it as it is. It inspired her. She wrote her own article and published it herself, and it got numbers. This is the start of her liberation.

Little Miss Sunshine 

Director: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris

A family goes on the road to get their young daughter to a beauty pageant across the country. The comedy follows them as they face a series of inconveniences to reach the pageant and have the girl participate. 

little miss sunshine mirror scene

Little Miss Sunshine takes an interesting lens to body image issues in children. It shows that it can start as early as our childhood. It also shows how completely okay society is with regard to these little girls as though they’re objects to be tampered with, instead of young children to be nurtured. 

Tel3et Roohy 

Director: Ramy Rizkallah

Our very own Egyptian adaptation of the American TV series ‘Drop Dead Diva’. The show follows Dalida, a social media influencer. Dalida gets in a car accident with Alia, a lawyer, and Dalida’s soul gets trapped in Alia’s body. We watch as Dalida struggles to adjust to Alia’s dull lifestyle. And eventually, she decides she’s going to pursue Alia’s life with a little more fun. 

Taleet Rohy Injy Wegdan

Tel3et Roohy is one of the few Egyptian shows that I’ve seen that takes this much of a positive lens to women’s body image. Dalida is a fierce, focused, and powerful character who refuses to surrender to society’s standards of beauty and what a woman is allowed to do. She pursues the romantic partner she’s interested in with shamelessness and intent, which is something we rarely see female leads do in Egyptian dramas. Instead, it’s usually the other way around with the female lead waiting around for her romantic partner to come through. But not here, Alia is bold and knows exactly what she wants. 

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