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Merci, Beaucoo! Loving your body, one pic at a time

NEED TO KNOW
  • Fashion community Beaucoo size-matches its users
  • Co-founder: 'All women are real women'
Merci, Beaucoo! Loving your body, one pic at a time

A new website encourages women to embrace the body they have, rather than pining for the body they wish they had. Called Beaucoo, it bills itself as an "inspiring, non-judgemental, body positive community." In a world full of harsh messages about what size women need to be to be acceptable, who wouldn't like the sound of that?

Founded in September 2012 by husband and wife team Christian and Victoria MacLean and friends Rick Cotter and Cory Smith, Beaucoo was born from an idea the MacLeans were mulling around about a Facebook community Victoria was a part of in the past.

"It was a community where women posted photos of their clothing and discussed it with other women of the same size," Christian told HLN. "Those communities were really great for Victoria, so we decided to make our own."

READ MORE: Why the 'Fatkini" is a big deal

Beaucoo is Instagram-esque, providing a grid of women showing off their looks in every shape from skinny to plus size. By using the "Fit Match" button, you can filter the results so you only see people that match your measurements. From there, you can like their photos, add the outfits to your wishlist, and even follow the users whose style you like.

Since the website launched a year ago, it's gained tens of thousands of users, and just keeps on growing.

"Our biggest goals are to help buyers buy the clothes they see -- that's the next step," Christian told HLN when discussing the plan for Beaucoo's future. 

Body positivity has been in the limelight for the last few years, with companies like Dove spearheading the movement with their "Real Women" campaign and models above a size 0 popping up left and right. But when it comes to "real women," Christian is not so sure that the term is a flattering one.

"We don't use the words "real women" on Beaucoo," Victoria told HLN. "All women are real women."

The Beaucoo team also founded the hashtag #bopo, short for body positivity, which has a healthy following on Twitter.

READ MORE: Viral ad: You don't know how beautiful you are

When it comes to realism, Beaucoo aims to present it -- which is one of the reasons that the website doesn't offer filters or any kind of way to manipulate your photo (although you are allowed to upload photos you have filtered yourself). When it comes to photo retouching, the MacLeans believe that it can be a slippery slope. "There's far more value in authenticity," Christian says.

Is the core of the body positivity movement about women striking back at society's ideals, though? Or is it about women breaking out of a vision of ourselves that isn't accurate to reality?

'It's part of the human condition, to question what you look like," Victoria said. "Beaucoo answers that question: This is what I look like. And we don't criticize our looks because we don't look good. We do it because we don't look we the way we expect we should look."

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