Love Your Belly movement celebrates tummies of all sizes

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Two local woman have started a movement to encourage positive body image. (KTRK)

You might remember Lady Gaga's epic Super Bowl half time performance just a few months ago. After that performance, social media erupted with negative comments about Lady Gaga's body.

Two Houston women who saw the cyber firestorm decided to react in a positive way.

It isn't easy for most women to love their bodies, especially when bathing suit season is around the corner, but Gina-Marie Vincent Runnels and Hailley Wollak said enough is enough and started a movement to encourage positive body image and body acceptance.

"We're just tired of women being scrutinized in that way, and we want to empower women to love their bodies exactly as they are," Runnels said.

Both women used to deal with negative body image. One night in February, after a dinner with friends, Wollak looked at her full belly and loved it.



"I'm proud of who I am. I'm proud of how I look, and that hadn't always been the case for me. I decided to post a picture of my bare belly on Instagram. After I did it, Gina-Marie posted one," Wollak recalled.

They used the hashtag #loveyourbellymovement and hundreds of women have since posted pictures of their bare bellies using the hashtag, propelling Runnels and Wollak to create an Instagram and Facebook page.

"The Love Your Belly movement is a movement to inspire women to stand tall, live greatly, dream big and love their bellies just the way they are," Runnels declared.

The two women now host community meet-ups.



"Society has so many rules about what your belly should look like, and it makes you second guess how beautiful you are," said Love Your Belly Movement member Brit Gomez.

This movement is already improving women's self-esteem.

"I'm actually starting to love my belly and my body, which is something that I've struggled with for 13 years," said member Jamie Lim.

But while it starts with the belly, these women say it's about so much more.

"I want women to love and accept all of themselves," remarked Wollak.

The Love Your Belly Movement now also has a podcast called She.inspires.

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