Welcome to Reclaim UGLY

We are the people we serve. Collective healing & liberation cannot happen without deep self love. This photo came from the inaugural UGLY Conference.

Uplift, Glorify, Love Yourself, & create a world where others can, too!

Join Reclaim UGLY to Rewrite & Decolonize your understanding of beauty from white supremacy, the patriarchy, transmysoginy, fatphobia, ableism, and other systems of oppression. We are a judgement free zone devoted to self love, art healing, community building, and collective liberation.

Our primary mission is to raise awareness about what uglification and lookism are, how they affect us and our communities, and how we can lift our voices to speak up and out when witness it happening. Join us to explore all of the beautiful we can heal, resist, and love ourselves and others, together.

Welcome to our Beloved Community! This is a healing first revolution, and we’re so excited to be on the Reclaim UGLY journey towards more self love and collective liberation with you!


Vanessa Rochelle Lewis shares about the journey that led to Reclaim UGLY.

Upcoming Events!


For Us With Love is BACK!!

Are you a Black MaGe? (MaGe= marginalized genders, or any gender that’s not a cis man)

Do you like poetry, music, and storytelling?

Do you have a story to tell or a desire to be heard by YOUR people?

Do you crave a space to commune with other Black MaGes and indulge in our collective dreams?

Reclaim UGLY’s founding director Vanessa Lewis has a Patreon!

Do you want to work directly with our founder, Vanessa Rochelle Lewis, to Reclaim Your UGLY and enjoy the magical ways she claims and reclaim all of hers? Join her personal patreon for access to exclusive content, attend healing workshops and events, and get direct feedback on your reclaim ugly literary (he)art.

Investing in Vanessa’s Patreon provides consistent, stable support and allows her to invest in more than just her art or work, but in herself as well. Let’s pour into Vanessa with the same passion she pours into her community! For more information on what Patreon is, see HERE.

“Ugly is the opportunity to truly indulge in yourself, in your desires, in your body, and the way you want to express yourself and the way you want to exist in the world – while abstaining from the patriarchy….It’s freedom from feeling like you have to conform.”

– Vanessa Rochelle Lewis at the 2020 Explore More Summit

What is uglification?

Uglification consists of personal and cultural beliefs, behaviors, practices, and laws that dehumanize people as ugly, undesirable, immoral, and unworthy. It feeds, maintains, and depends on oppression, such as lookism, racism, ableism, sexism, and homo-, trans-, fat-, and xeno- phobia. Unchecked, it facilitates, normalizes, and validates hatred, childhood bullying, workplace exclusion, criminalization, medical neglect, violence, exploitation, and more. Practicing Self Love in a world so rooted with uglification is a powerful act of healing and resistance. But we want more than self love, we want to create a world where we intentionally strive towards the transformative inclusivity that will support people to love themselves and each other more. To do that, we have to fight the urge to uglify ourselves and other people within our families, friendships, work places, organizing spaces, creative expression, media, religious institutions, and politics.


More about Reclaim UGLY

We think of ourselves as a community organization that is a spiritual and ideological healing movement. We are doing the healing side of activism, and activism needs healers.

We create educational materials, literature, events, and performances to educate diverse communities about how lookism and uglification collaborate to justify (racialized, gender-based, fatphobic, homophobic, transphobic, and ableist ) violence, hatred, criminalization, and discrimination.

We spread the word about how Reclaiming UGLY can joyfully heal and save lives by creating safer, more inclusive, and more welcoming communities, schools, work places, families, and movements. We invite people to reclaim their body, their communities, and their imagination from the impacts of uglification.

We host events, workshops, and activities, and produce literature and art to help people understand what uglification is, and to imagine a world where we can all be free from it, especially those who experience it the most impactfully.

We are the people we serve. Collective healing & liberation cannot happen without deep self love. Welcome to our Beloved Community! This is a love revolution and we’re so excited to be on this journey with you.


Our Upcoming Book!


Image description: An abstract background of pastel pinks, purples, and browns filled with various textures and patterns is featured on a book cover. Pink and brown text reads “Reclaiming UGLY! Uplift, Glorify, & Love Yourself, and create a world where others can as well. Vanessa Rochelle Lewis”

Reclaiming UGLY, the book!


Flip the script on how you think about UGLY – what it means, what it is, and how to reclaim it to Uplift, Glorify, and Love Yourself in an uglified world. Blending joyful self-help magic with incisive social analysis and personal narrative, author Vanessa Rochelle Lewis empowers readers to heal, connect, and revolt against uglification.

Through self-help exercises, reflective meditations, and lesson plans, Lewis moves us closer to a collective liberation that takes back what society tells us is ugly and taboo…and teaches us to deconstruct what we’ve told ourselves is ugly and taboo. Reclaiming UGLY is a warm embrace and compassionate guide toward radical self-acceptance, joyful community-centered healing, and unfiltered self-love. Coming soon!


In The Press


Image Description: a photo of Vanessa Lewis adorned in a crown of eucalyptus leaves and purple roses.

Making an Appearance at a Conference for Ugly People

Vice.com

Image Description: a photo of Vanessa Lewis in a colorful outfit smiling at the camera
Queer Spirit Podcast: Reclaiming UGLY as an Act of Queer Pleasure
with Vanessa Rochelle Lewis

queerhealingjourneys.com


Image description: a photo of Vanessa Lewis wearing a yellow headwrap, black and red ornate shawl, and smiling wide.

Black queer healing poetics of Vanessa Rochelle Lewis

Jacket2.org


Image Description: a photo of Vanessa Lewis standing proudly in front of a forest scene.

The Space Between Us, Hosted by Jovelyn Richards

Women’s Magazine


An image of a group of mostly Black and Brown people with many different types of bodies. Above the people are the words "Reclaim UGLY" and "Reclaimugly.org" in purple text, and below in white and black text are the words, "Uplift Glorify Love Yourself, And Create A World Where Others Can As Well." The background is orange.
Image description: An image of a group of mostly Black and Brown people with many different types of bodies. Above the people are the words “Reclaim UGLY” and “Reclaimugly.org” in purple text, and below in white and black text are the words, “Uplift Glorify Love Yourself, And Create A World Where Others Can As Well.” The background is orange.

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