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!

Reclaim UGLY is a community organization that invites you to Rewrite & Decolonize your understanding of beauty from white supremacy, the patriarchy, and other social hierarchies. Our primary mission is raising awareness and education about what uglification is, how it affects us and our communities, how we can fight it, and how we must heal from it.

Welcome to our Beloved Community! This is a love revolution, and we’re so excited to be on this journey with you!

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

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

Invest in Sacred Black Femme Rest! Vanessa is following her own advice to Uplift, Glorify, and Love herself by taking the rest that she needs! She has stepped back from Reclaim UGLY in order to focus on her own sacred healing and rest. She will be unavailable for the rest of 2021. We love Vanessa and all she does for us, and we want to support her in this time by taking care of her material needs in a way that doesn’t depend on her productivity.

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

More about Reclaim UGLY

We are a community organization that creates 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 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 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.

Contact US

Vanessa: vanessarochellelewis@reclaimugly.org

Reclaim UGLY Support & Inquiries: supportteam@reclaimugly.org

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


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


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


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

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!