Almost two weeks ago, I traveled to Texas and had the pleasure of spending real life quality time with three women who inspire me every day to be my authentic self. We have worked on body acceptance projects together via the Internet a few times, so we wanted to document our time together in a way that would celebrate all bodies and hopefully empower other women to celebrate the skin they're in.
We decided to post the photo we took on Instagram at the same time, to hopefully reach as many women as possible. The photo went live with the quote “Real women are fat and thin and both, and neither and otherwise.” -Hanne Blanke.
It was featured on several huge platforms - the four of us received so many messages and comments thanking us, saying they had never seen their body type represented, saying that they needed that post.
We were also hit with a huge wave of ugliness and hate.
“Is this an advertisement for why women should get tummy tucks?”⠀
“Why aren’t there any fit women in this photo? Not every postpartum body is fat and loose.”
“Why has society made it ok to bash women who bounce back yet glorify women who can’t lose weight?”
“How about dieting?”
“Posts like this bother me. Not losing the weight is a choice.”
“I’m a mother of 4 but I’m also a smokin’ hot wife because that’s my duty. No way I’d be happy or settle to look like this.”
“Photos like this tear women apart.”
“So, you’re saying that skinny women don’t have real bodies?”
"Who's going to be mother to your kids when you die from diabetes?"
Just a small sample of the comments we’ve received over the past few days since our original post went live. It’s a shame that the point has been completely missed by some of the people that have taken time out of their day to comment. (The point being: the four of us have been friends online for a long time and finally met IRL and took a photo together...of our different postpartum body types...to show that all body types are beautiful.)
If you look at this photo and your first thought is “why are there no skinny women”, you have bigger issues to deal with, my friend. You can look literally anywhere: film, billboards, TV, Instagram, magazines and see (usually photoshopped) skinny women. Other body types are absolutely underrepresented in media and it causes women with those body types to feel less than... to feel like they’re not good enough.
I want to encourage anyone who felt the need to leave any of the above comments to dig deeper, self-reflect, gain some perspective, learn. Your comment says WAY more about you than it does about us.
Bethanie Garcia @thegarciadiaries
Katie Crenshaw @katiemcrenshaw
Meg Boggs @meg.boggs
Desiree Fortin @theperfectmom