We’ve come a long way in terms of inclusive body representation in the media, such as the ever-growing popularity of amazing plus-size model Tess Holliday. But we still have a lot of work to do. Even in “body-positive” ads, we often still only see models in their most flattering poses. When we see our own belly rolls and cellulite, it can be easy to feel like they’re imperfections that few others have. That’s exactly why we love Megan Jayne Crabbe, who runs the feminist Instagram BodyPosiPanda and is teaching us about real bodies with a super-important Facebook post that’s going viral.
“WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT REAL BODIES LOOK LIKE ANYMORE,” Megan wrote in the Facebook post. She highlighted that she doesn’t mean that whole “real women have curves” thing, because *all* women are “real” — rather, she means that we so often see bodies from “flattering” angles and don’t see their stomach rolls, their cellulite, or any other totally normal “flaw.” So she posted a “flattering” picture of her body next to a picture of her sitting down, legs crossed, showing the fact that she, too, has stomach rolls and cellulite.
“Our ideas about bodies are so warped that most people would praise the girl on the left and condemn the girl on the right, without realising that we’re one and the same,” Megan continued in the post. “Well, I’ve worked damn hard to love the body in both these pictures, and I won’t let the world paint my unique features as flaws to be fixed.”
The post has been shared over 4,000 times, with hundreds commenting with their support and appreciation for being real, raw, and honest. However, Megan told HelloGiggles in an email that the response has been mixed:
Megan’s body positivity passions started after years of struggle with an eating disorder. “Like so many women, I’ve spent most of my life at war with my body,” Megan wrote to HelloGiggles. “Despite recovering from anorexia nervosa at 16, I could never get rid of the obsession with being thin, and I spent years cycling through crash diets and binge eating, desperately trying to achieve that ‘perfect’ body. . . I never even knew there was an alternative to self-hatred and starvation diets.”
Megan wanted to “show as many people as possible that they’re worthy of self-love,” which is what prompted her to start BodyPosiPanda. “I wish all women could see that how you feel about your body isn’t your fault,” she told us. “We live in a world that profits from teaching us to see ourselves as not good enough. . . We deserve better, we deserve to love our bodies and we deserve to see our value beyond them, and how well they fit into a made up beauty standard. Also, belly rolls are cute AF.”
There will always be haters, but Megan is going to keep on preaching the important message of self-love and body positivity on BodyPosiPanda. “Thin is beautiful, but so is every other body type, and we don’t see enough of them being represented in a positive way,” Megan told HelloGiggles. “So if my belly rolls or cellulite can help someone feel better about themselves, then I’ll flaunt the hell out of them.”