Meet The Woman Who Was Body-Shamed By Instagram And Fought Back
Apparently, social media exhibitionism is reserved for those of a certain size. That was the message Instagram sent when they removed a photo of Meghan Tonjes.
When Tonjes—a loyal Instagrammer with more than 12,000 followers and roughly 2,500 photos—posted a picture of her backside in black underwear it was promptly removed after being reported as inappropriate. According to a May 19 posting on her YouTube channel, Instagram notified Tonjes via email that they had deleted the post because it violated the company’s “nudity and mature content” community policy.
However, earlier in the week, when FHM model Vida Guerra—known specifically for her derriere—posted a photograph of herself on Instagram in a barely-there thong (that happened to rack up more than 7,400 likes) it was somehow deemed appropriate. Guerra posted similar photos on May 1, April 24, April 8, April 1, March 14, March 12, March 5—you’re getting the point, right?
Let the record show, I have zero problem with Guerra’s photo(s). She’s a beautiful woman who embraces her figure and I think she should be celebrated. I also think Meghan Tonjes is a beautiful woman who should be celebrated. But its seems that size matters to Instagram.
Using social media as a platform, Tonjes has been documenting her fitness journey. She often posts selfies in bikinis, form-fitting tank tops and other figure-hugging clothing to not only highlight her weight loss, but also to honor her fuller figure—accompanied by hashtags like #effyourbeautystandards and #mybodyisnotanapology. She’s a bigger girl who embraces being “fat” (her words; not mine) and loves to shake what her mama gave her. And through example, she’s encouraging other young women to do the same thing.
In her YouTube channel video, the singer/songwriter chastised the social media outlet for removing the photograph of her butt. “I have pride in my curves,” Tonjes said, during a segment she calls “F.A.T.” (Frequently Asked Tonjes). “You have the opportunity to be a platform where people can engage in a very body positive community. I would hope that it is your goal as a platform to make sure that close-minded, hateful and ignorant people don’t abuse your report feature.”
In a statement to HelloGiggles, an Instagram spokesperson says, “We try hard to find a good balance between allowing people to express themselves creatively and keeping Instagram a fun and safe place. Our guidelines put limitations on nudity and mature content, but we recognize that we don’t always get it right. In this case, we made a mistake and have since restored the content.”
According to Tonjes’ website, this isn’t the first time she’s been bullied online or brought awareness to the dangers of public taunting (she’s even participated in the “It Gets Better” project). I’m proud of Meghan for holding her head high in the face of adversity, and for turning a bad thing into a teachable moment.
Since her YouTube video went viral two days ago, Tonjes has continued to use the social media provider as part of her daily ritual—only now, she’s using it to promote healthy body images for women (in addition, of course, to her booty pics). On May 20, she regrammed photos from her supporters who have been posting their own full-figured booty shots with the hashtag #projectfatass as a sign of solidarity.
Photo via MeghanTonjes.com