Kit Steinkellner
September 23, 2015 11:21 am

Eight years ago, the then 14-year old Megan was in the midst of a battle with an eating disorder.

“During the summer of 2007 I had a fleeting and intense friendship with the new girl in school,” she explains on her website, BodyPosiPanda. ” It was the kind of friendship you can only have in those early teenage years, desperately clinging onto each other like life rafts through the rough tides of puberty. We spent every day together, drowning each other in our insecurities. Occasionally sneaking out of the house at 6am to go running, or playing badminton for hours and hours in my garden, eventually crawling inside and feeding our exhaustion with mountains of biscuits and cakes.

What we were really doing, was coaching each other towards the eating disorders we were both teetering on the edge of. We didn’t see the harm being done, or realise how toxic our friendship was. So relieved to have found someone else to wallow in the new pits of self hatred with.”

Now 22, Megan (who does not offer up her last name online) is a self-described “…recovered anorexic, recovered self-loather, trying my best to shatter the ‘not good enough’ mentality we’ve all been taught about our bodies.”

Her aim, under the Instagram alias, BodyPosiPanda, is to show that there’s hope for those who suffer from the devastation of eating disorders.

Posting heartbreaking pictures of herself in the midst of her disorder, alongside beautiful, healthy images of herself today, she proves that recovery is possible. But the key, according to Megan—whose racked up over 25,000 followers—is to stop the “self-loathing.” “No more comparing ourselves to Photoshopped ideals. No more believing in the lies. We’ve all been through enough.”

Her posts are fueled by messages of encouragement, aimed to empower anyone who’s been traumatized by body negativity and disordered thinking.

In particular, as a young woman of color, Megan focuses on dismantling narrow standards of beauty as they pertain to both size and color.

“It’s time we start recognising the whitewashing of beauty all around us,” she writes on her website. “It’s time we start making our body positivity intersectional. True body positivity isn’t just about size. It has to reach the bodies who are taught that their beauty is diminished by the darkness of their skin. It has to reach the bodies who believe that their value is lost with the signs of aging, of a life well lived. It has to reach the bodies who are afraid to embrace their true gender, and gender expression, in a world that can’t see outside of the binary. It has to reach the bodies who can’t find a role model in the able-bodied people in the media and so learn to see themselves as inferior. It has to reach them. That is body positivity for all bodies.”

We are so inspired by Megan’s journey into healthy living, and her efforts to help others through the power of body positivity. To learn more about this straight up role model, check out her website and her Instagram.

Related:

How to be body-positive on Instagram

Why these body-positive models are sharing their insecurities with the world

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