Kit Steinkellner
September 02, 2015 1:35 pm

Last month we reported on Project Harpoon, the backwards-minded group that took to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to publish images of women like Melissa McCarthy and Tess Holliday, body-positivity trailblazers who are proud to be expanding the definition of what it means to have a beautiful body. Project Harpoon was Photoshopping these women without their consent, virtually changing their body types into those of much skinnier women to promote narrow standards of beauty. In addition to making use of celebrity images, Harpoon also Photoshopped the images of non-celebrity women, whose size they deemed unacceptable.

Though the Project Harpoon social media accounts were quickly suspended, the offensive images are still floating around the Internet. One of the women targeted, plus-size Vancouver model Ruby Roxx, recently took her blog to take on the problematic group that distorted her image.

She starts out her open letter, surprisingly enough, by thanking the group: “Thank you for showing me that I have the drive and determination to fight bullies like you. Yes, you used my photo, yes, I read horrible, threatening, comments, yes, you even used my photo as your profile picture without my permission, but my fight isn’t for me. I am a strong, confident, plus model, who is PROUD of her body. It has gotten me through 31 years, of health, sickness, pain, freedom, love and adventure. My body and I have been through a lot together, and I will not let online bullies such as you make me feel bad about loving myself.”

She goes on to explain that she feels the need to fight the good fight for the non-celebrity women whose images were tampered with by Harpoon: “The reason I fight you is for the thousands of women out there who aren’t where I am yet. Who don’t love their bodies. Some of the girls you Photoshopped weren’t models or celebrities, but just everyday girls. They might not have confidence, but they posted that photo on a day they felt good about themselves, and you BUTCHERED it with your atrocious Photoshopping, and made them feel bad…How DARE you bring someone down, simply because she is not YOUR immature, close minded ideal! It’s ok to have preferences, but it is NOT ok to make people feel bad because they aren’t yours.”

 

Roxx then opens up about how she felt when she saw her doctored images:

“I suffer from anxiety and depression, and your page did not help me.  It put me into a downward spiral from which I struggled to pull myself out.  I didn’t do it alone.  I did it with the help of my amazing boyfriend, friends, family, followers, and supporters.  You did not and you will not get the best of me.  Even when I have bad days, I remind myself of the things I love about myself, and my worth and potential does not depend on if I am a size 14 or a size 4.  It is what’s inside is what counts.  My heart, my laugh, my brain, the way I treat other people, the way I can make any baby laugh, the love I share, the way I will not quit when something is important to me. You did not win, and you will not.  Not with me, not with anyone. ”

She then champions all the women who were Photoshopped by Project Harpoon and rightfully puts her size-ist bullies in their place:

“We are no less valuable at 200 lbs as we are at 120 lbs. We are no less valuable because you told us we weren’t. We have just as much potential as a size 14 as we do as a size 2. How dare you make anyone feel any differently?”

Roxx concludes her open letter by sending a message of support to anyone else who felt bullied by online body-shaming:

“Let’s turn the negative into a positive. Take that sad, hurt, angry energy and turn it into something helpful.  For every time someone has told you something that hurt you, tell someone something to make them feel better.  For all the hate in the world, we need to spread just as much, if not MORE, love.”

The entire post is here and is well worth a read. We are so grateful to Roxx for standing up for herself and other women, and we are thankful for Roxx’s powerful words that remind us all that we are valuable at every size, and we can’t let bullies make us feel badly about loving ourselves.

Related:

This problematic group is Photoshopping body-positive celebrities 

Fitness guru Cassey Ho photoshopped herself to prove a point about body shaming

(Image via Instagram)

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