Thanks in part to outspoken body advocates, we've made great strides toward greater body positivity and body acceptance in general. However, we still have work to do, and body-positive blogger Megan Jayne Crabbe, a.k.a. @bodyposipanda, is here to guide us along the way.
Last month, Crabbe posted a side-by-side photo comparison of herself, embracing her weight gain and sharing how proud of it she was, because it represented the self-love that she had gained along the way. While most of the responses to her message were positive, some commenters weren't so kind.
In a new Instagram post, Crabbe shut down body-shaming comments in the caption of two side-by-side photos of herself, one from when she was thinner, and one more recent photo of herself.
Her caption reads:
"'Wait so you just decided to RUIN your body?'
Nah, I just stopped torturing myself every day for not fitting an image I was never supposed to be.
'But you look so much healthier to me before.'
That's funny, you looked so much more intelligent to me before you equated health with weight and forgot that mental health is health too.
'You could have stayed the same and loved your body, you didn't need to get fat.
I could have stayed the same and spiralled back into the eating disorder that almost killed me when I was 15. I could have kept starving myself and obsessively working out for hours everyday but it never would have lead me to self love. No matter how much weight I lost there was always still something to hate. And sure, people don't NEED to gain weight to find their self love, this is just what my body needed to do to match up to my mental freedom. THIS IS MY HAPPY BODY.
'But surely you can't be happy looking like that now, I could never be happy in that body.
I didn't think I could either, but as it turns out, happiness isn't a size. And I wasted far too many years believing that it was. Now I'm not going to stop letting people know that they deserve happiness exactly as they are. They deserve to live now, not 10 pounds from now. They deserve that mental freedom. So to every person reading this: I hope you get your freedom too, however it might look. I'll be cheering you on every step of the way."
Crabbe, who has long been an advocate for both mental and overall health, said that she wrote the responses to address certain negative comments she received on her photos. She also told BuzzFeed that she was inspired to write the post to highlight how important it is to include mental health in discussions of overall health.
"Most people would see the 'before' me — thinner, more toned — and assume that I was far healthier, when in reality I was utterly obsessed with losing weight and slipping back into an eating disorder that nearly killed me when I was 15," she said. "That level of obsession and self-hatred could never be healthy, no matter how it looks."
Most of all, she said, she wanted to combat the idea that "thin equals happy." While negative comments like the ones she addressed are proof that we still have a ways to go when it comes to fighting body-shaming, it's activists like her who are leading the way for us all.
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