How Instagram Solved My Body Image

Instagram Helped To Solve My Body Image Issues

Accounts on Instagram not only make me feel better about myself, but they also make me feel normal.

Kimberly Steele

My weight has always been a sore spot for me. I've never been height-weight proportionate. I was teased in high school (and beyond) for my weight. I've been rejected from romantic partnerships due to my weight. It's a very shameful way to live sometimes.

My genetics are interesting. I come from a family with diverse size differences. The women on my mother's side of the family are all skinny. The women on my father's side of the family are all very large with large bust sizes. Those on my mother's side of the family battle with substance abuse, psychological problems, and chronic illnesses. On my father's side of the family, the battles are conditions due to their weight. Put those together, and here I am.

The body positive movement has recently touched me like never before. It's comforting to see that other women have had similar weight problems their whole lives. They decided to try and stop bullying about their bodies and claim some dignity.

When I first joined Instagram, I followed all the sexy bikini-clad Playboy Bunny hopefuls with accounts there. My feeds were filled with duck face selfies, pleas for followers, pictures with the girls' Snapchat and personal porn pages, and pictures showing off how popular and desired these women were. Not exactly great for my self-esteem. I could never look like these women — even if I posted a bunch of duck face selfies as well. They didn't represent me for me to want to be like them.

Alexandra Airene, who runs the LearningToBeFearless channel on YouTube said she had an Instagram account. As soon as I followed her there, I got suggested accounts to follow that was exactly what I'd been looking for. Bigger women posting pictures in two piece bathing suits (without shame) or in fashionable clothing that looked beautiful on them. These were clothes I could see myself wearing, and with them wearing the clothes first, I knew I'd look as good as them wearing it. The clothes were actually made for women like us. I immediately unfollowed any female who was not my body type and now only follow women that are my body type. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to see women like myself posting pictures of how happy, free, and sometimes how in love they are as if its a completely normal way for them to be.

I've never seen bigger women presented as normal and happy. It gives me hope.

Fabulous, gabifresh, iamdaniadriana, xeharcurvy, fatgirlflow, chubbystruggles, melissa__herb, virgietovar, alternativecurves, and the account I found just today, whatfatgirlsreallywear. Accounts like gabifresh, iamdaniadriana, and melissa__herb are individuals that are changing the perception of how big girls are seen one upload at a time. Other accounts like xeharcurvy and fatgirlflow pop in my feed with pictures of big girls modeling in pretty clothes, showing off in two-piece bathing suits and kissing the hot guys in their lives. Seeing uploads like this instead of a bunch of women I'll never look like enjoying the rich and high society life is much more inspiring.

The biggest backlash with all of this is that people feel like this movement is glorifying obesity.

I work with kids. I make sure to tell them how pretty or handsome they look. I don't want them to grow up without one person who had something positive to say about their bodies and their clothes. That's how I grew up. I had no idea that my body type and that my clothes were okay just the way they were. That I didn't have to change or go out of my way to be accepted and loved. That's all the body positive movement is. Showing us that we're okay, but displaying others like us that are happy in their own skins.

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