“To some I’m too curvy. To others I’m too tall, too busty, too loud, and, now, too small — too much, but at the same time not enough. When I post a photo from a ‘good angle,’ I receive criticism for looking smaller and selling out. When I post photos showing my cellulite, stretch marks, and rolls, I’m accused of promoting obesity. The cycle of body-shaming needs to end …What type of example are we setting for young girls and their self-esteem if grown adults are on Instagram calling other women ‘cowards’ for losing weight, or ‘ugly’ for being overweight? … I refuse to let others dictate how I live my life and what my body should look like for their own comfort. And neither should you … My body is MY body. I’ll call the shots.” — Ashley Graham, August 2016
To those who don’t know her – Ashley Graham is the first ever plus size model to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine (I’ll get to that story later). She’s also a body activist and model making a huge difference in the body image movement. But for now, I want everyone to read the above statement from her – and really soak it in. I’ve witnessed people being criticized for being too big, too small, whatever it is, and it’s time to let people be who they are. It’s also time to accept ourselves for who we are – and screw the haters.
Most of us aren’t the internet trolls largely responsible for criticizing her, and may not even be criticized like this ourselves on a daily basis, but let’s take this down as a life lesson. What I want you all to take away from her rant is this: “I refuse to let others dictate how I live my life and what my body should look like for their own comfort. And neither should you… My body is MY body. I’ll call the shots.”
Photo credit: Ashley Graham