In the digital age, with new forms of communication and increased visibility, it’s easy to spread personal and positive messages online, but it’s just as easy to harshly criticize others on the same platform.
For plus-sized blogger and Instagram model @Noonie_Regardless, this duality manifested in the spread of a photo of herself on Instagram. Another account used a photo of her in a crop top, which she had posted with her message of self-acceptance and body positivity, and slapped it with a mocking new caption: “Leave the bralette and crop top wearing to us skinny girls.” The insulting new caption was followed by two emojis: a sick face and a whale.
When discovered, this meme was reposted by Noonie who immediately responded to body shamers with yet another message of body positivity. “No, I don’t have the flat stomach to flex in a crop top/bralette, but I have the muffin top to do so,” her repost of the meme began. “I don’t know why people still body shame at this point… You don’t have to be skinny to rock a crop top or bralette… As women we have to learn to build each other up instead of trying to break each other down. #stopbodyshaming”
Noonie, who has over 52,000 followers on her Instagram account, features messages of self-love and body positivity throughout over 1,000 posts. One post reads, “Flexing my complexion, my beauty and my weight,” while another acknowledges, “No, I don’t look like a size 0 to fit society’s beauty standards but I know for a fact I’m perfectly fine the way I am.” In the photos, she poses without inhibitions, confident of her body and refusing to hide it under any clothes that she doesn’t want to wear.
In an interview with Yahoo Style, Noonie said she decided to share the meme to remind others that body shaming was still very much real—even after her original post gave a lengthy, intimate, and empowering message of her struggles with self-image and her eventual acceptance of her body. “Responding to the cruel meme didn’t make me sad,” Noonie said, “because as a person, I love myself a lot and have accepted myself for who I was years back.” Still, she said, she was disgusted by the comment, but not bothered by the literal message. “If crop tops were only made for skinny women, they would only make [them] in a small—not medium, large, XL, etc.”
Shaming others for their appearance has become all too common with the popularity of social media and widespread accessibility of the Internet. From skin tone to loose skin to even Hilary Duff’s cellulite, body shaming has been more public than ever. Fortunately, however, the responses to such cruel and superficial remarks have been just as visible. With the confidence and empowerment of media presences like Noonie, every post of self-love and positivity is a step closer to dismantling traditional beauty standards, as well as making the world—and the Internet—a kinder place.
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