It’s a known fact that people are mean, and when they’re behind a keyboard, even meaner. Stella Boonshoft found out that out the hard way, when she posted a bikini photo on her Tumblr page. After the photo was picked up by by photographer Brandon Stanton and published on his photography site Humans of New York, it went viral. As of last Thursday it received 455,000 likes and it has been shared 20,000 times.
But the photo was not received well by all. In response to the negative attention, she contemplated taking the photo down, but decided not to. Stella said:
“I know what I am trying to do, which is help young women struggling with their body image and expose the hypocrisy and cruelty that is sizeism, is SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT whatever feelings I may have about myself.”
Underneath the photo she wrote:
‘THIS IS MY BODY, DEAL WITH IT’: STELLA BOONSHOFT IN HER OWN WORDS
WARNING: Picture might be considered obscene because subject is not thin. And we all know that only skinny people can show their stomachs and celebrate themselves. Well I’m not going to stand for that. This is my body. Not yours. MINE. Meaning the choices I make about it, are none of your f****** business. Meaning my size, IS NONE OF YOUR F****** BUSINESS.
If my big belly and fat arms and stretch marks and thick thighs offend you, then that’s okay. I’m not going to hide my body and my being to benefit your delicate sensitivities.
This picture is for the strange man at my nanny’s church who told me my belly was too big when I was five.
This picture is for my horseback riding trainer telling me I was too fat when I was nine.
This picture is for the girl from summer camp who told me I’d be really pretty if I just lost a few pounds
This picture is for all the f****** stupid advertising agents who are selling us cream to get rid of our stretch marks, a perfectly normal thing most people have (I got mine during puberty)
This picture is for the boy at the party who told me I looked like a beached whale.
This picture is for Emily from middle school, who bullied me incessantly, made mocking videos about me, sent me nasty emails, and called me “lard”. She made me feel like I didn’t deserve to exist. Just because I happened to be bigger than her. I was 12. And she continued to bully me via social media into high school.
MOST OF ALL, this picture is for me. For the girl who hated her body so much she took extreme measures to try to change it. Who cried for hours over the fact she would never be thin. Who was teased and tormented and hurt just for being who she was.
I’m so over that.
THIS IS MY BODY, DEAL WITH IT
What do you think about the photo and the negative reaction she received?