Last week something upsetting happened on Instagram. It’s taken me a while but I think I have found the silver lining.
In the spirit of Facebook removing supposedly offensive images such as these Australian Aboriginal women performing a cultural ceremony, well documented instances of women breastfeeding and more recently this father and son portrait, privately owned social media organisations have become the self-appointed authority on what is “right” and “wrong” in the world. Screw that!
Last week a beautiful plus-sized blogger, Aarti posted this picture on her Instagram account…
…and Instagram deleted it for being offensive.
Obviously this caused outrage. I was outraged, fellow Instagrammers were outraged, my girlfriend was outaged (after I ranted to her about it for hours) and of course, Aarti and the other two beautiful, proud, confident ladies in the picture were outraged.
Supporters reposted the picture and I was inspired to make this drawing which I posted on IG and which I was so proud to have reposted, not because I made it but rather because my support was being acknowledged and my support was really, really heartfelt! I got so many likes and a lot of new followers, I even got contacted by Cleo Singapore to request that my drawing be included in an online interview with Aarti. I felt like I had become part of something.
This is the silver lining.
Nothing brings good people together like adversity. I will admit there are a lot of trolls, haters, creeps and complete a-holes online but I am certain there are way more good people. I am one of those people, so is Aarit and so are her supporters and the hoards of supporters of the body positive movement. We will lift one another up, we will cheer one another up, we will fight for each other and support each other and commiserate and celebrate together.
The irony of this is that I have never felt such warmth and such solidarity in the body positive movement anywhere else on the internet other than Instagram. For some reason, this is our base, this is where we feel comfortable and that’s why this has been even more upsetting.
FYI Instagram did give this half-hearted apology a week after the fact which, while it does make me feel like they have at least come part way to acknowledging that Fat is not a dirty word, their future actions will tell the real story!
In the meantime, I and all the other beautiful plus size women who are not ashamed of their bodies will continue to spread the word that our bodies are our business, every size is beautiful and women should compliment each other, not try to bring each other down.
Changing the world, one IG post at a time 🙂