Body shaming is unavoidable, especially on the internet. But one would hardly expect a fitness blogger of all people to fall prey to such trolls on social media. Alas, fitness coach and writer Jessi Kneeland had to deal with body shaming herself despite being in shape.
Recently, Jessi had posted a photo to Instagram, flaunting her “pretty dimples” on her legs. She wrote, “Oh hey there, have you met my fancy fat?” Trying to leave a message of body positivity for her fans, Jessi wrote, “Some people think fancy fat is “bad,” and will try to convince you to get rid of yours, but we know better. Fancy fat is just a natural, healthy, built-in decoration. (Or at least that’s how I choose to see it.)”
However, it wasn’t long before one troll chimed in with his lectures on health and accused Jessi of eating “shitty food” which has been accumulated fat in her body. “Stop eating shit food and burn more calories that u put in ur face and it will go,” he wrote. While Jessi engaged with the body shamer in the comments, he did not back down. So, Jessi decided on going a different way and dedicated a whole new post to her hater.
LOLOLOLOL this comment was left by a hater, on the cellulite photo I posted yesterday. This photo was taken this morning. Sorry dude, I didn’t realize I have cellulite because I’m just TOO FAT!! # Don’t worry though. Me and my “unnatural, unhealthy body fat” are just gonna be over here helping women understand that there is NOTHING wrong with cellulite (or anything else about their bodies!) and that trolls like you are ignorant and uneducated. # Also I’ll keep spinning my body as “none of your damn business.” Because, yeah. That. # Lolllll #boybye
Jessi’s followers just cannot stop lauding her awesome comeback for trolls. “Thank you, thank you, thank you for that incredible response! Respect jessi! You’re on a roll, don’t stop! We need more women like you. Oh yeah and by the way my body has given life to three amazing humans. That’s good thing,” wrote one commenter.
Ever since, Jessi has started focusing more on unconventional body-types as she posts more about her body fat and cellulite, promoting a healthy idea of what a human body should look like.
I post photos of my body on the internet. I purposefully take and share photos that aren’t “perfect,” posed, or presented for the male gaze. I do this because I am a body image coach, and it’s important to me that I practice what I preach. # A woman’s body is not here to be looked at, judged, compared, criticized, or even admired. A woman’s body is a vessel for life, and exists so that the woman can have a fully human experience. # When we get caught up in the cultural BS about what a woman’s body should or shouldn’t look like, and what she should or shouldn’t do with it, we are robbing ourselves and everyone else of that human experience. When we are afraid to fully inhabit our bodies, when we live in shame about what people see and think when they look at us, we don’t get to fully live. # My job is to help women learn how to inhabit their bodies without fear or shame. This is a concept so foreign to many women that I can only show them, by demonstrating in my own body. # I demonstrate that it is possible to *notice* cellulite without criticizing it. That you can *notice* weight gain without stressing about it. You can let your belly relax and be round without being embarrassed. You CAN observe your body without shame or fear. It IS possible. # Is it easy? Absolutely not. Is it fast? Not at all. But it’s possible. And that’s why I share photos like this one, of me working outside in a bikini, relaxed and natural. No hiding, no posing, no pretending, no shame. # This isn’t an invitation to tell me what I should do with my body, or to tell me what you think of it. Maybe you thought I looked better yesterday, or maybe you prefer a little relaxed tummy. That doesn’t matter to me. # This photo is for the women who have never relaxed their tummy in public, who can’t even imagine posting a photo like this without sucking their belly in, or sticking their chest out to make their boobs look perkier. This is for any woman who thinks it’s her job to create or maintain an appearance of “perfection,” and who is utterly exhausted by the process. This photo is for the women who want to feel comfortable in their bodies but genuinely aren’t sure if that’s even possible.
“I posted about my cellulite because I think it’s important that we normalize real bodies. # I got tons of comments and messages from women who told me they thought I was “brave” to post those photos, and that they could never have done something so scary. # Which is heart-breaking. # It has become so utterly unacceptable to have a normal human female body, that the thought of other people seeing our normalness or humanness is mortifying. # I know this isn’t anything new. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have posted a photo like that, either. # But as article after article was written about my post last week (and my clapback at the troll who tried to tell me my cellulite is unnatural and unhealthy) it kept ringing in my head that we are a culture in desperate need of more exposure to real bodies. # More non-sexual nudity. # More female human-ness. # I’m not just talking about “owning our flaws,” here, either. Because my cellulite is not a fucking FLAW. # Neither is my belly being round and soft instead of flat and flexed. In fact, none of any part of the human body is a fucking flaw. # It’s all perfect, and when seen through the right lens, it’s all beautiful. (Hint: that lens does not include our mainstream beauty standards.) # Ok I guess I’ll end my rant here, with a call to stop hiding the humanness of your body. # What would happen if you let the world see your belly be soft and round? # If you stopped trying to hide your dimples and rolls? # What if we all agreed to stop calling our humanness a “flaw,” or buying into the idea that we must somehow try to fix it?” -Excerpt from today’s #transparenttuesday email
Lesson: Love who you are folks. After all who would if you wouldn’t?
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