The media has had a lot to say on women’s bodies over the years and it is only recently that we have witnessed the rise of anti- fat-shaming and body positive campaigns that encourage women to stop punishing themselves because they are not naturally slim.
The message that these campaigns aim to send out is that all women are beautiful regardless of their physical appearance. They seek to encourage women to love themselves, and each other, and stop them from trying to drastically change their physical appearance in a bid to fit with an idealized image that many have labelled as being unnatural.
Although this is an excellent step forward for society, it is proving problematic for those women who are naturally slim and it has paved the way for skinny-shaming as slender women receive criticism for their “skinny” and “unattainable” figures.
One of the women on the receiving end of this backlash is popular Instagram star (Instafamous) Sjana Earp who, unlike those criticizing her, does not seem to have missed the entire point of body positivity.
Earp — made famous by her amazing beach yoga poses — has over one million followers on her Instagram and regularly posts about body positivity and how each of us needs to accept our body regardless of our shape or size.
In the past, Earp has written that rather than using it as a tool for negativity, she seeks for her account to be a “place for kindness” that focuses on “empowering and accepting everyone” in the hope that it will encourage women everywhere to:
“[…] embrace their own form despite all the flaws and imperfections they see.”
Luckily, this is also the stance that Earp takes regarding her own body image and she has responded to those critics branding her “too skinny” and “gross” with a series of powerful and positive posts where she is unapologetic about her physical appearance.
In one of these posts Earp reminds us that we do not have to apologize for our appearance and writes:
“I am not going to apologise for posting an image of myself… I’m not going to shame my own body because other people don’t believe it is attractive or ‘normal’.”
Like the various forms of shaming that came before it, skinny-shaming is cruel and unnecessary. It is time that we took a leaf out of Earp’s book and embraced and accepted our own bodies, and those of others, rather than constantly judging and criticizing them.