Stella Boonshoft, a New York University co-ed, took a photograph of herself in her bra and panties and posted it on her Tumblr account, The Body Love Blog. I think that takes a lot of courage.
I don’t know too many women, even fit ones, who would be willing to take off their clothes and be so vulnerable to the world. But sometimes it takes one brave woman to inspire the rest of us to have the courage to follow suit.
The image of Stella BoonshoftÃ‚Â has sparked controversy about body image and traditional beauty, with some people (like myself) congratulating Boonshoft and calling her an inspiration while others say she is promoting obesity. I know her plight and I’d bet that she is shedding her clothing in a stand of liberation, much like I once did by blogging my weight. Yes, I did that. It was terrifying.
Was I trying to promote obesity? Of course not. I was freeing myself of the weight and shame of that damn number on the scale. You see, people who are over weight know they are overweight. If you can see that we are overweight, don’t you think that we can see that we are overweight?
But hiding behind baggy clothing, staying indoors and standing in the shadows of our own shame is not helpful to anyone. By blogging my weight, I was simply telling the world that yes, I am overweight but that doesn’t make me less awesome. It doesn’t make me less of a person. It doesn’t give society the right to make me feel sub par and I think that is what Ms. Boonshoft was doing, too.
As a woman who almost looks exactly like this in my own bikiniÃ‚Â and has battled with eating disorders andÃ‚Â body dysmorphic disorder, this photo gives me hope. I am inspired by this girl’s bravery and proud to know that there are young women out there who are trying to change not only the way society shames overweight people but how we shame ourselves.
I want to raise my daughters in a world where it’s okay to love yourself regardless of what you look like. No matter if you are fat, thin, tall or short; we should all be capable of loving ourselves for what we are and not loathing the things that we are not.
I love that there are young women like this who are willing to stand up against the oppression of society and risk everything to change the world. If you have never been the fat girl, the ugly girl, the unpopular girl, the nerd, the girl who was different, the girl with no boobs, the girl who was too tall, too thin or too small maybe this photo seems inconsequential, but for the rest of us, this girl is standing up for everything that is right.
Stella Boonshoft is the new kind of role model that I want for my little girls to have to turn to for inspiration; strong women of mind, body and soul. Our worth is not determined by the size of our jeans.
What do you think about this young girl exposing herself to show the world that we come in all shapes and sizes and we are all valuable to society and deserve love, especially self-love?
Photo Source: The Body Love Blog