Imagine posting a photo of yourself in a swimsuit (and a super sexy one by GabiFresh's Swim Sexy collection, at that), only to be attacked by commenters saying you're unhealthy, "gross" and "should actually put on some cloths (sic)."
Most people would probably take offense at the negative response (understandably) and perhaps even take down the photo.
@gabifresh X @swimsuitsforall The Sovereign Suit. For reference, I wear a US size 28 with a 44DDD bra. I ordered a 24 D/DD. I had zero extra room in the bottom part but I had a good extra four to six inches of stretch in the top portion, and the cups are molded but not padded so it fit my girls in there with ease. I love this suit. Keep in mind the straight size version of this suit runs small! #me #fat #fatshion #fatshionista #fatbabe #fatvanity #fatfashion #fatgirlscan #fatkini #plussize #plussizefashion #plussizeblogger #psblogger #psootd #bopo #bodyposi #bodypositive #selfacceptance #s4asuitsme #bodypositivity #selflove #alternativecurves yeaaaahhh this isn't the best pic but the wind got me in most of my pics anyway.
However, style blogger Cailey Darling did the exact opposite, and instead, responded to the trolls by posting even more photos of herself in the swimsuit, along with a powerful message regarding body shaming.
Once I started actively trying not to judge others based on appearances, I slowly started to see beauty in the people around me. Soon enough, I could look at a body like mine and see beauty where society told me I wouldn't find it. It took a long time to apply those concepts to my own body. It started with letting go of judgement of others. I hope you notice in my arguments that I try very hard not to bring appearances into an argument because I believe if you're making fun of someone's weight, clothes, teeth, makeup, hair, etc., then you have run out of material and you do not have anything to argue about anymore. If you're bringing someone down for appearances during an argument, then you've lost the argument. To put it plainly, I do not condone any body shaming at all, ever, even if it is to defend me. If you shame someone's appearance in response to them shaming mine, then you're not on my side. That isn't to say I don't defend myself. I do. I will continue to do so, because I learned to defend myself in real life by watching other fat women stand up for themselves in arguments online. It seems small, but I've gotten dozens of messages thanking me for actually responding because it helps them learn to defend themselves against their own bullying. I will attack their logic, opinions, poopy personality, rudeness, nastiness, self-loathing, or hatred, but never their appearance. I am here to change minds about bodies, not to shame any other types of bodies.
“Once I started actively trying not to judge others based on appearances, I slowly started to see beauty in the people around me,” she captioned one of her photos. “Soon enough, I could look at a body like mine and see beauty where society told me I wouldn’t find it.”
The 27-year-old blogger wrote on another post, "Trolls can go ahead and see I've posted myself in this suit three times before and your hatred for my body or my health for whatever reason will not keep me from posting, wearing the suit, eating, or living my life unapologetically so your comment does nothing but waste your time."
lumps on lumps on lumps. The @gabifresh X @swimsuitsforall The Sovereign Suit. ✨👙✨👙✨👙✨👙✨👙✨ 👙✨👙✨👙✨👙✨. I hope seeing someone fat and happy and still standing after hundreds of hateful comments and messages can help someone in their own journey to loving themselves and shedding other people's opinions of them. 🔹🔹🔹 Trolls can go ahead and see I've posted myself in this suit three times before and your hatred for my body or my health for whatever reason will not keep me from posting, wearing the suit, eating, or living my life unapologetically so your comment does nothing but waste your time. I mean go ahead and make fun of me though, because I am sure if instagram had a cap on how many people you can block, I would have met it by now.
Darling tells HuffPost she posted more photos in order to prove that the hateful comments don't affect her. And she has no plans of backing down.
"I want people to see me still standing and believing I am beautiful even though people tell me I’m not," she said.
Not all the comments on Cailey's post were negative, however. Many people were quick to praise the blogger for sharing her message, with one person even drawing fan art of Darling in her swimsuit.
Since there is a DailyMail article about me floating around highlighting some of the harsher things said to me while wearing this suit, I wanted to highlight the most AMAZING thing that happened because of this suit! This amazing drawing by @doublechindollface!!! Look how cute! I love it so much. Jellyfish are my favorite animal and seeing this makes me so happy. The love and support and amazing messages and comments all mean everything to me. The hateful comments mean nothing. I don't reply to hateful comments to try and change the minds of the person i'm arguing with. I reply so that other people who face this kind of crap online or in real life can have a bit of back pocket ammo if they don't know what to say or how to defend themselves. #bodypositive #art #drawing #painting #watercolor #fatpositive #fatacceptance #selfacceptance
And according to the Colorado-based blogger, the positive words of encouragement are what keep her going.
"The love and support and amazing messages and comments all mean everything to me. The hateful comments mean nothing," she wrote. "I don't reply to hateful comments to try and change the minds of the person i'm arguing with. I reply so that other people who face this kind of crap online or in real life can have a bit of back pocket ammo if they don't know what to say or how to defend themselves."
Since posting the photos a week ago, Cailey has received plenty of news coverage for her responses to fat shaming and hateful comments. Following the media attention, she took to Instagram, yet again, to post seven of the most frequent hateful comments and her explanations for them.
With the recent news coverage of my responses to fat shaming and hateful comments, as you can imagine it has brought a lot of amazing support and encouragement, but with it comes a lot of undesired attention, and the same comments over and over SO!!! Seven of the most frequent comments from people who do not support me and my explanations for them. Continued in comments. 1. 'But it's unhealthy!' - Any feelings you have about my health reveal your prejudices against fat people. Health is does not determine whether or a not a person can wear a swimsuit, shorts, a crop top, or lingerie. Health is not a requirement to have an instagram. Respect is not contingent upon health status. Health cannot be determined by body size, and if you think it can, or that it at all factors into how much you respect another human being, then I don't want you in my spaces. 2. 'if you really loved your body, you would treat it right.' - You can't tell how I treat my body from an instagram photo. Your prejudices against fat people are making you think that you can. Refer to the first answer. 3. 'You're clearly not confident because if you were, you wouldn't respond to troll comments.' - Why should I just sit back and take abuse? What does defending myself have to do with confidence? I am happy with my life, I love my body. That does NOT mean I like to be made fun of or that I will take shitty comments lying down. 4. 'You're a coward for blocking people and if you were actually confident you wouldn't do it.' -Um. no. I will not take hatefulness and I will not allow open access to my page for people who have shitty things to say about me. We are fortunate enough to live in an age where it is pretty easy to forcefully end contact with undesirable people. I'm going to take advantage of it.
She concluded her post with, "The day that I can post a photo in a swimsuit without it being construed as some antagonistic statement is the day I will stop addressing the shaming I endure for simply living in a fat body that I don't hate."
Also on HuffPost