If you were to go through your Instagram feed right now, you'd probably see plenty of bikini shots. Whether it's a celeb swimsuit pic, or a photo of your fave blogger showing off her new two-piece, bikini 'Grams are inevitable during this time of year (and subject to plenty of likes).
However, for some reason, if a plus-size woman posts a bikini pic, it "violates" Instagram's community guidelines.
The proof? Blogger Aarti Olivia Dubey.
The Singaporean-Indian founder of Curves Become Her recently became the first plus-size person to write an article in a fashion magazine in Singapore. The post was for Cleo Magazine and with it came a swimsuit shoot starring Dubey.
FINALLY. I can share this with you lovelies! Here is the first page for my article in @cleo_singapore !! #Repost @effyourbeautystandards ・・・ So your admin here wrote an article for a local magazine in Singapore @cleo_singapore and it's the first time a plus size person has written an article in a local mag let alone had a photoshoot in it that too with her amazing body positive girlies @sapphiresplendour and @thecurvecult ! If you'd like to check this out online go ahead to Magzter and look out for Cleo Singapore's June Issue. I'll be posting more detailed images on my own account and FB page so feel free to check it out there as well! P.S: that's jumpy me at the right lol! I'm wearing the @gabifresh Swim Sexy two piece by @swimsuitsforall, Rani in the middle and Ratna at the left are wearing swimsuits from their store The Curve Cult! Cheers to my plus size lovelies 💪🏽 #plussize #southasian #igsg #plussizesg #fatshion #psblogger #singaporean #celebratemysize #losehatenotweight #fuckfatphobia #fatacceptance #bodypositive #bglubabes #fullfiguredfashion #plus_isamust #goldenconfidence #andigetdressed #tcfstyle #indian #woc #girllove
When the issue came out, Dubey posted a behind-the-scenes shot of herself and the other women featured in the shoot on Instagram, only to have it taken down, without much explanation.
"I went to bed content with the article and the overall positive response it garnered, and told myself it was time to look onward to the new week. I really underestimated the malicious power of fat shaming trolls though," Dubey wrote in a post on her blog, following the incident.
"When I awoke at 6 in the morning the next day and checked into Instagram, a screen popped up informing me that a post of mine was removed due to violation of community guidelines ... This was not some pornographic image, it was not filled with gore or violence, it did not do Anything save for be an image of 3 smiling fat chicks in swimwear that we can hardly term as ‘lewd’?"
But rather than admit defeat, Olivia decided to repost the same image, tagging Instagram and demanding an explanation.
"THIS is the image that was reported by fat shamers and trolls, and YOU deleted it," she captioned the photo. "HOW is this image being hateful, hurtful, abusive, trolling or obscene? Do 3 fat girls in swimsuits equate to gore, porn, racism, sexism? Or is it that people only want to see slim girls in swimsuits?"
@instagram THIS is the image that was reported by fat shamers and trolls, and YOU deleted it. HOW is this image being hateful, hurtful, abusive, trolling or obscene? Do 3 fat girls in swimsuits equate to gore, porn, racism, sexism? Or is it that people only want to see slim girls in swimsuits? IF this image is reported and deleted again, please trust that I WILL pursue this matter just like @rupikaur_ did when her image of lying in a period stain was removed. I am so disappointed and beyond livid right now. No Thanks to you and the people who had the gall to report this image, for making me feel so badly this Monday morning about my existence as a brown fat woman. My dear friends on social media, if you would like to help, please do so by reposting this image and sharing this post all over social media platforms, as many as you like. #bodypositive #celebratemysize #pizzasisters4lyfe #fuckfatphobia #losehatenotweight #nobodyshame #plussize #effyourbeautystandards #woc #intersectionalfeminism #fashionblogger #sizediversity #sgblogger #igsg #plussizesg #southasian #singaporean #girllove
She continued, "I am so disappointed and beyond livid right now. No Thanks to you and the people who had the gall to report this image, for making me feel so badly this Monday morning about my existence as a brown fat woman."
Dubey also posted another photo targeted towards the social media app, demanding an explanation as to why her "freedom of speech as a plus sized blogger to post an image that resonated with so many and for all my posts as a plus sized person that give hope to my followers" was taken down.
I was rudely awoken this morning to discover that the most recent image I posted to Instagram - an image of me and my 3 brown plus sized friends was reported and deleted. @instagram - there are accounts and images that have nudity, disturbing imagery, racism, sexism, hate and THIS is what gets deleted? I ask you, where is my freedom of speech as a plus sized blogger to post an image that resonated with so many and for all my posts as a plus sized person that give hope to my followers? Where is the justice in keeping terrible trolls and shamers and haters on the Internet while removing my image that is the antithesis of shaming or hating or trolling? What do you have as an explanation for this? Are you trying to tell me three brown fat women are more offensive than the muck and scum that you allow on IG? HOW IS THIS FAIR. #insta #instagram #nobodyshame #bodypositivity #fuckfatphobia #igsg #losehatenotweight #pizzasisters4lyfe #celebratemysize #plussize #fatshion #fullfigured #fatacceptance #woc #southasian
She also posted the "offending" image across various social media platforms, including Facebook, where her post received almost 2,500 shares.
Two weeks after the post was removed, Instagram sent Dubey what she refers to as a "silly excuse of an apology" via email, putting the original photo back up on Instagram:
Dear @instagram this is a little too late after I had to deal with all the bloody trolls and haters last week. It's almost TWO weeks. So I accept your apology Instagram but it does not change a thing. You have placed the image back but at what cost? Please remember that if this ever happens again, I assure you it will be a battle cry I will announce because You are answerable to ALL of my plus size friends for removing their images or accounts on Instagram or Facebook. Check your latent fatphobia. Check your guidelines and policies. Take better care of the people who use your services as a means of staying connected to oceans of people who just want to exist as people. Fat, brown, lgbt, disabled and many other intersections deserve RESPECT and not to be trolled by anonymous private accounts with no life. Sincerely, a fat brown woman. #plussize #woc #intersectionalfeminism #fatacceptance #psblogger #bodypositive #nobodyshame #losehatenotweight #fuckfatphobia #igsg #southasian #effyourbeautystandards
While Instagram said it was a mistake done by a staff member, Dubey "call[ed] bullshit."
"You cannot make so many ‘mistakes’ for so many plus size folks online – I see through that pathetic apology," she wrote on her blog.
So, to move on from the whole ordeal, Olivia decided to do her own photo shoot, starring herself in the same bikini she wore for the Cleo Magazine shoot.
And girl SLAYED.
my post for the @swimsuitsforall The Empress bikini designed by @gabifresh is live on the blog now. This was so much fun, took lots of awesome pictures the post is split in two parts. The first part is about the whole IG debacle with the removal of 'that' post. The second is me reclaiming the joy and jubilation that I deserve. Link is at the profile bio 💛 #igsg #southasian #psblogger #plussize #celebratemysize #effyourbeautystandards #goldenconfidence #plussizeswimwear #fatshion #fashionblogger #bodypositive #fuckfatphobia #losehatenotweight #nobodyshame #fatacceptance #intersectionalfeminism #woc #bopo #swimsuitsforall
"This is me, existing as a fat Indian girl in a stereotypically skinny Asian world," she captioned one photo. "I am more than my physical vessel. I am a writer, a daughter and wife, an animal lover and trained psychotherapist, a sister, an animal lover and music aficionado.
"You won't see me invading someone else's social space pointing fingers at what's wrong with them. It's called respect. It's also called empathy. Something I don't see being practised as often."
She concluded her blog post of the new shoot by writing, "The lesson here my dear friends, is that in a world where bodies like mine are still regarded with blind hate and faux-concern..there is only one way to get through the muck. And that is to rise above it, create ripples of change and move forward."