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.
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,” 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."
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.
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.
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."
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