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.
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?"
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.
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:
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.
"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."
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