We’re all for seeing women of different sizes flaunt their bods on social media in support of body positivity. But one of the movement’s supporters is taking a bit of a different approach to showing how proud she is of her figure.
Lexie, a blogger and mental health and body positivity advocate, posted side-by-side photos of herself: In one, she wears a bra and leggings, and in the other, a long tunic top with leggings. Above the image in her skivvies, the caption reads, “Body positive.” Above the fully clothed picture, “Still body positive.”
Lexie says she felt compelled to create the post after receiving messages from people expressing their weariness of the dubious dynamic of revealing photos garnering more attention. “I want to let you know that you do not have to post more ‘revealing’ photos of yourself to participate in body positivity.” Lexie acknowledges that she has shared images of herself in more revealing fare, and that those images tend to get more likes and comments. She calls the phenomenon a “flaw in the system.”
“The ‘flaw in the system’ I’m speaking to isn’t around our bravery; it’s about putting so much of the focus on our bodies,” she wrote. “There can also be bravery in our words. There can be bravery found in the photo on the right if for years I was too scared to post a photo of my whole body.”
There’s this misconception that in order to be Body Positive, you must “bare it all” on social media. I choose to post more “vulnerable” photos of myself because I feel empowered to do so. To be honest, it took me some time to get to this place. I used to be terrified of posting even an unedited selfie of my face on my private Facebook page. It took me time to get more comfortable with this. And that is okay. I want to let you know that you do not have to post more “revealing” photos of yourself to participate in Body Positivity. I have noticed that my more “revealing” posts get way more exposure and likes and comments. I think that’s a flaw in the system; it is visual that we get drawn into quickly and we see it as brave to show our bodies as they are. I personally think it is brave. I have struggled with my body image for countless years and I know for myself that posting photos like the one on the left is brave for me. The “flaw in the system” I’m speaking to isn’t around our bravery; it’s about putting so much of the focus on our bodies. There can also be bravery in our words. There can be bravery found in the photo on the right if for years I was too scared to post a photo of my whole body. This is for the people who have messaged me about this dynamic in the community. This is for the people who feel disheartened because they feel like they cannot make as big of an impact without posting something they aren’t ready to share. You can inspire others fully dressed. You can inspire others half naked or naked. I think the flaw in the system isn’t ever going to go away, and that’s okay. I wanted to take some time here to acknowledge it though because I think it’s important. I may inspire you through me posting photos similar to the one on the left. I am also inspiring through my actions, my words, my story, my struggles, and my strength. You are enough as you are and I commend you if you post more “vulnerable” photos like I do. And I also commend you if you aren’t comfortable with doing so yet or at all. Come as you are and do what feels comfortable and empowering for you – not for others. ⭐️
A post shared by Lexie ✨ (@soworthsaving) on Apr 4, 2017 at 10:10am PDT
“You can inspire others fully dressed,” she wrote. “You can inspire others half naked or naked. I may inspire you through me posting photos similar to the one on the left. I am also inspiring through my actions, my words, my story, my struggles, and my strength.”
She continued: “You are enough as you are and I commend you if you post more ‘vulnerable’ photos like I do. And I also commend you if you aren’t comfortable with doing so yet or at all. Come as you are and do what feels comfortable and empowering for you — not for others.”
Commenters were grateful to Lexie for spreading her positive message. One commenter wrote: “Thank you for this, I’m very happy with my body, but I wear boys swim shorts when I swim because modesty is very important to me. For me, modesty is liberating, and I respect any women [loving] themselves, whether that’s openly or privately.”
Another added: “I can’t thank you enough for this post … I’ve been feeling as if I don’t belong here because I don’t, as you said, bear it all … You are truly an inspiration for me.”
Others elaborated on how the popularity of revealing body positive pictures has made them feel alienated from the community. “I tend to feel like I’m not really body positive because I don’t share revealing pictures of myself online,” another person wrote. “Not because I’m not comfortable with my body but because it doesn’t align with my beliefs. Anyways, I’m just really glad you said this because us modest girls/boys (for whatever reason) need to know that body positivity can be with clothes on as well.”
Lexie’s post reminds us to always challenge and critique schools of thought, even if they are rooted in something positive.
Read more from Yahoo Style + Beauty: