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Joy Thomas is a plus-size model and vlogger who recently married the love of her life. Like many brides, she shared some gorgeous shots from her special day on social media. Friends and family were quick to comment, congratulating her and her new husband, Andre Thomas, a Christian EDM DJ.
However, sprinkled between affirmative hashtags such as #goals, #babes, and #powercouple, trolls chimed in as well with hateful opinions about her body. “Out of all the positive and beautiful responses we received, at one point the negative responses seemed to outweigh the positive ones,” Joy, who opted for a fitted stretch jersey dress paired with a pearl choker, tells Yahoo Style.
Despite the fat shaming, Joy holds a, well, joyful outlook on the harassment.
“After realizing I can’t please everybody, and no matter what, they would’ve had something negative to say anyway, I’ve come to understand that they are unhappy with themselves,” she says. “Their standard of beauty is unrealistic. There are millions of beautiful women in the world who look just like me, and some people just hate to see that.”
A post shared by Joy Thomas (@virtuous.joy) on Jul 30, 2017 at 2:14pm PDT
She adds, “The ignorant people that constantly troll and try to hurt my feelings won’t go anywhere, but I will continue to rise above them.”
This mighty attitude comes mostly from her personal faith and confidence, but also from her partner’s love. The pair, who are both from and currently reside in St. Louis, first connected through their many mutual acquaintances on Facebook, first developing a friendship with each other, which eventually grew into a romance.
A post shared by Joy Thomas (@virtuous.joy) on Dec 25, 2016 at 2:34pm PST
When Andre proposed in December, it was a total surprise for Joy. A video of the engagement was shared on YouTube and has been viewed more than 200,000 times.
You are the one whom my soul loves and cherishes. I'm grateful that you are constantly pressing towards Christ. Though this journey is not and will not be easy, I can't imagine walking along side this life with anyone else. I believe in you. I believe in us. I love you all ways, always. Happy Valentine's Day❤️
A post shared by Joy Thomas (@virtuous.joy) on Feb 14, 2017 at 6:29pm PST
Internet fame has given Joy thick skin. Her advice to other women who find themselves being shamed on social media? Ignore it. “I know it’s easier said than done, but you are so beautiful and you matter,” she says. “Forget what the negative people have to say. They’re watching you because it’s something about you that stands out from the others. Embrace your flaws, love ALL of you, and walk with your head high knowing you have a purpose.”
Most helpfully, though, she says, “The block button is very handy as well.”
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