Fed up dealing with the insults of body-shamers online, New York journalist Laura Delarato is fighting back by taking the cruelest and lewdest remarks she’s received and turning them into thought-provoking art.
In a photo series she calls The Comments Project, Delarato collects the words of her attackers and pastes them onto pictures of her naked body — highlighting everything wrong with how so many people perceive plus-size women.
“The whole project started as a way to uncover the messages I would get on dating sites, as I couldn’t just be a woman looking to date,” Delarato told Allure. “I was constantly reduced to a fetish because I’m plus-size. As I kept making more wide-spread projects in my professional life, the comments and trolling amplified across social media.”
To further illustrate her point, Delarato published a visual project on Refinery29 exploring why plus-size women still aren’t considered “sexy” by mainstream society. Her work, while undoubtedly informative and empowering, continued to attract distasteful comments.
“No one is ever obligated to find you attractive. Stop it, already,” one person wrote.
“Fat will always be gross, because it’s unhealthy and unattractive,” another added. “No matter how much you push the idea that obese bodies are normal, healthy and flattering, reality says otherwise. You should be ashamed to try and push a disease as being sexy.”
Thankfully, other commenters weren’t afraid to put the bullies in their place.
“Sexy is a personal thing,” someone wrote. “While one person may not be attracted to plus size women another may only want that extra cushion and not feel any attraction toward thinner or athletic types. It’s ridiculous to try to make everyone buy into similar ideas of what is sexy. Variety in taste is what makes the world interesting!”
Rather than brush off the comments, Delarato decided to incorporate them into her photo series.
“The point of comments like these is to make me feel small and uncomfortable and like an object,” she told Refinery29. “That’s how we control women.”
“I didn’t want other people to think this is allowed,” she continued. “So I refuse to let this go unnoticed.”
Does this story resonate with you? Let us know by tweeting @YahooStyleCA!