When three body-positive activists get together, wonderful things happen.
This week, three major forces in the body positivity community, Megan Jayne Crabbe (you’ll probably know her as bodyposipanda), Melissa Gibson, and Anna O’Brien finally took their online friendship IRL, meeting up on Miami Beach, Metro reports
To celebrate finally meeting away from their screens, the trio spent the day on the beach, had fun, and shared group selfies to their hundreds of thousands of followers.
And they wore swimsuits. As most people do at the beach.
Some people took issue with this. They decided to leave some extremely unpleasant comments on the women’s Instagram posts, criticising their bodies and their choice to wear bikinis.
We’ve only been planning this forever, but it’s so nice to be together at last. Seriously thankful for these friendships body positivity has brought into my life. Here’s to the beginning of a week of bikinis, cute dog snuggles, drinks, and incessant dancing! #truelyglitterpanda #bodypositive #florida #plussize #plussizeswimwear #fatpositive #keywest
Thankfully, Megan, Melissa, and Anna have worked too hard on their body confidence to let some stupid comments bring them down.
Anna fired back against the fat-shaming with a series of photos, tackling everything from the criticism of their bodies to accusations of ‘glorifying obesity’.
It was glorious.
‘I just want you to know to achieve this photo I had to booty bounce a man to take siege of this balcony,’ Anna wrote in the caption of her selfie.
I just want you to know to achieve this photo I had to booty bounce a man to take siege of this balcony. Then I was art directed by the ocean sex goddess, @bodyposipanda. And the results sex on the mother effing boat life stick. Bow down. Your mermaid sea queen has arrived. #TruelyGlitterPanda for life. #plussize #keywest #snorkeling #ocean #imonaboat #boat #swimwear #fashion
‘Then I was art directed by the ocean sex goddess, @bodyposipanda. And the result’s sex on the mother effing boat life stick. Bow down. Your mermaid sea queen has arrived.’
Anna followed that up with a photo of herself and Melissa, inviting the critics to kiss their butts.
‘So this is for all the fat shaming comments about our bodies yesterday,’ she wrote. ‘Haters can kiss our swimsuit hungry booties. Peaches and beaches, people.’
Melissa, meanwhile, shared a selfie on the boat, giving a shoutout to those accusing her of promoting poor health.
‘Clearly I’m the only one on this boat having a good time,’ she wrote.
‘What can I say, glorifying obesity (aka existing, thriving, living in my fat body) is my jam.’
‘When I’m body-shamed, all I see is that that individual still buys into the lies we are taught and believe about bodies,’ Anna told Yahoo Style.
‘It isn’t my reality; in fact, it isn’t based in any truth. That takes the sting out of it and lets me see the pain and humanity in each of us.’
Megan added: ‘When people body-shame you, you are not actually the problem. Your body is not the problem.
@glitterandlazers saved the morning by offering me Gatorade first thing when I woke up. Checked our stories, not too many embarrassing moments. We danced the night away. And might have left with a few extra hats stolen off the heads of other people (one guess to figure out who did that). Overall yesterday was a pretty amazing day with these ladies. There truly is something about being surrounded by women who love themselves and celebrate each other. We are all looking forward to seeing you at our meetup this Saturday (August 5th at 4pm) at the Lost Weekend in Miami!!! Until then, be fabulous! @glitterandlazers and I are rocking our swimsuits from @aniniswim. #truelyglitterpanda #vacation #keywest #plussizefashion #bodypositive #bodypositivity #bopo #florida #girlstrip #fatbabe #plussizeswimwear
‘That person and their idea that other people’s bodies are theirs to comment on are the problems. You do not need their validation to feel like royalty.’
That’s a handy message to remember, really.
Even the most confident, successful, body positive people get nasty comments. A lot of nasty comments, in fact.
Women can create change are their own, but we are ultimately more powerful when we stand together. @yourstruelymelly, @bodyposipanda and I are very different people with very different skills. The author, the tech nerd and the academic united in activism and the hope that as a result of our fearlessness and fierceness more people will wake up at peace with their body. Support each other. Create the change we need by banding together versus tearing each other apart. #TruelyGlitterPanda #bodypositive #bebold #bethechange #inspiration #power #women #strongwomen #fearless #squadgoals
But that doesn’t put a dent in their self-worth. It doesn’t change the way they view themselves.
When the hate rolls in, they just love themselves harder.
That’s something we can all strive for – love for ourselves that doesn’t rely on approval from anyone else, especially not strangers trawling through Instagram finding someone’s body to bash.