Models start up body positive campaign after receiving backlash for Instagram photo
Sometimes the internet can be a bit too quick to judge. While it's always important to defend good values and criticise those who are doing something hurtful, it can really backfire if you are in the wrong. This was definitely the case when these two Australian models received backlash for a photo they uploaded onto Instagram.
The photo was of Kate Wasley and Georgia Gibbs, both models from Perth who have been friends for years. Commenters on Instagram accused Georgia of photoshopping the photo to make herself look thinner at the expense of her friend. The picture eventually went viral, which shocked the pair, who had done no such editing to the photo.
Georgia, a UK size 6, and Kate, a size 16, were both appalled by the response they got online. In a later comment Georgia explained that "the fact that a simple picture of two people together went so viral purely because of their body types shocked me".
They were both horrified by the implication that she would make that change, as the internet drew attention to their different body types without reason. "I was more concerned that rather than seeing a friendship people just saw two women and two different bodies," Georgia said, "My initial reaction was shock because I didn't expect people to be so negative about two women they didn't know".
Kate had similar views about the incident, and took offence both for what her friend was accused of and the way users drew attention to her body type. Speaking to UNILAD, she said:
"I was just shocked at how people came to that conclusion in the first place... It just really ignited a fire in me that something had to be done regarding body image and including different body types side by side on social media. I'm just representing myself and things that society labels as flaws".
Together, Kate and Georgia have now started a social campaign called 'any BODY' to change the way we look at and talk about women's bodies. The project, which has the tagline 'Love Any Body', was created to examine the comparisons women make to other women on social media, and bring some much needed reality into the world of Instagram models.
"Any BODY's aim is to change the way women look at perfectionism and the way society views beauty. One day we want Kate and I to share the same catwalk and for that to be 'normal'. Really, it just takes a second to look around you on the street and see that main stream marketing alienates a huge chunk of the population and that needs to change."
More than anything, the pair wants to show that health isn't just one thing, but can come in a variety of different sizes and shapes, and that you can be comfortable with yourself regardless of what societal beauty standards tell you.
If you want to read more on the subject, why not check out the mom who went viral by wearing a form-fitting dress she had "no business wearing".