Disney star and actress Dove Cameron has responded to trolls online, after they criticised her for taking a racy bikini snap and posting it on Instagram. The 23-year-old posted a pic showing herself wearing a two-piece swimsuit, and many felt as though the image was too sexualised for someone with so many younger fans.
For example, one disgruntled Instagram user commented: "My cousin’s teenage daughter (she’s 13) is a fan of yours. Do you think this is appropriate for her? It’s one thing to pose in your bikini and be proud of your body (yeah you’re sexy)… But you’re posing and stroking your hair very provocatively on a bed. Considering your fanbase … Not appropriate. Go pose on the beach or something"
Cameron later took to Instagram with a clapback, posting an image of William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s 1879 nude portrait The Birth of Venus' Cameron captioned the pic: "The human body isn’t offensive y’all. stop objectifying women so hard that you convince yourself that something natural and beautiful could ever be something offensive. also let women define their own bodies & their relationship to their bodies for themselves. stop defining women’s bodies for said women. A body is not inherently sexual. It is beautiful and innocent."
She added: "Just Jto be clear to the thousands of people who RAN with this post because it upset them so much, no, I am not saying 'everyone should just run naked in the streets like animals and the world should be in total chaos.' I am simply encouraging the embracing of the human body, the removal of the stigma that it is evil, the comfortability and LOVE of ones OWN body, and yes, if it is appropriate, if we are alone or at home, knowing that nakedness isn’t wrong." Since then, more than 400,000 people have liked her post.
Dove Cameron is a significant supporter of the body positivity movement, owing to her own prior struggles with her self-image. In a recent interview with StyleCaster, she opened up about living with an eating disorder, stating: "I’ve never said this before, but I had such a bad case of anorexia. I was so badly down that hole. I was not eating for days sometimes. But it was because I thought I needed to be absolutely tiny to be loved. I genuinely thought I needed to be as skinny as I possibly could to be loved and appreciated and good enough."
She added: "I’ve worked really hard to maintain health and normality, and if someone wants to go on my Instagram and tell me that I am not as thin as I used to be, or I have a zit here, I don’t care about what that angry person has to say. What’s important is the freedom and the quality of my life. As long as my life is happy and healthy, so is my worldview."