There has been an outpouring of support for the body-positive movement across social media in recent years. Women and men alike have posted countless photos and inspiring quotes encouraging others to love the skin they're in. And body-positive blogger Megan Crabbe aims to do exactly that, despite haters who try to tell her to cover up her naked body.
Crabbe, who goes by @bodyposipanda on Instagram, is calling out people who have recently left negative comments on her bathing suit selfies -- people who insist she needs to "put some clothes on," and effectively miss the entire point of the body-positive movement.
"Everyone deserves to be celebrated and embrace their bodies exactly as they are," Crabbe tells Elite Daily. "If I could do that after years of eating disorders and yo-yo dieting, then they can, too."
Crabbe encourages women to feel gorgeous whether they are fully clothed or stripped down to nothing but their underwear.
To oppose the hyper-sexualization surrounding a woman's skin, Crabbe posts a variety of photos. One day she's striking a pose in a cutesy gingham romper embroidered with bright yellow lemons, and the next she's stripping down to nothing but lingerie, dancing shamelessly in front of the camera.
As soon as we take ownership of our bodies and show skin in a way that isn't catered for the male gaze, we're shamed for it. I would love for people to realize that nudity is not inherently sexual; our bodies in their most natural state do not exist just for other people's sexual needs. We can appreciate the beauty in bodies without having to sexualize them.
To be truly body-positive means to love and appreciate what's underneath the clothes you wear.
Whether you have voluptuous curves or a lean figure, stretch marks or bacne, or anything else in between, beauty begins at the root of personal acceptance, and every person deserves to be proud of, show off, and receive respect toward their body.
"Before-and-after pictures make us think that we're all 'befores,'" Crabbe told her followers in a video last March. "Happiness really isn't a size. You can be happy in the body you have."
Rather than tearing Crabbe down for being proud of her body and showing off her skin and curves, we should admire the powerful message she wants to spread to the world through her social media posts, and strive for the same self-confidence she has clearly mastered.
Despite this recent backlash, Crabbe says there has been an "incredibly positive" response toward her account.
She tells Elite Daily,
I think women in particular are just really f*cking sick of hating their bodies, and often my page is the first message they find telling them that actually, they don't have to. They don't have to spend any more time punishing themselves for how they look; they're allowed to be happy now, not 10 pounds from now.
And, perhaps most importantly, it's time to unlearn that flesh equals sex.
There is nothing shameful about your skin, and there is a huge difference between promiscuity and body positivity.
Society has grown accustomed to sexualizing nudity, or really any overexposure of skin, even though the two don't, and shouldn't, automatically be tied to one another.
It doesn't matter if a woman is fully clothed, in a bikini on the beach, or walking around the house in her underwear. Every woman and every body deserves the same amount of respect.