Megan Jayne Crabbe, a 24-year-old from Essex, England, runs a body-positive Instagram account called bodyposipanda. Recently, Crabbe posted a photo of herself from two years ago, “before (she) found body positivity,” alongside a more recent photo.
Crabbe’s mantra is all about embracing your happiest self, which she says is not necessarily your thinnest self. The before and after photo is meant to show how much happier Crabbe is now that she is more loving and accepting of her figure.
Naturally, it wasn’t long before trolls came along and attempted to ruin what would have been an otherwise inspiring Instagram post.
People actually had the nerve to ask Crabbe how she could possibly forsake her former skinny figure, and how she could possibly believe that she was more attractive after gaining weight.
Instead of stooping to the haters’ level, Crabbe simply posted a followup Instagram photo, and addressed the many criticisms that had been thrown her way.
Her caption reads:
“Wait so you just decided to RUIN your body?”
Nah, I just stopped torturing myself every day for not fitting an image I was never supposed to be.
“But you look so much healthier to me before.”
That’s funny, you looked so much more intelligent to me before you equated health with weight and forgot that mental health is health too.
“You could have stayed the same and loved your body, you didn’t need to get fat.”
I could have stayed the same and spiralled back into the eating disorder that almost killed me when I was 15. I could have kept starving myself and obsessively working out for hours everyday but it never would have lead me to self love. No matter how much weight I lost there was always still something to hate. And sure, people don’t NEED to gain weight to find their self love, this is just what my body needed to do to match up to my mental freedom. THIS IS MY HAPPY BODY.
“But surely you can’t be happy looking like that now, I could never be happy in that body.”
I didn’t think I could either, but as it turns out, happiness isn’t a size. And I wasted far too many years believing that it was. Now I’m not going to stop letting people know that they deserve happiness exactly as they are. They deserve to live now, not 10 pounds from now. They deserve that mental freedom. So to every person reading this: I hope you get your freedom too, however it might look. I’ll be cheering you on every step of the way.
P.s. these are all comments I received on my last before/after picture, luckily for me, they just make me want to keep going even more
Crabbe says that these sorts of comments are inevitable, as society has conditioned many people to assume that a six-pack is indicative of healthy lifestyle habits. In actuality, it’s not so simple.
“Most people would see the ‘before’ me – thinner, more toned – and assume that I was far healthier, when in reality I was utterly obsessed with losing weight and slipping back into an eating disorder that nearly killed me when I was 15,” Crabbe told BuzzFeed. “That level of obsession and self-hatred could never be healthy, no matter how it looks.”
Crabbe says that it’s important for everyone to understand that other bodies are not beholden to their imposed “standards,” and that she is working to combat the stigmas that are so often associated with not being “skinny.”
“There have been hundreds of hateful comments ranging from people telling me to go die to the classic health concern trolling that most body-positive accounts get,” she continues. “It casts their whole belief system of ‘thin equal always happy and thin equals always healthy’ into question, which I think is why they react so strongly … All those comments just prove how much work there is to do in combating fatphobia, healthism, and just plain teaching people that other people’s bodies aren’t theirs to dictate.”