A New York student who posted a photo of her posing in her underwear says she had no idea it would spark a worldwide debate about body image.
Stella Boonshoft originally posted the photo on her Tumblr account along with a blog post saying the image may be viewed as “obscene” in a culture obsessed with images of slim women.
The image was reposted by New York photographer Brandon Stanton on the Humans of New York Facebook page and has since been shared 21,318 times and liked over 477,269 times.
“By putting it out there I was hoping that my message of acceptance would help other young girls who are struggling with body image,” Ms Boonshoft told the Huffington Post.
“I had no idea it would have this kind of effect.”
Ms Boonshoft said she refused to hide her body or feel embarrassed about her weight.
“If my big belly and fat arms and stretch marks and thick thighs offend you, then that’s okay. I’m not going to hide my body and my being to benefit your delicate sensitivities,” she said.
“This picture is for the strange man at my nanny’s church who told me my belly was too big when I was five.
“This picture is for my horseback riding trainer telling me I was too fat when I was nine.”
Ms Boonshoft wrote in later posts that her first instinct was to “burst into tears” when she saw her photo go viral on Facebook, gaining thousands of likes a minute.
In an email exchange with Boonshoft Mr Stanton also offered to delete the image, but the young blogger said she decided to keep it public in an effort to change ideas behind body image.
“I am doing what I’m doing in the hopes I can make a difference in a world that has so much cruelty,” she said.
“I hope I continue to gain strength from this experience, and get the chance to tell my story at a widespread level.”
This is the picture of Stella Bonshoft who posted today more information about her and her cause on loving your body. I thought it is worth of creating a different post.
Source: NineMSN, The Huffington Post, The Body Love Blog, Humans of New York