While the online body positivity community is generally known for being inclusive and accepting, one Instagram user is speaking up how people in it can be critical of those who decide to change the way they look.
After she lost weight and underwent surgery to remove loose skin — 14 pounds of it, reportedly — body positivity activist Amanda Roberts took to Instagram to address criticism that she was contradicting the self-love movement by deciding to alter her appearance. “You can love yourself and change yourself at the same time,” she wrote. “Some [body positivity] community members shame those of us who decided to change our bodies for our health, or to just be more comfortable in our own skin. I’m here to tell you that you are allowed to do WHATEVER you want with your body, and still love it. It’s YOUR body, YOUR life- not anyone else’s.”
Roberts said that the important thing wasn’t what size she was; to her, body positivity meant that she’s learned to embrace her body and herself regardless of her appearance. “I loved myself at 330lbs on the left. I loved myself at 180lbs with loose skin. And I love myself now at 185lbs with my scars,” she concluded. “I decided to change myself BECAUSE I love myself. This [is] my journey, and I’m proud of it. I hope you are proud of whatever journey you are on, too.”
View on Instagram
Roberts’ followers immediately rallied behind her. “I love this,” one person commented. “I recently had weight loss surgery and struggled with the decision because of the messages some of my favorite [body positivity] activists were putting out there about losing weight.” Others pointed out that people can’t judge the path that anyone else is on. “You rocked it girl. I know it was a hard long journey. When people make comments..tell them to open their closet and clean it 1st,” another person said.
This isn’t the first time Roberts has talked about her ongoing transformation, both internal and external. “Remember to love yourself at every stage of your journey,” she wrote last week as she prepared for her final skin removal surgery. “Don’t wait until you reach your goals to start enjoying life- enjoy it NOW.” Roberts is absolutely right: Body positivity and self-love are about learning to appreciate where you are in the moment.
More on body positivity and self-love:
- Body-Positive Yogi Jessamyn Stanley Wants the Wellness Industry to Embrace Fat
- How This Cross-Eyed Makeup Artist Uses Instagram to Spread Self-Love
- Read Chrissy Metz’s Powerful Message to Her Teenage Self