For so many people, especially women, learning to love oneself can be a major trial. Our society stresses perfection and with the popularity of Instagram and rise of hateful comments, it can be hard to keep up with expectations beyond one’s own need for self-love.
Fitness blogger and model Emma O’Neill posts tons of bold photos, baring her body in bikinis and fitness gear, all in the hopes of proclaiming self-confidence and helping others stay healthy on their own terms. Recently, she took a break from her usual selfies and delicious food posts to post an unusual photo on her page.
A different kind of post tonight.. but an important one 😊 These are a small snippet of some of the comments I've received (from people I know and people I don't) bcos of my Instagram. I'm sure many other girls can relate. . Its funny isn't it, that people can decide what sort of person you are from a few pictures. How people can equate sharing photos of yourself or your body online as being utterly "self obsessed". I think that's dumb. If someone expresses a twinge of self confidence they're usually knocked. Yet the same people to judge will also tell you to be happy and love urself 🙄 The amount of times I've stressed + cried cos' I've heard from someone/read something about myself where people have called me names cos of my pictures and "the sort of things I post" is horrible. I've spent a lot of today very sad about it actually. But then I remembered: it doesn't matter. I can f*cking love myself!!!!! 😊 and no, not in a "im better than you" kind of way. I can love myself and I can love my body and my person and my sense of humour and my weird quirky personality traits. And so can you. Cos imagine going through life hating yourself. I'm someone who's always struggled with confidence and has had a lot of "bad days", like many people. So isn't it wonderful when we have days that are great? 😊 To feel confident enough to post a picture of your body, to wear a certain piece of clothing, to speak out in a group; it's bloody wonderful. Never bash someone for looking "confident" or "loving themselves" or being "obsessed with their ass" cos, a) you have no idea how they really feel, b) if they are: be happy for them, & c) maybe practice your own bit of self love and go get some fresh air or something 😄✨
“A different kind of post… but an important one,” O’Neill began.
O’Neill shared a mirror selfie and featured a few different comments that she’d received recently. Each comment was pretty tough, many of them making fun of her or calling her out for the nature of her photos.
“She’s kinda obsessed with her own ass,” one wrote. Another asked “how the hell” Instagram models and fitness professionals could show their bodies, particularly their butts in bikinis, and referred to them as “actually hoes.”
O’Neill made sure to point out that she’s not always secure, but that when she posts a photo it’s a demonstration of how far she’s come.
She admitted that she’s spent a lot of times “stressed” about how many things were said about her on social media, but said that in the end she remembered one thing: “It doesn’t matter.”
O’Neill encourages others practice what she does. “I can love myself and I can love my body and my person [sic] and my sense of humor and my weird quirky personality traits,” she said. “And so can you.”
As for advice to the haters, she had a few simple points but the most powerful were the last set of instructions.
“Maybe practice your own bit of self love and go get some fresh air or something.”
Amazing advice, Emma. In today’s critical world, don’t be the person trying to make women feel worse about themselves or hoping to mock their confidence. Instead, trying practicing your own. Maybe even snap a selfie.