It’s way too easy to get caught up in body issues, especially with the prevalence of social media. While it can be inspiring to see people who show off the results of their hard work at the gym, it can also lead to doubt and discouragement when we can’t achieve it ourselves no matter how hard we try. But this fitness star proves that rolls and unflattering angles don’t negate true beauty.
One 16-year-old emailed her favorite Instagrammer, Anna Victoria, and told her that the perfect bodies she saw all over social media was weighing on her own self-esteem. Rather than ignore the email or send a vague response, Anna chose to publicly address the issue. She posted an ordinary picture with an extraordinary caption on her account and gained over 20K likes and over 500 comments overnight:
View this post on Instagram
Just a lounging selfie 🤗 no makeup or hair done, not posing (and no sticking out either). I'm not sharing this because I think I look bad, or because tummy rolls are bad, or because cellulite, messy hair or no makeup is bad. None of those things are bad or imperfect. They are NORMAL. – I'm sharing this because I just received an email from a 16 year old girl that said I am the only person she follows that actually made her feel good about herself. That even though she's not particularly unhappy with her body, that seeing endless perfect photos started to make herself compare, poke and prod at her own body. The impact social media has on young girls and their self-esteem is an issue I feel very strongly about and if me posting one casual, non-posing, non-done up photo can help a young girl (or man, or anyone of any age!) feel better about themselves, then I'm happy to put myself out there. – Some will look at this and say "what's the big deal?" If it doesn't resonate with you, that's ok. I just ask that you think of those who it does help before firing off with negativity because you don't "get" it. So when we live in a society that profits from your insecurities, be a rebel and LOVE yourself. Love your body at every angle and don't ever be ashamed of being human, of struggling, or hey, even of loving the crap out of yourself!! 🤗 We need more girls who are wildly confident and loving every bit of themselves and shouting it from the rooftops. Show young girls it's not only okay but necessary to be confident, strong young women, "flaws" and all. #fbggirls #realstagram www.annavictoria.com/guides
Anna’s photo shows her sitting in a typically unflattering photo, stomach rolls out, no makeup and undone hair. As the caption reads, she chose to post it because “None of those things are bad or imperfect. They are NORMAL.” Her intention is to show that those supposedly perfect bodies all have imperfections, but that confidence comes from accepting those flaws as normal and even good. Taking out makeup and hair, something that can be taken for granted in fitness photos, completes the naturalness of the post.
Although the fitness expert acknowledges that body issues can be found in any gender or age, she especially addresses younger women and girls. “So when we live in a society that profits from your insecurities,” Anna encourages, “be a rebel and LOVE yourself. Love your body at every angle and don’t ever be ashamed of being human, or struggling, or hey, even loving the crap out of yourself!!” Seriously, how inspiring is that!
She definitely walks the walk too. This isn’t the first instance where Anna has posted photos of herself to prove that her body isn’t carved out of marble. She sometimes posts photos of her bloated or eating foods that aren’t necessarily vegetables to show her followers to break down the unrealistic image social media often presents.
View this post on Instagram
Before and after…dinner!! 😝 While most of the time you only see the photo on the left, after my cheat meals I end up looking like the photo on the right 😁 I bloat very easily, even with eating healthy foods and I can go from lean to looking 4 months pregnant after one bad meal. I wanted to share this to show that bloating happens and it's nothing to be mad at yourself for, more people struggle with bloating than you realize. It's just that we don't normally see that side – so you're not alone! While bloating definitely can be a sign of food intolerances (which you should get checked out to be sure you don't have an actual intolerance or allergy), it also can be just that this is how your body reacts after a day's worth of food, like me. And no, I'm not pushing my stomach out in the after photo. Anytime I bloat like this, it's almost always gone by the morning or if I had more than one cheat meal and end up bloated for a few days, it always goes away after a few days of being back on track. Don't let a little bit of bloating derail you, it happens and can easily go away with consistent healthy eating, water, and not to mention a great workout 😊 #fbggirls #realtalk #foodbaby #realstagram www.annavictoria.com/guides
Because who doesn’t have a food baby every once in a while?
Even right before her wedding, Anna posted a photo showcasing her amazing bod and pasted it next to one of her sitting down. Though she felt she was at her peak in terms of her physical health, she still had body rolls when sitting down. But rather than ignore that fact, the fitness model openly embraces it and presents a more realistic idea of her body to her Instagram followers:
View this post on Instagram
You girls requested for me to share this after posting on snap last week 😊 Picture on the left was taken one day before the wedding and the picture on the right was taken… 2 minutes after! Someone recently said to me that we all have our good angles and we all have our bad angles, so why do we let our bad angles carry so much more weight than our good angles? If you focus on how bad you look in the bad angles, at least focus on how good you look in the good ones too!! 😄💁 Tag a friend if you found this helpful 💗 #fbggirls #loveyourself #realstagram www.annavictoria.com/guides
Anna’s body-positive approach makes for a truly healthy outlook on fitness and self-esteem. Her insistence on embracing, rather than rejecting or hating, the flaws society claims we should hate help break barriers for those who are less secure about the way they look. Anna uses her influence as a fitness model and health expert in a meaningful way, proving that she truly knows what it means to be inspiring. We hope that 16-year-old has more confidence in herself now.