Friends wear matching bikinis to make an important point about body shaming.

A recent study from the University of New South Wales and Macquarie University found that spending 30 minutes a day on Instagram can make young women negatively fixate on their weight and appearance.

Instagram is even more damaging than unrealistic images found in advertisements or on television because the models appear to be living their everyday lives.

These images are easier to relate to which makes young women more like to compare themselves to the models, celebrities, and influencers on Instagram.


While looking at unrealistic imagery on Instagram can be damaging, being the target of body shamers for posting on the social media platform can be even more dangerous.

To make a point about how body shaming on Instagram not only affects people of size, but thinner people as well, two friends, Dani Austin and Sarah Tripp, have posed in identical bikinis to call attention to the issue.

Dani

Sarah

Social media influencer Dani Austin often often receives negative comments for being too thin. So her friend Sarah Tripp posted about the insults she receives.

“Because of her naturally thin figure she tells me she often sees comments like ‘she’s anorexic’, ‘looks like she needs to eat’, ‘look at those chicken legs”, etc. how sad is that?!” she wrote.

Influencer Sarah Tripp often receives negative, fatphobic comments, so Austin discussed them on her post.

“Because of her beautiful curvy figure, Sarah tells me that she receives so many mean comments that she’s ‘overweight’, ‘unhealthy’, or ‘a bad role model,’” she wrote. “

“It’s so rude and so ridiculous!” Austin continued. “I honestly can’t think of anyone who’s a better role model than Sarah. Her only goal is to help us ladies feel confident, SASSY, and love our bodies no matter the size!”

Austin concluded her posts with a positive message for anyone who has had to deal with body shaming on social media:

I’m sure we’ve all been hurt by something that was said about us or maybe we have a little voice inside our heads telling us we aren’t pretty, smart, or successful enough. Sarah and I believe that we are ALL so much more than what you see on the outside and the truth is, we don’t need the approval of others to find our self worth. The ultimate form of girl power is self-confidence. And even though that’s always a work in progress for most, it’s one of my top goals. Let’s all remember to love ourselves because empowered women empower women. Body shaming is never okay - let’s remember that love and kindness are never wasted!
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Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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