As winter draws to an end you may start thinking (or worrying) about where you stand on the bikini-ready spectrum. Thankfully, model Ashley Graham’s latest Instagram post is there to save you from any post-holiday dread, self-criticism or negativity by proving that a “beach bod” is just any body on the beach.
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Last week, Graham posted a photo of herself soaking up the sun while on vacation in the Philippines. But this wasn’t any ordinary snap of a beautiful woman stretched out in the sand or frolicking in the waves. Instead, Graham chose to raise awareness about body diversity by highlighting typically taboo aspects of her body: her cellulite and stretch marks.
“I workout. I do my best to eat well. I love the skin I’m in,” Graham writes in her caption. “And I’m not ashamed of a few lumps, bumps or cellulite.. and you shouldn’t be either.”
The 28-year-old has received more than 340,000 likes and 8,000 comments on her post, most of which are incredibly positive. But it’s no news that Graham is a self-love icon. In 2015 she starred in the SwimsuitsForAll campaign, making her the first plus-size model to appear in a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She also championed Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel and #PlusIsEqual campaigns, according to Pop Sugar.
Other celebs have recently taken to social media to share their “flaws” as well. Earlier this month, Chrissy Tegan posted a photo of her post-baby stretch marks on Twitter, captioned “Whatevs.” She also posted a photo of her “stretchies” back in 2015 to her Instagram.
Last year, Sleigh Bells front-woman Alexis Krauss dropped the mic when she posted a photo revealing her thighs.
My girl @sweatmoustache just published a @buzzfeed piece on her cellulite. I'm so proud of her bravery and her journey to accept her body and its imperfections. It doesn't matter how many mountains I climb or squats I do I can't get rid of mine. It's long been a source of embarrassment and frustration for me. I can't tell you how many times I've worn tights or pants on hot days or asked a photographer to only shoot me from my hips up. I know it's nothing to be ashamed of but without fail I crop my bare legs out of 99% of photos. So here's just one those of many photos where my thighs didn't get cropped. This photo is in solidarity with Chrissy and all the women ashamed of their legs out there because we've been conditioned to think that cellulite is gross and abnormal. So take a minute to read her piece and come to terms with your own insecurities and maybe next time you post a picture of yourself show off those hot legs!! 🔥🔥🔥#truthbeauty 📸 by @poonehghana And here's an excerpt from her piece: "....recently, I had an awakening and realized covering up my cellulite only perpetuates the idea that women should be ashamed of their bodies so I said, “Fuck it,” and decided to face my worst fear: putting my cellulite on blast for the world to see."
“It doesn’t matter how many mountains I climb or squats I do I can’t get rid of mine. It’s been a long source of embarrassment and frustration for me,” she writes. “This photo is in solidarity with Chrissy and all the women ashamed of their legs out there because we’ve been conditioned to think that cellulite is gross and abnormal.”
In fact, cellulite is extremely common, affecting nearly 90 percent of women at some point in their lives, according to Health. And while diet and exercise do play a role in cellulite development, so do genetics, hormones and body makeup, aka where you store excess fat. It affects women of all shapes and sizes, Shira Ein-Dor, owner of the American Cellulite Reduction Center in New York City, tells Health.
“I even treat Victoria’s Secret models,” she says. “They’re very lean, they work out and eat well, they do everything right, but they still have cellulite.”
There’s nothing like knowing a Victoria’s Secret model is just like us to boost one’s confidence. If you’re feeling down on your lumps, bumps and stretchies, take note from these women and try to recognize your “flaws” as natural parts of your body.
What Do YOU Think?
Do you have cellulite and/or stretch marks? Have you ever tried to get rid of them? How? Have your cellulite or stretch marks ever held you back from dressing a certain way or posting certain pictures? How do you deal with negative comments? Let us know in the comments section!