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.
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.
Last year, Sleigh Bells front-woman Alexis Krauss dropped the mic when she posted a photo revealing her thighs.
"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!