The greatest trick the media ever pulled was taking beauty out of the hands of women who weren't skinny and then convincing them it was not theirs in the first place. But from 2010 onwards, a new body positivity movement was ushered in. It was suddenly okay to flaunt a 'not-so-impressive' body that wasn't reed thin or waif-like, smooth or perfect in appearance.
The new body positivity movement saw women of all ages and backgrounds stand up against stifling beauty practices. It helped people see a more flawed, more 'imperfectly perfect' versions of female bodies that were more real than what had been portrayed so far.
One such game-changer who stood up against the oppressive rules of modeling is San Francisco-based body-positive Instagrammer Khrysty Ana.
In her recently published post on Instagram, Khrysty Ana reveals the struggle she underwent to become a thin model and the pressures she was put under to be 'perfect' in the eyes of those she was working with. The pictures reveal her stunning transformation and the caption encapsulates her struggle.
She wrote: "In 2013, I thought I wasn't small enough to be a fashion model and technically I have never been small enough. Even back then with all the dietary suffering and daily long hours at the gym I was at 37.5 hip sizes, a bit too thick."
The demands of her job took a toll on her mental health and she became susceptible to depression and self-loathing. Her caption read: "I did not care about my happiness nor mental health, it was all about getting the next gig. I found myself depressed going through identity crisis."
She allowed herself to take a bit of a break from the intense dieting and, as a result, gained some weight. Though she says her decision to lose weight exhausted her at first, eventually, it was the exhaustion that led her to the path of freedom from the negativity that was holding her down.
Eventually, she learned to stop judging herself and thought about what she was doing, which made her realize that it just wasn't worth it. Another post from her Instagram feed read: "Why? Why should we ever wreck ourselves? For career? parental approvals? romances? or fame? Why did I? Why would you ever?"
Now, she lives a life filled with self-love, and it shows in her photos. "Exhaustion was somehow freeing. Freeing from thoughts. Blank brained, I looked at this newer but older me. No more striking judgments. TRUST the NOWEST you, trust that this is deserving of all your love. It really does," the caption read.
Through her posts, KhrystyAna has helped women embrace their flaws and imperfections and love their bodies.
"Body positivity is within, it's for ALL. It's your attitude, your compassion, your love for humanity. Please don't bully each other for losing or gaining weight. One is part of the movement if one feels that they are - those who struggle with self-image and those who DONT struggle as much. Everyone deserves love and support to be themselves, don't be the bully and "body positive pretending," she said in another thoughtful post.
In a movement that is based on accepting one another for who they are not for how their bodies looked, KhrystyAna's words have helped women find their voice and forge a deep bond with their bodies that society tries so hard to cut, in a bid to spread body positivity among women for themselves and for each other, at large.
Way to go KhrystyAna. You're an inspiration!