Everyone is constantly preaching body positive when people are watching, but for some reason, in the age of social media, when we don’t know someone, we have this horrifying ability to dehumanize them. We don’t view them as people with emotions, self-esteem issues, and feelings. They become our play things. We drop a nasty comment and forget about it, completely forgetting that our words aren’t received by some internet bot who won’t be affected — it’s a real person on the other end of your insult, who then carries that with them for the rest of their day, week, or life.
Fitness blogger Cassey Ho has over two million followers on YouTube, and unfortunately, the more people who “know” you, the fewer people care about your feelings. One day, she got sick of it. She was tired of people telling her to “take her career seriously and lose weight.” She was tired of strangers violently attacking her appearance, and mostly, she was tired of taking it to heart and pretending it didn’t bother her. So she posted a Photoshopped image of her “perfect body” to her Instagram page, urging people to watch her video detailing how she got that body. This is what they saw.
She followed it up with the following message on her Instagram page.
Wow guys. The response on yesterday's post was moving, incredible, and shocking all at once. Thank you. I couldn't have asked for anything more. I'm happy that many of you clicked over to watch my short film when you saw my new "perfect" body. You experienced the most powerful video I have ever created. You saw me strip down my confidence and self esteem. You saw me raw. Hurt. And vulnerable. For those who haven't seen it yet, please click on the link in my bio. I wanted to post again because there was a weird phenomenon that happened when I posted this photoshopped picture. On the very same photo, I got some people praising me and others degrading me. What worries me is this: 1. That some people think this is real and that it should be "goals." 2. That some people still think it's not good enough. It's tough knowing what's real and what's not when magazine covers and music videos are photoshopped (yes, music videos), Instagram pics are photoshopped, and so many women are getting surgery. How are we to know what kind of beauty can be naturally achieved when everything around us is so deceiving? If you want to know what you can do to help stop body shaming, all I ask is that you share the video with at least 1 person. That's all. After countless days of shooting, weeks of editing, visual effects, and lots of hard work from a team of amazing people, my short film was turned into a reality. Thank you to James Chen, James Jou, and @smashboxcosmetics for helping me bring this to life. #madeatsmashbox I hope you guys liked it. I love you. Stay beautiful.