In The News
College Student Becomes Body Image Hero with Underwear Photo
A New York college student who started a blog on self-acceptance in order to help other young women deal with body image issues has become a viral hero – and not just because she’s trying to boost the self-esteem of others.
Stella Boonshoft, who writes The Body Love Blog and who has polycystic ovarian syndrome, put her curves on full display when she posted a photo of herself in her underwear on her Tumblr site. And here’s the best part:
She wrote, "My body must be a revolution," along with the photo. She captioned it, "Picture might be considered obscene because subject is not thin. And we all know that only skinny people can show their stomachs and celebrate themselves. I am not going to stand for that. This is my body, not yours. MINE." BRAVO STELLA!
"I think people are cruel because they are uncomfortable seeing an image of people who are not thin," said Boonshoft on the Today show. "I found that after so many years of struggling with my body image that really there was no way to justify the bullying as a child and as a teen."
Brandon Stanton, who appeared with Boonshoft on the Today, created the Humans of New York project, a collection of street portraits in the city. He initially took his own picture of Boonshoft clothed but later made a decision to use Boonshoft’s underwear shot, which she says mortified her at first.
"It took a lot of years of soul searching to decide this isn't right, and I finally came to a place where I was really happy with the way that I looked."
"I wanted to leave a message to the bullies who tormented me."
Her post has since become a cyberspace hit with more than 2.4 million views on Facebook. Plus, more than 80,000 people shared her photo from her Tumblr page.
It’s tough being a teenager today – the bullying, the misuse of technology, the pressure to be thin. I can only wish that my own daughter will have enough courage to embrace her body and to stand up to others who criticize her, no matter what she looks like, the way that Stella Boonshoft has done.