How A Hashtag Made Me Love My Body

We all do it. We all compare ourselves to others.  We don’t always mean to, but it’s there. That voice in the deep recesses of our minds that tell us that we aren’t good enough.

I struggled with body image most of my life.  Growing up as a size 12-16, which is deemed “plus size”, was difficult.  Society is constantly bombarded with images of unattainable, “perfect” bodies. We see them in magazines, tv and movies. And now, with the advances in technology, we see them almost 24/7 through our phones and tablets.

Ever since Instagram was created in 2010, millions of people have posted photos to the social media platform. According to statistics, Instagram has 55 million photos posted daily and 16 billion photos shared. (source: http://wersm.com/the-complete-history-of-instagram/ )

Due to this huge volume of posts, Instagram has made very detailed Terms and Services in order to ensure that the photos being shared do not violate human decency rules. The second term in the Basic Terms on Instagram’s own website clearly state that you may not post “nude” , “partially nude” or “sexually suggestive” videos or photos. It also states that any material that violates these terms will be taken down.

Despite the clarity and finality of the terms outlined on its own site, Instagram doesn’t remove a huge portion of photos that violate these basic conditions.

It wasn’t until 2014 that it became clear exactly which photos were being taken down  and which were not.

Plus size Youtuber, Meghan Tonjes, decided to emulated the numerous people posting butt shots online. She posted the photo of her underwear clad butt to Instagram and it was quickly removed. Instagram had flagged her photo for “pornography” , despite it just being one photo among thousands of others.

Tonjes quickly took to Youtube to post a video about the double standards of Instagram’s terms and conditions. She cited the thousands of models and celebrities that continuously violate the same conditions, yet are not being removed. The only difference being hers showed a curvy, plus size woman instead of the ‘ideal’ thin body. It opened many people’s eyes to the disturbing trend of erasing real body types from online representation.

Along with the video statement, Meghan Tonjes decided to protest using the hashtag “booty Revolution” across multiple social media platforms including Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook.

Fans from all across the world flocked to instagram to use the hashtag. The backlash caused Instagram to quickly reinstate Meghan Tonjes’ photo and issue an apology.

It has been 3 years since then, and Tonjes continues to post photo of her body using her hashtag to promote body positivity and encourage others.  There are currently over 13 thousand posts under the hashtag “Booty revolution”.

As a plus size woman, it is truly amazing to see so many images of ‘real’ body types online. I finally felt like my body wasn’t wrong for being different.

This movement did a lot for curvier woman embracing their natural bodies, but there is still a long way to go. What do you think needs to be done to promote body positivity on social media?

facebook  What does a hashtag and body image have in common? Read and share: https://algonquincollegesocialmedia.wordpress.com/2017/09/25/how-a-hashtag-made-me-love-my-body/

twitter  What does a hashtag and body image have in common? Read and share

https://twitter.com/Kit_Canuck

http://time.com/4459153/social-media-body-image/

http://www.cbc.ca/newsblogs/yourcommunity/2014/05/instagram-restores-plus-sized-bloggers-butt-selfie-with-an-apology.html

http://kernelmag.dailydot.com/issue-sections/features-issue-sections/12678/meghan-tonjes-butt-selfie/

 

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2 thoughts on “How A Hashtag Made Me Love My Body

  1. I didn’t realize that Instagram was so selective on what they took down and what they left up-but after this read it makes total sense! I hate how media feeds women’s minds as to what is over weight and what isn’t. I was told that media had commented that Rhianna had gained weight-well I checked out her photos and if she’s overweight then I’m in big trouble!

  2. KSEGMCL, I definitely didn’t realize the level of this double-standard! It’s really surprising to hear about, but like chrisser21, this now makes total sense. After reading your blog, I was really curious to see what other kinds of body positive posts would be out there and I thought you might like to see the list I found: https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/london-life/15-incredible-body-positive-people-to-follow-on-instagram-a3536116.html. It makes me happy to know that this is a movement that’s growing and that there are so many more people learning to love their bodies.

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