When 21-year-old Georgia Gibbs posted a photo with her best friend Kate Wasley at Sydney Harbour, she didn’t think anything of it.
But what followed was a “shocking” response from a number of commenters, who accused the model of photoshopping her size 16 friend.
“You have photoshopped yourself thinner or your friend bigger, what kind of friend are you?” read one of the comments.
“It broke my heart,” Gibbs said. “Kate and I are best friends, why would I do that?”
But the photo had gone viral, and while there were negative reactions, the response was overwhelmingly positive.
It was then that both Gibbs and Wasley had a light bulb moment. “The fact that a simple picture of two people together went so viral purely because of their body types shocked me,” said Gibbs.
So, the two decided to create AnyBODY, an Instagram account dedicated to fostering body positivity and challenging the size standards so many women believe in.
“People aren’t used to seeing girls of different sizes photographed together and being okay with it,” Gibbs told Daily Mail Australia.
“We all have imperfections and things we are insecure about, but we are all human and these things are normal and beautiful. They make us who we are.”
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Speaking to Mamamia about the early criticism the women received, Gibbs said, “AnyBODY is a body positive movement about embracing whether you are a 6, 16, above, below or in between and learning to love your individuality.”
“If we focused on the negatives (of which there has been very minimal compared to the support for movement we have received) we wouldn’t have started AnyBODY. It was born to challenge peoples opinions and get society to stop comparing one and another and love the skin you are in.”
Indeed, on a platform that can so often be dominated by one body type, it’s utterly refreshing to see two women refusing to ascribe a value judgment to a certain body shape.
The photos send a powerful message that neither Gibbs nor Wasley have a ‘better’ body than the other – they simply have two different bodies, because they’re two different people.