Stella Boonshoft is a New York University student who has made headlines worldwide after she posted a simple black and white photo of herself in a bikini online.
Stella is an ordinary unairbrushed probably size 14 woman with a tummy and some stretch marks. She doesn’t look like a Victoria’s Secret Angel. She doesn’t look like a film star. She looks like herself.
But this totally uncontroversial image has not gone unnoticed. It’s been published on the photography site Humans of New York and has since attracted hundreds of thousands of likes and tens of thousands of Facebook shares.
Some have labelled the image inspirational, others say that Stella is ‘promoting’ obesity.
In the wake of all of this controversy, Stella decided to give her own opinion of events on her awesome blog, The Body Love Blog. Here are some of the best bits:
On women’s bodies in the media:
WARNING: 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. Well I’m not going to stand for that. This is my body. Not yours. MINE. Meaning the choices I make about it, are none of your fucking business. Meaning my size, IS NONE OF YOUR F***ING BUSINESS.
On the people who cut her down:
This picture is for the strange man at my nanny’s church who told me my belly was too big when I was five.
This picture is for my horseback riding trainer telling me I was too fat when I was nine.
This picture is for the girl from summer camp who told me I’d be really pretty if I just lost a few pounds
On her own self-esteem, something that Stella admits to having struggled with throughout her life:
MOST OF ALL, this picture is for me. For the girl who hated her body so much she took extreme measures to try to change it. Who cried for hours over the fact she would never be thin. Who was teased and tormented and hurt just for being who she was.
Stella ends her blog by saying (in what we regard as a totally justified use of caps lock): “THIS IS MY BODY. DEAL WITH IT.”
What do you think of Stella’s photograph?