beauty

Finally, a celebrity shares a beach photo that actually looks real.

Images: Instagram

The photo you’re about to see will give you an uncontrollable urge to drop everything, pull on your swimsuit and hit the sand. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Like many – okay, basically all – Instagram users, Australian singer Casey Donovan couldn’t resist sharing a photo with her followers while hanging out at the beach earlier this week.

The best part? Unlike other celebrity beach shots, it wasn’t a carefully curated, artfully-posed, “Here I am gazing ponderously into the distance while my hair tumbles over my shoulders in professionally styled waves…” effort. It was just a genuine, spur-of-the-moment happy snap.

Here it is in full.

"I've never put up a full shot like that, ever," Casey, 26, told The Glow.

"I was at the beach the other day, and I've been going through this health kick and I was in a really happy place, and I said to my mate, 'Can you just take a picture?'

When she shared the photo on Instagram and Facebook, Casey also used the opportunity to share some words of wisdom from the one and only Ru Paul. "In the words of #RuPaul... Learn to love yourself, 'cause if you can't love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?" she captioned the image, adding hashtags like #bigbeautifulandsexy, #bighair and #plussizefashion.

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"I wanted to put it out there to promote happiness, I guess, just being comfortable in your own skin. I just thought I'd post it and see what happened," the singer-songwriter says.

Now, as anybody with a smartphone and a wifi connection knows all too well, social media can be an unpredictable environment. Even when you're sharing something among friends, there's no telling what kind of response a post will receive, whether it's a swimsuit photo or a passing thought.

Some more pics from Casey's Instagram account:

Imagine, then, what it's like when you have an audience of thousands viewing your photos. Unfortunately, some people out there love wielding the anonymity afforded by the internet, using it to say exactly what they think about a woman's appearance or body - regardless of how cruel or demeaning those thoughts happen to be.

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You see it all the time on Instagram - every celebrity from Beyonce to Lara Bingle cops this nastiness almost daily. Happily, however, the response to Casey's post has been "absolutely fantastic" and entirely positive.

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"I'm astounded at how nice everyone is - there hasn't been a bad comment, and usually I tend to get slammed," she says.

"I've had a few ladies say 'I wish I had your confidence', 'it gives me confidence', 'you look amazing' - really nice words ... The good outweighs the bad, it always does, and if someone does decide to write a negative comment I'll just kill them with kindness, as I do."

Casey says one of her biggest sources of confidence is her community of social media followers.

"People make me happy. I follow a lot of people on Instagram and other sites, and I just love watching their life and watching their story and seeing them being happy and proud and confident," she says.

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"I get most of that from the plus-size world, but also everyday people who ask me to follow them. It's a great thing to see other people happy - there's so much negativity in this world, it's just nice to see someone smiling and out there having fun."

When I spoke to her this morning, Casey was heading off to enjoy another day at the beach in Sydney - but she left me with this message for anyone reading.

"Be happy. Wake up, put a smile on your face, no matter how dull the day is - we all have those days. Surround yourself with positivity and learn to love yourself."

What makes you feel confident?

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