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Instagram Removed This Plus-Size Blogger’s Bikini Photo and She’s Livid

Plus-size blogger Aarti Olivia Dubey proudly posted a photo of herself and two friends wearing bikinis on Instagram on May 22. When she woke up the next day, she discovered that her picture had been removed from the platform. 

“It’s very clear that the image was flagged because people are still uncomfortable and hateful of fat bodies,” the writer and trained psychotherapist tells Us Weekly.

The 34-year-old — who lives in Singapore — responded to the removal of her pic by reposting the shot to the photo-sharing site with a message to Instagram and the trolls who had reported it as violating guidelines. “How is this image being hateful, hurtful, abusive, trolling or obscene?” she asked in her new caption on May 22. “Do three fat girls in swimsuits equate to gore, porn, racism, sexism? Or is it that people only want to see slim girls in swimsuits?”

Two weeks later, Instagram sent Dubey a letter of apology. “A member of our team accidentally removed something you posted on Instagram,” the letter stated. “This was a mistake, and we sincerely apologize for the error.”

Dubey wasn’t buying it. “Dear @instagram, this is a little too late after I had to deal with all the bloody trolls and hates last week,” she wrote alongside a screenshot of the note. “Check your latent fat phobia. Check your guidelines and policies. Take better care of the people who use your services as means of staying connected to oceans of people who just want to exist as people.”

Related: PHOTOS: Hottest Bikini Bodies of 2015

The pictures Dubey had posted were from a photo shoot from the June issue of CLEO magazine. In the piece, the Curves Become Her blogger — who once battled bulimia — wrote about her fear of wearing a bikini in public. “Despite being a self-proclaimed water baby, I only swam while on holiday overseas. I had been shamed by fellow patrons of public pools within earshot and vowed never to swim there again,” she revealed. 

Dubey tells Us she was nervous the night before the CLEO shoot. “I was apprehensive of the potential backlash for being plus-size and hearing the usual complaint of ‘glorifying unhealthiness,’” she says.

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But as she explained in the CLEO story, “Now I’ve simply stopped caring about what people have to say. What matters the most to me is that I have my life to live and so many more beauty standards to break.”

Dubey did another shoot on June 5 to celebrate herself after the backlash. 

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