Megan Jayne Crabbe is on a mission to make you love yourself in the age of filters.
On May 18, the body-positivity activist shared photos side by side of herself on Instagram. In one image, she is standing, and her abs are flat, while in the other she is sitting to accentuate her stomach rolls.
“WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT REAL BODIES LOOK LIKE ANYMORE,” Crabbe, 23, wrote. “Real as in RAW, unedited, unposed, unairbrushed, REAL. Bodies from all angles, not just the most ‘flattering' ones.”
She continued: “Our ideas about bodies are so warped that most people would praise the girl on the left and condemn the girl on the right, without realizing that we’re one and the same. Well, I’ve worked damn hard to love the body in both these pictures, and I won’t let the world paint my unique features as flaws to be fixed So this is my message to you – you are worthy of self love at any angle. You are beautiful posed or not.”
But Crabbe didn’t always have such a healthy relationship with her body. At the age of 14, she was diagnosed with anorexia. “At my lowest I weighed 65 pounds and was tube fed in a hospital,” the Essex, England–based care assistant tells Us Weekly. “I was trapped in a mental prison of calorie counting and exercise addiction.”
Though Crabbe says she recovered from the disease when she was 16, it wasn’t until two summers ago that she actually learned to love her shape. “I was browsing Instagram for my usual damaging fitspo and stumbled across an online community of body-positive babes unapologetically loving themselves,” she tells Us. “Before then I had never realized that there was an alternative to starvation diets and self-hatred.”
So she decided to pay it forward with her Instagram account and blog, bodyposipanda. “The messages from people in recovery from eating disorders are the ones that make my heart overflow, messages saying that because of me they ate today,” Crabbe says. “Knowing I’ve created something that helps those people makes everything I went through feel worth something.”
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