Today, scrolling through Instagram at any given moment can do a lot of damage to one's confidence. With feeds filled with overly filtered models, with cheekbones and abs smoothed to perfection, it's hard not to compare yourself to these people, regardless of how you look. Now, one woman's photo is going viral because she's promised to keep it real and encourage her followers to love themselves as they are.
When fitness blogger Anna Victoria received a message from a 16-year-old fan telling her that her self-esteem has taken a toll from seeing "perfect" bodies on Instagram, Anna knew she had to do something. She posted a photo with no makeup, with no fancy hairdo, and definitely no filter to spread a message of self-love.
"I'm not sharing this because I think I look bad, or because tummy rolls are bad, or because cellulite, messy hair, or no makeup is bad. None of those things are bad or imperfect. They are NORMAL," she wrote on Instagram. "I'm sharing this because I just received an email from a 16-year-old girl that said I am the only person she follows that actually made her feel good about herself. That even though she's not particularly unhappy with her body, that seeing endless perfect photos started to make herself compare, poke, and prod at her own body."
Anna is making sure her fans see the real her by showing her "imperfections" and we are loving it. Her post has over 22,000 likes and nearly 600 comments in just three days. "The impact social media has on young girls and their self-esteem is an issue I feel very strongly about and if me posting one casual, non-posing, non-done-up photo can help a young girl (or man, or anyone of any age!) feel better about themselves, then I'm happy to put myself out there," she wrote.
Although many bloggers and Instagram models may not feel the same way about what we choose to share on social media, Anna asks her fans to be proud of themselves and love every inch of their bodies. "We need more girls who are wildly confident and loving every bit of themselves and shouting it from the rooftops," she closed her message. "Show young girls it's not only okay but necessary to be confident, strong young women, 'flaws' and all."
It's incredibly important for young girls to see photos like Anna's on social media, and it's not the first time she has opened up about what body positivity means to her. Keep reading to see some of Anna's other empowering Instagram posts that will make you want to look in the mirror and smile.