After Playboy model Dani Mathers made headlines for body shaming a fellow gym-goer in the locker room, the fitness community had plenty to say about the ethics of snapping photos at the gym. While Mathers has since apologised, lost her gym membership, and become implicated in a subsequent lawsuit, the damage of her mean-spirited Snapchat was done the moment it hit the internet — women no longer felt entirely comfortable changing in their own gym locker rooms, unsure whether somebody would lampoon their bodies in what is supposed to be a safe, supportive space.
But instead of letting fear of violation and criticism cripple her, one woman turned Mathers's body shaming on its head, using it as a tool for spreading self-love and positivity. Christine Blackmon, 42, who runs a Facebook page called Delicate Flower, called out the controversial model directly in a post:
"Not all of us work out to be 'hot,' some of us work out simply to honour the bodies we were given," Blackmon wrote, sharing a censored image of her own body, celebrating its "bumps" and "lumps" for their own unique beauty. The mother of two then called on her followers to embrace their own imperfections, banishing the negativity of body shaming through images and personal stories about their own wonderful bodies. The post went viral, inspiring more than 1,900 people to comment with their own response with the hashtag #UnseeTHIS as a cheeky response to Mathers's initial Snapchat message.
Blackmon's empowering response to such negativity is an important reminder that, no matter what sort of adversity women might face, we have the power to change the conversation about beauty. Nobody has a "perfect" body, but we should celebrate why our bodies are perfect for us — we only get one of them!