This article has been Co-Written by Vanity Voux and Christopher Salute.
Cynthia (name changed) wakes up at least three times a week, ready to spend money on a photo shoot. She makes her living on the internet. Her shots may be provocative, but she’s not selling her body or adult content on social media. She’s posing in bikinis, dancing, sweating in a tube top, or showing her skin. Does she have more of it? You bet. Are her sensitive areas covered by clothing? You bet. Do swimsuit and other models show similar (or more provocative) poses on their Instagram accounts? Absolutely. But, Cynthia worries that, any day, her social media account can be deleted without warning. If Facebook Inc. comes upon her Instagram account and decides it’s too sexy, she can lose all of her content, her fans, and her business. What’s worse is that users can complain about their content, should they feel it’s inappropriate. This is great that we govern ourselves. but, it’s pretty crummy when you upset that wrong creep who won’t stop direct messaging you!
It is becoming increasingly hard being a plus size person on instagram. At any time, a bathing suit photo or something equally innocent could mean our profiles being shut down with no warning. Thinner models can be on beaches in bikinis. Bigger models can wear a crop top and we become a safety risk to Instagram and we become hidden (shadow banned) or deleted. Every post I make has me wondering if this will be the photo that gets me hidden from society. Too much stomach, too much leg, too much confidence. The amount of censoring Instagram wants from us vs thinner models is double standard. We are tired of it. We are fat, we are fabulous and we are here to stay no matter how many times we are pushed away!
We’re in the midst of writing a series of articles about the scrutiny that plus models and other media personalities face on social media. From as small as a 1000 follower up and coming model to as large (no pun intended) as Chrissy Metz, plus size community members are constantly being ridiculed. But, what’s worse is when their social media accounts (specifically Instagram) are deleted. We’ve interviewed some of the top Instagram models in the plus size community to discuss their feelings on account deletion. Some of them have gone on to label themselves “The Missfits of Instagram” and you can find their account HERE. First up, is Ashlee Renee, a body positive model with over 60,000 followers:
Bold Magazine: What do you think is the biggest issue Instagram has with plus size women?
Ashlee: I think IG just doesn’t want fat women in the mainstream. You can see tons of straight size women in thong bikinis or less but a fat woman cant get away with that. We get reported, suspended or worse. Bottom line society still isnt accepting of fat people.
Bold Magazine: Do you feel nervous whenever you post?
Ashlee: Yes, especially lately I am nervous to post anything showing skin. But I still do it, that’s who I am.
Bold Magazine: Do you think with enough voices, we can change Instagram’s policy on censoring plus size women?
Ashlee: That is a loaded question. I think its all beyond IG. Its about censorship in general and unfortunately the US has only started censoring more. (Ex. new FOSTA laws) I know we are not going anywhere, we will not stop posting ourselves, and we will demand IG to accept us. Will it change policies? Not sure but we won’t know unless we try!
Polka Dot Renee, another Plus Size Instagram model with nearly 70,000 followers also weighed in:
Bold Magazine: What do you think is the main cause for Instagram censoring women who aren’t “straight sizes”
Renee: We’re “pushing the limits” going against societies standards. Change is scary and we’re intimating [them].
Bold Magazine: What’s one thing you wish you could tell Instagram about bigger women and their bodies?
Renee: We need to be seen for the sake of the generations to come. So many young girls look to social media, TV, and magazines to see what’s “trending”…if all body types were available to be seen, no one would feel so different and out of place.
No, we didn’t just interview women with the names “Renee” somewhere in them! In fact, we saved the best for last…. Crystal McBootay was deleted at nearly 600,000 followers. She had her account deleted at 571,000 and is restarting it. She’s now back up to almost 25,000 followers and we are so angry that she has to work so hard to rebuild her page. You can follow her, HERE. And, check out what she has to say:
Bold Magazine: What do you think is one of the biggest issues with Instagram against bigger women?
Crystal: I feel that Instagram is trying to comply with the trolls of social media and instead of actually taking the time to look thru someone’s feed they choose to delete someone’s page, no real notification or questions asked.
Bold Magazine: What do you think can be done to make changes with plus size women being more accepted on social media?
Crystal: Making changes to social media is difficult especially when we are censored in what we can share or even say. I feel like women of the plus size community need to band together and make noise and show that we are beautiful and we belong here. Real life… I think the same.
Bold Magazine: What is your advice for other plus size women who want to be a part of the body positive movement?
Crystal: My advice to those wanting to put themselves out there is to continue the fight stay, strong, don’t let others dictate what you can and can’t do. There will come a day where all sizes are equal and considered beautiful.