Friday follow: @yourstruelymelly redefines what society thinks of body positivity

body positive feminism @yourstruelymelly instagram 2Haven’t heard of Instagram’s @yourstruelymelly? The account with over 90,000 followers is run by Melissa Gibson, a body positive feminist who is a part of a growing movement of people who are choosing to redefine what society thinks of them.

“Body positivity hasn’t always been a tenant of feminist movements and in many ways it still isn’t, but as someone who recognizes how body negativity has affected and oppressed women, it’s a necessary part of feminism,” Gibson told TheFeminismProject.com.

Gibson started the account in August 2014 and has since posted over 2,200 photos.

“For so long I felt disconnected from it and my body issues had created a lot of anxiety in my life.  It had stopped me from speaking up and going out into the world,” she says of life before she started @yourstruelymelly.

Gibson says she started to use her body in new and very visible ways, like dancing the night away at the bar. She was also inspired by other women on Instagram.

“I began to notice fat women online…Swimming, dancing, being loved, traveling, following their dreams, and looking cute doing it.  I was ready for that too.  So I posted my very first picture,” she said. “It was a full body picture, nothing special, just my outfit from that day, but for me that was huge.  It was saying, I am not going to hide or erase my body anymore.  I am going to be proud of it and who I am. That was the first time in my life that I had felt that way and I was 26 years old.”

Since then she has continued to post photos on a regular basis for her growing number of followers.

“As fat women, we put living life off until we think we are good enough.  I don’t buy into that.  That is not my reality and well, its not the reality of fat women and fat men.  We can live full lives now.  By showing that I don’t buy into that through my posts on Instagram, I am making a political statement.  I am saying I get to define my life, my body, and who I am.  That is powerful.”

See some of her best posts here.