This Instagram Star Is Calling out Haters for This Rare Form of Body Shaming

November 24th 2015

Laura Donovan

Instagram model Sjana Earp recently called out the people who thin-shame her on social media. It's no secret that many women endure body-shaming, but thin-shaming is less common (although no less harmful), so her remarks about the problems with it are significant and important.

The 20-year-old Australian model, who has one million Instagram followers, wrote in a post earlier this month that she is "so much more than a body" and that she loves her body no matter what the haters say.

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Earp wrote that her body is imperfect, but it's hers nonetheless:

"I am not defined by numbers OR by other [people's] opinions of me. My imperfect body helps me to move, travel, explore, play, and even hug people.. To me, that makes it beautiful ... We don't look at a landscape and [criticize] the shape of a valley or the size of a mountain do we? So why are we so quick to judge other natural things like the human figure?"

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She added that she wants her Instagram page to be "a place of love" and that she doesn't post images of herself to make others feel bad about their own bodies:

"I am not going to apologise for posting an image of myself.. I'm not going to shame my own body because other people don't believe it is attractive or 'normal.' I have never and will never suggest that other people should aspire to have my body. In fact, it's the opposite. Me posting an [image] which has my body in it is about celebrating the human form DESPITE the way it does or doesn't meet social expectations and standards."

She finished up the post by saying that she doesn't care what her critics have to say about her looks, as there's much more to her than meets the eye:

"[M]y value is not found in my appearance, but rather the ability to see through [someone's] exterior and understand their true worth is found in their character, their personality, their optimism, their resilience, their strength, their determination, their values, the way they see the world. To me, that is beautiful. Not being a certain weight, size or body shape. Just because i have a very slender frame does this mean I should shame my own body and others that are."

This post received 31,000 likes and lots of praise in the comments:

Sjana Earp Instagram comments

Though models such as Gigi Hadid and Chrissy Teigen have come forward about experience body-shaming and harassment from trolls, it's less common for models to talk about being thin-shamed. Last month, Spanish model Blanca Padilla made news for being among the few to speak out about this issue during an interview for Risto Mejide's show "Al Rincón."

"Sometimes people don't understand that it's as offensive to criticize someone for being underweight as it is for being overweight, especially when your job revolves around your image," Padilla said, according to a translation posted on a forum called TheFashionSpot.com. "I always think that one of the most important things you have to learn in this society is to accept yourself, and that’s very hard. Normal people have a lot of issues with this, and it’s the same for models because we actually work with our body and physical appearance."

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While it's unusual to see public figures come to bat for thin women, certain people still understand that thin-shaming isn't OK. In 2014, singer Meghan Trainor was heavily criticized for her song "All About That Bass," which encourages women to love their bodies no matter while simultaneously trashing "skinny bitches." As ATTN: previously noted, Trainor's tune was released more than a decade after the movie "Real Women Have Curves" debuted. This film also faced controversy for seeming to say that only curvy women are "real" women.

It's rude to comment on other people's bodies whether someone is skinny or heavy, but it's also unacceptable to thin-shame women because eating disorders are a deadly problem in this world. While some women are naturally thin, others might be suffering from eating disorders. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), up to 30 million people suffer from eating disorders (including anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating), which have the highest mortality rates of any mental illness. It's wrong to make fun of mental illness, and many choose not to recognize the fact that eating disorders fit under this umbrella.

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