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'Happiness isn't a size': Woman responds to body-shaming comments

Body-positive blogger Megan Jayne Crabbe, who goes by Bodyposipanda on social media, isn't letting critics get in the way of her confidence.

The 24-year-old recently posted before and after photos of her from 2014 and now — with a twist.

"Wait so you just decided to RUIN your body?" Nah, I just stopped torturing myself every day for not fitting an image I was never supposed to be. · "But you look so much healthier to me before." That's funny, you looked so much more intelligent to me before you equated health with weight and forgot that mental health is health too. · "You could have stayed the same and loved your body, you didn't need to get fat." I could have stayed the same and spiralled back into the eating disorder that almost killed me when I was 15. I could have kept starving myself and obsessively working out for hours everyday but it never would have lead me to self love. No matter how much weight I lost there was always still something to hate. And sure, people don't NEED to gain weight to find their self love, this is just what my body needed to do to match up to my mental freedom. THIS IS MY HAPPY BODY. · "But surely you can't be happy looking like that now, I could never be happy in that body." I didn't think I could either, but as it turns out, happiness isn't a size. And I wasted far too many years believing that it was. Now I'm not going to stop letting people know that they deserve happiness exactly as they are. They deserve to live now, not 10 pounds from now. They deserve that mental freedom. So to every person reading this: I hope you get your freedom too, however it might look. I'll be cheering you on every step of the way. 💜💙💚🌈🌞 P.s. these are all comments I received on my last before/after picture, luckily for me, they just make me want to keep going even more 👊

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"Every day we're inundated with before and after weight loss pictures telling us that the way to be happy is by shrinking our bodies; I wanted to show people that happiness isn't a size," Crabbe told TODAY about what inspired her to post the images. "You don't have to spend your life chasing weight loss to feel beautiful, happy or worthy — you deserve to feel all of those things as you are."

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In the photo's caption, the blogger candidly explained that after years of struggling with an eating disorder, she has finally learned to love herself for who she is.

And a part of that acceptance meant confronting many of the negative comments that people posted on her last before and after photos. She decided to reply to some of these questions in her recent post.

"'Wait so you just decided to RUIN your body?' Nah, I just stopped torturing myself every day for not fitting an image I was never supposed to be," wrote Crabbe.

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In response to another commenter, she wrote: "I could have stayed the same and spiraled back into the eating disorder that almost killed me when I was 15. I could have kept starving myself and obsessively working out for hours every day but it never would have lead me to self love."

She continued, "No matter how much weight I lost there was always still something to hate. And sure, people don't NEED to gain weight to find their self love, this is just what my body needed to do to match up to my mental freedom. THIS IS MY HAPPY BODY."

I wanna take a minute to answer a question that I get asked a lot: how did I gain weight? Every day someone asks me this, usually they're naturally slim and since Kardashian curves are the new ideal, they think they need to gain weight to be beautiful. I've gained a hell of a lot of weight over the years, so here's my answer: I did not intentionally gain weight to have the body I have now. I didn't decide what size I wanted to be and then force myself into it. This is the body that recovery gave me. This is the body that being mentally free gave me. This is my happy body. When I post about loving it, I am NEVER saying that other people need to have a body like mine to be worthy of self love. Nobody in the body positive community is promoting a particular body type as the key to happiness. Whatever body type you have right now, you are worthy of self love. Me telling naturally thin people how to gain weight to fit an idea of beauty, is no different from me telling naturally bigger people how to lose weight to fit an idea of beauty. It's just not body positive. At all. Whatever body type you have when you're mentally free and at peace with food/exercise - that is your happy body. Whatever size or shape, including people who are just supposed to be thin. So no, I can't tell you what I did to gain weight. Because the only answer is that I found freedom and grew into the body that I was always supposed to have. Your body freedom will look different from mine. And it will be equally worthy of love, no matter what. 💜💙💚🌈🌞 P.s. to anyone currently in recovery from a restrictive eating disorder - THIS IS NOT ME TELLING YOU THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO GAIN WEIGHT. Remember, mental health is what counts here. And however recovery makes your body look, THAT is your happy body. You're worthy of love every step of the way, but you have to let your body heal however it needs to. All my love. ✨ P.s. a few of the bopo babes realised #thisismyhappybody NEEDS TO BE A THING! So let's make it a thing 😘

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Crabbe, who's been using social media as platform to spread body positivity for the past three years, said the reaction to her post has been mixed.

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"There's been a lot of love, but also a lot of hate," she said. "Thankfully the love has outweighed the hate, and the hate only reminds me how much work there is still left to do in making people realize that people of all sizes are valuable and deserve respect."

With each post on her account, the blogger hopes to inspire others on their journey to self-love.

"None of us exist for the purpose of dropping dress sizes or fitting the narrow image of beauty that's been presented to us as the ultimate goal," she said. "We're more than what our bodies look like."

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