Instagram model hits back at body-shamers — and spreads messages of positivity

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/ Source: TODAY
By Lindsay Cohn

Body-positive Instagram model Noonie Regardless embraces her curves — as do her more than 52,000 followers.

On Aug. 1, the 19-year-old based in Glendale, Arizona, posted a beautiful photo of herself smiling while wearing a cropped tube top, along with an extended caption about learning to love her body.

"Growing up I use to be the skinniest," she wrote. "I ate so much but never would gain weight." But she started to "get bigger" when she entered the second grade. "I use to hate myself for how I looked," she said.

After trying diet pills and detox teas, she came to a realization: "Why are you trying to be someone you're not, why can't you accept who you are and love you," she wrote. "I finally found myself and I love who I have became."

It's a struggle many people can relate to, and fans flooded the comments section with words of encouragement and gratitude. “Rock it girl!! You look amazing,” wrote one person. “Mad props. You look great! Keep rocking your outfit!” commented another.

But not everyone on social media was so supportive.

When another Instagram page turned her pic into a cruel meme, she fired back — reposting the image on her account with a powerful message to body-shamers:

“No I don’t have the flat stomach to flex in a crop top/bralette but I have a muffin top to do so," she wrote. "I don’t know why people still body shame at this point."

"You don’t have to be skinny to rock a crop top or bralette," she continued. "To my ladies with (stomachs) wear whatever the hell you want and make every feel uncomfortable. As women we have to learn to build each other up instead of trying to break each other down. #stopbodyshaming.”

Regardless said her ultimate goal is to spread positivity and acceptance. “Nothing makes me happier than building people up,” she told TODAY Style. “I want everyone to learn that it's OK to be shaped differently or look a certain way. We shouldn't have to live up to society's messed up body or beauty ideals. People should feel nothing but love and happiness when it comes to themselves.”

Finally, she has a few more things to say to size-bashers: “Stop acting like donkeys. Stop trying to break others down. You may want to be the big bad wolf, but you definitely won't be blowing this piggy down.”

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