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Woman fights body-shamers criticizing her plus-size swimsuit photo

Cailey Darling posted pictures of herself in a size 28 swimsuit to show "someone fat and happy and still standing" — despite hateful comments.
/ Source: TODAY

Cailey Darling does not suffer fools gladly.

Those in doubt need only check out her Instagram account, where the curvaceous blogger fired back at critics trying to body-shame her for posting a photo of herself in a revealing one-piece swimsuit.

She responded by posting another picture in the same size 28 bathing suit. And then another — and then several more for good measure.

With each photo, she delivered messages to critics and fans alike about accepting themselves and treating everyone with value.

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“Lumps on lumps on lumps,” she began on one of the posts. “I hope seeing someone fat and happy and still standing after hundreds of hateful comments and messages can help someone in their own journey to loving themselves and shedding other people's opinions of them.”

Darling, a 27-year-old blogger from Colorado, said her original posts of the swimsuit — a style from the GabiFresh for Swim Sexy collection — were intended to be informative, which is why she was forthcoming about her size and how the suit fit her specific proportions.

“Talking about sizing was important because I generally wear a larger size than the suit comes in. Plus, size options dwindle the larger the size, and sometimes I have to take a chance and buy something in a smaller size and cross my fingers that it will work," she told TODAY. "Luckily, this one did, so I was really excited to share it with my followers."

“I know firsthand how scary it can be to wear a swimsuit," she added, "so I really hoped that people of size could see a body like theirs rocking something sexy."

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Some commenters found it anything but, calling the images disgusting and in poor taste. They also accused her of promoting obesity and unhealthy lifestyles.

Darling said she continued posting photos of herself in the swimsuit because she normally posts several pictures of every outfit she wears anyway.

“Much more importantly, it was to show that any hateful thing said will not keep me from wearing the suit and posting the photos, so any hateful comment about it is really moot,” she said.

Darling also expanded the messages she wrote in the captions of her photos to address her fans along with her detractors.

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"I was seeing people start to attack each other in comments. People trying to defend me would attack other people's weight or looks and I am not here for that," she said. "I am not the type of person to bring appearance into an argument. Someone's weight or hair or skin does not have anything to do with their opinions or character."

In her latest swimsuit photo, posted Wednesday, Darling directly took on the top negative comments she has received, including those about her health or how she allegedly mistreats her body. She has also been criticized frequently for responding to internet trolls.

Darling said it’s important to address her critics as a way to inspire others like herself who might need a boost of courage or shot of confidence to stand up for themselves.

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“I learned to defend myself and love myself by watching other fat women defend themselves fiercely and be unapologetic about the space they take up in this world,” she said. “I hope that this experience shows that standing up for yourself is an option, and the expectation that you just have to ignore it isn't the only option. I hope it helps people who face this kind of bullying online or (in) real life to have a bit of back-pocket ammo to stand up for themselves.”

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