Recovered anorexic turns advocate for positive body image
She is a 'recovered anorexic' and 'recovered self-loather'.
Now, @bodyposipanda may be one of the most body-confident persons on Instagram.
Known only as Megan, the 22-year-old has gained over 25,000 followers on her social media account since she started it over more than 18 months ago.
She also created a website where she tells of her struggles with anorexia nervosa and her road to recovery.
She hopes her story will inspire others with eating disorders to seek help.
On her website, Megan describes of 'a fleeting and intense friendship' that her teenage self had with the new girl in school in 2007.
"It was the kind of friendship you can only have in those early teenage years, desperately clinging on to each other like life rafts through the rough tides of puberty."
The girls were drawn to each other by their dissatisfaction with their bodies, spending most of their time together exercising and bingeing, worried that they "hadn't moved enough, hadn't burned enough calories".
Megan struggled with her eating disorder throughout her teenage years, and now inspires others to seek help to recover. PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/BODYPOSIPANDA
At that time, she didn't see the harm being done, or how toxic was.
She felt relieved to have found someone else to wallow in the 'new pits of self hatred' with.
Only after did she realise that they were both actually "coaching each other towards the eating disorders they were both teetering on the edge of".
After her friend moved away again, they lost touch and Megan "moved further into the depths of my eating disorder".
Now, after years of determination, willpower and a whole change in outlook, Megan has fully recovered and wants to help others with their struggles too.
In her website, she states that she wants to take a stand against a world that profits from teaching people to hate themselves and that "recovery is possible" for those struggling.
She also wants young women and teenage girls to stop comparing and torturing themselves to fit to the "whitewashed" and unhealthy and unrealistic body standards that is portrayed in the media.
Her Instagram is filled with photos of herself, posing confidently, sometimes in just cropped tops and underwear.
The images that she uploads are raw, revealing her curves, cellulite and "body rolls" and have received a lot of love and positive comments.
Megan has three rules for being body positive:
Change What You See — "Turn off the channels that only glorify one body type and close the pages that sell you whitewashed one dimensional ideals."
Get Feminist — "All genders experience body image issues... Your body doesn't exist for the viewing pleasure of other people, it exists so that you can live."
Make the Commitment — "You have the strength inside you already, to keep going. Because the bottom line is that you deserve to feel good about your body."
Megan is now a woman who is positive about her body image. PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/BODYPOSIPANDA
Recently, body positive activists have been creating headlines as they attempt to change the image of body standards in the fashion industry of "skinny is perfect".
At the New York Fashion Week from Sept 10-17, plus-sized model Ashley Graham, the first plus-sized model to be featured in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, wowed the crowd in her very own lingerie as she strutted down the catwalk.
Model/designer Ashley Graham walks down the runway in her own Lingere Collection during the Spring 2016 Style 360 on Sept 15 2015 in New York City. PHOTO: AFP
"I think young girls need to have role models who are curvy, who are talking about their cellulite, who are talking about their backsides, because a lot of people are not doing that," the 27-year-old told PEOPLE.
And then just before the kick-off of the London Fashion show a week later, there was a call by a UK Member of Parliament for a ban on underweight models at events in an effort to fight anorexia, which is said to have detrimental effects on mental health.
France and Spain have already passed laws preventing models with a BMI of less than 18 being hired and taking part in fashion shows. A normal healthy BMI range is between 18.5 and 24.9.
Sources: PEOPLE, Independent
Get The New Paper on your phone with the free TNP app. Download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store now