A body positive influencer opened up this week about the “hurtful” backhanded compliments she receives on Instagram.
Elloise, 24, a customer service worker from Sydney, Australia, shares snaps of herself at the gym and encourages other women to love their bodies.
She started her social media account, @elloise_fit, as a weight loss page, but realised that even after losing 4st 7lb and going from 16st 8lb to 12st she was still unhappy.
Speaking to the Daily Star, the influencer – who has 17,500 followers – said: “I used to be 107kg & hated my body, so this page originally started as a weight loss page.
“I lost 30kg in about 1.5 years, but quickly realised that this still wasn’t enough – I had gotten to a ‘healthy’ weight, however, I became addicted to seeing the scales drop.”
Elloise decided to make a change to her mentality – and joined the body positive movement which promotes self-love and appreciation of all bodies.
She explained: “Over time, I realised that I was sick of looking at my body with disgust and working out because I hated the way that I looked in the mirror.
“I slowly became more confident in myself and learned to love all of me, whether that be physical or other aspects of myself.
“The more I posted about this, the more that my community resonated with my message.”
But, not every comment left on her posts has a positive effect.
Earlier this week, Elloise shared a post wearing a pretty pink bikini, but also highlighted a poster’s words that made her feel they were “repulsed” by her figure.
The comment said: “Love the confidence of being to wear that, I went to the gym in a crop top and leggings and I was not comfortable ‘cause my fat was showing.”
In the caption, Elloise addressed the fan.
She said: “Look, I understand that this was meant to be a kind comment, I really do. But the first thought that comes to my mind when I see this is: ‘this person is repulsed by the way that I look because my outfit shows my fat’.
“I’ve had a lot of comments about my body over the past few weeks (my fave was ‘you’re shaped like a crack pipe’ ), but for some reason, this was the one that really upset me.
“I know what my body looks like and am so grateful for everything that it does for me, but for a few days, all I could focus on were my flaws.”
Elloise continued: “This comment isn’t to be confused with the countless messages that I receive saying that I’ve empowered people to wear crop tops, tight clothing or matching sets at the gym.
“I love these messages and I’m so glad that more people are finding that confidence!
“The difference between those and the above comment is that this above commenter is projecting their insecurities on to me (and I’ll be honest, it hurts).”
Speaking to Daily Star, Elloise noted that she doesn’t really get “negative thoughts” about her own body much – but, like us all, has her bad days.
She said: “I’ve received a lot more negative comments lately as my account has grown. The straight up negative ones, such as ‘you’re so fat’ (I get this often) doesn’t phase me.
“Yeah, I’ve got some fat on me… so what? What’s your point? It’s the ones that are backhanded, mostly from women, that are a bit tougher to deal with.
“An example that I’ve had recently is someone saying that I’m so confident to wear a crop top with my fat showing and that this commenter could never do that.”
Elloise noted: “Why shouldn’t I be confident? Would this same person comment this on someone who was a size 6?
“It makes me so sad when these women project their insecurities on me, as I used to be in that same mindset and I know how tough it is.
“It breaks my heart that somebody can be so uncomfortable in their own skin that they have to bring other, more confident, women down with them.
“I remind myself of the positive influence that I have on so many women and that usually gets me out of that negative mindset.”
Now, Elloise continues to encourage women – and men – of all sizes and shapes to love their bodies and wear what makes them feel confident.
She said: “If you’ve got it, flaunt it! And by that I mean that we all have ‘it’, you’ve just got to find the confidence to match!
“If you like an outfit, then you should wear it with pride and don’t stand there trying to pick apart yourself in the mirror.
“I feel so freeing in a crop at the gym – I can’t imagine wearing a tank top anymore that hides my body (there’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what you like though!).
“Also, I look sexy in a crop top… why wouldn’t I wear one? I always get people telling me that I’m so confident, but I never understand why I shouldn’t be.
“I think that’s a key learning here— society has told us that we can’t be confident if we don’t live up to what society deems as the ‘perfect body’. Why are we letting society dictate what we can & can’t be?”
The influencer added: “Any time that someone messages me saying that my page has given them the confidence to wear a matching gym set, crop top or even just go to the gym absolutely makes my day.
"It’s so surreal that I’m seen as a role model for some of these women.
"My goal is to encourage people to be confident and love their body, so if I can even change one person’s perspective, then that’s the biggest highlight that I can achieve.."
In the comments of her page are thousands of women who Elloise has helped to feel more confident.
One fan said: “The way we look is the least interesting part of us!! Love you so much and so proud of everything you’re doing.”
“You’re amazing,” added another while a third said: “You’re an inspiration to us all.”
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