Amy Sheppard’s body image movement #kissmyfatass. Picture: Courier Mail
Amy Sheppard’s body image movement #kissmyfatass. Picture: Courier Mail

Why I posted my ‘fat ass’ on Instagram

"I've run out of content!"

I groaned and anxiously scrolled through my camera roll. I had critically assessed about 300 recent photos - all deemed totally unworthy for Instagram.

But one photo in particular caught my eye.

It was a photo of me in a bikini beside the pool, taken by my boyfriend. I loved everything about the shot except for one "BIG, DIMPLEY" thing - My "fat" ass.

My bum and thighs have always been something I've loathed. For many years, my bum has felt like it has its own separate entity to the rest of my body and my legs have never been thin, long, toned and tanned. Instead, I have been #blessed with stocky, pale, cellulite and spider vein-prone pins.

Amy Sheppard once hated photos of her butt and legs. Picture: Jason Bovino
Amy Sheppard once hated photos of her butt and legs. Picture: Jason Bovino

 

But now she shares them with pride. Pictures: Jason Bovino
But now she shares them with pride. Pictures: Jason Bovino

It's these very insecurities which were targeted by bullies before I was even 10 years old, and the same insecurities which had me Facetuning and filtering every "flaw" up until a few months ago.

As it turns out, I'm not the only one.

We are all plagued. Tormented with the pressure to measure up. The question on my mind is who exactly are we all trying to measure up to? Why do we feel the desire to manipulate our bodies, pout our lips and pretend that we are these flawless creatures with perfect lives? Who do we think we are?!

Of course, it's not entirely our fault.

Throughout the years we have been subjected to television and magazines feeding us perfectly curated images, fad diets and all sorts of unobtainable beauty standards, all in the name of consumerism.

We are who we are … and there’s nothing wrong with that. Picture: Jason Bovino
We are who we are … and there’s nothing wrong with that. Picture: Jason Bovino

Just when we thought it couldn't get any worse, Instagram came in like a tsunami and we all got swept up in the wave of posing, filtering, comparing and competing.

As I stared at my imperfect dimply bikini photo, I had a light bulb moment. We have the power!

Instagram is the new magazine and we are the publishers. Let's not make the same mistakes they did. Let's promote diversity and change the way we perceive flaws. Let us celebrate the reasons why we are unique, instead of celebrating the amount of flawlessness we can achieve in one photo.

With a new sense of pride, but also gritted teeth, I posted my "fat ass" out to my Instagram followers.

The response was overwhelming.

It quickly became my most liked photo and the messages of support came flooding in. It was then I realised just how powerful a post like this could be. Not only was I ridding myself of beauty standard pressures, I was also freeing other women … and even a few men.

It wasn't long before the hashtag #kissmyfatass was created and hundreds of people were joining me by posting unedited photos of their backsides. To me, that is what beauty is. People accepting their bodies as they are and recognising that their self-worth has absolutely no correlation to how much they weigh or what they look like.

Those who think otherwise can simply #kissmyfatass.

Amy Sheppard is an Australian musician and member of the band, Sheppard.

@amysheppardpie

Amy Sheppard is trying to encourage others to love their bodies. Picture: Jason Bovino
Amy Sheppard is trying to encourage others to love their bodies. Picture: Jason Bovino