Standing in her bedroom in front of a full-body mirror, Sara Petty snapped a few pictures of herself in a bikini. Loving her sexy look, she decided to share the selfies with her friends on Twitter. However, disgusted viewers suggested that she “shouldn’t be allowed” to wear the revealing swimsuit.
The college co-ed was feeling pretty confident in herself and her newfound independence after high school. However, it didn’t take long for her to learn that the drama doesn’t stop once you reach the age of a legal adult. She had hoped that her bikini selfie would garner a lot of attention on social media, but for a girl her size, it’s often all the wrong kind. However, that still didn’t stop her.
Before posting her bikini shot, Sara noticed a particular topic that was trending on Twitter that didn’t sit well with her. A popular topic of discussion being tweeted about was what a “200-pound woman” should never be seen wearing. Women around the Internet weighed in on the subject, all saying that anyone who weighs that much shouldn’t wear a bikini, alleging that it’s a sight that nobody wants or needs to see.
Sara, who said she weighs 219 pounds, took a screenshot of a handful of the negative tweets and posted them with a side-by-side picture of her in a bikini. When that tweet began racking up heaps of attention, she decided that her anti-shaming movement shouldn’t stop there.
Bikinis weren’t the only attire off limits for 200-pound women, Twitter users also had an issue with crop tops, leggings, and booty shorts. So, Sara put on these outfits and posted the same type of juxtaposed pictures of herself with the hateful comments. To her complete surprise, positive comments overwhelmingly replaced the negative ones, making the topic trend again, but this time with a better message.
“It was kind of scary because I knew I could possibly subject myself to a lot more body shaming and hate, but I knew there had to be some empowerment in being vulnerable and proving to myself that no one else’s opinion of my weight matters,” Sara said in an interview with Mic. She added that there is a stigma around the 200-pound weight mark, “as if it is some magic number that dictates when a woman can or can’t be attractive.”
She continued, “I’ve gotten my fair share of body-shamers and haters and the occasional crude sexual comment, but the responses have been overwhelmingly positive.” She concluded, “Girls have said I inspired them to wear what outfits they would have been scared to wear or that they felt more confident in their bodies after seeing the tweet.”
Despite the nature of some of the attire not being all that appropriate for a woman of any size to wear in certain circumstances (crop tops and booty shorts), Sara put the pieces on to prove a bigger point. One type of woman is not made more beautiful by making a woman of a different shape feel bad about how she looks. Society needs to change their perception of what’s attractive.
Having lived out her adolescence in an era of social media, where bullying is at a fever pitch, Sara Petty beat shamers at their own game. It’s confidence that makes a person beautiful, among other things that have nothing to do with weight. Bravo to this young woman for proving that what’s really unattractive is making fun of other people’s appearance.