People just love telling plus-size women what they should and should not wear. "Bikinis just aren't for you!" some scream. "Crop tops are for ripped women only!" others insist. "Got a butt? Then booty shorts have got to go!" only the most foolish command. (Because, like, have you seen Beyoncé?).
One woman, Sara Petty, decided she'd had enough. It was time to fight back.
Petty, who has more than 14,000 followers on Twitter, searched terms like "200 pounds bikini" and "200 pounds leggings" on Twitter and created a collage of the tweets she found, alongside pictures of her in a bikini with a big smile strewn across her face.
Don't want a woman of a certain size rocking a crop top? Too bad.
Don't think a woman with curves should slip into a pair of booty shorts? Your loss.
The overall result? It's glorious.
"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," Petty told Mic. "There is such a stigma around 200 pounds, unfortunately, as if it is some magic number that dictates when a woman can or can't be attractive."
What she actually got in return (in addition to more than 46,000 retweets and 55,000 faves) is a wave of support from girls like her, who may weigh over 200 pounds or are just uncomfortable with how society may view their bodies.
"I've gotten my fair share of body-shamers and haters and the occasional crude sexual comment, but the responses have been overwhelmingly positive," Petty said. "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."
In addition to helping others, Petty inadvertently helped herself. "The post helped me become a little bit more OK with seeing that number on the scale, and I hoped that it would help other girls, too," Petty said. "I hope that my post moved us just one step closer to being a society where girls can wear what they please without being afraid of ridicule."
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