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'It's more beautiful just to be yourself' Woman shares inspirational body confidence photos

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Woman shares weight gain photos
Even today, it can still feel like there's a huge amount of pressure for women to look a certain way.

But now one woman, who previously suffered from anorexia, has been praised on Instagram for encouraging others to embrace their bodies.

Megan Jayne Crabbe, 23, from Essex, posted a series of inspirational photos on Instagram to show women they shouldn't feel the need to look a certain way.

In one post, Megan shared a before and after picture, showing her weight gain and admitted to preferring her new, curvier look.

I think that one of these pictures is more beautiful than the other. But it's not the one you think. One would be called curvy, the other fat. One looks like a 'before', the other looks like an 'after'. One will inspire people to tell me that I'm unhealthy, unworthy, unlovable. The other will be praised, admired, desired. And even though I've spent my life believing that the version of me on the left is more valuable than the version on the right, I've changed my mind now. I think it's more beautiful just to be yourself. Because the picture on the left was taken with all the pressures of what a 'perfect' body should look like in mind. The body is posed. The face is polished. The angle is unnatural. And while both these pictures are me, I don't see myself in the picture on the left. I see everything our culture wants me to be. And I still don't quite measure up. In the picture on the right, I am relaxed. I am content. I am celebrating all the parts of myself I've been taught to be ashamed of for my whole life. The rolls on my stomach, the cellulite dotting my thighs, my face bare and my mind free from what anybody else wants me to be. And that freedom is beautiful. More beautiful than a perfect pose or a flattering angle could ever be. It's the kind of beauty that's in us all, exactly as we are. If only we could learn how to see ourselves clearly. ð’ð’ð’ðð

A photo posted by Megan Jayne Crabbe ð¼ (@bodyposipanda) on


'I think that one of these pictures is more beautiful than the other. But it's not the one you think,' she said.

'One would be called curvy, the other fat. One looks like a 'before', the other looks like an 'after'. One will inspire people to tell me that I'm unhealthy, unworthy, unlovable. The other will be praised, admired, desired. And even though I've spent my life believing that the version of me on the left is more valuable than the version on the right, I've changed my mind now. I think it's more beautiful just to be yourself.'

Megan added that the picture on the left 'was taken with all the pressures of what a "perfect" body should look like in mind'.

Criticising society for telling women they should all aim to look like the image on the left, she said: 'And while both these pictures are me, I don't see myself in the picture on the left. I see everything our culture wants me to be. And I still don't quite measure up.'

I get asked a lot what the one message I want to send to people everywhere who hate their bodies is. The answer is that I want them to know that this isn't their fault. How you feel about your body isn't your fault. You didn't ask to live in a world that profits from our insecurities. You didn't sign up to seeing thousands of images everyday of photoshopped, unattainable bodies that make your own seem so flawed. You didn't request to be bombarded with diet culture and fatphobia as soon as you were old enough to take in the world. You had no idea that our culture would make you feel so worthless for nothing more than how your body looks. You do not hold the blame for your body image issues. This is bigger than you, this is bigger than all of us. These aren't ideas that you made up yourself and decided to torment yourself with. How you feel is how you've been taught to feel. You are not the problem, the way our culture treats bodies is the problem. So please, you have to stop blaming yourself. Once you do that, then we can really get to work dismantling the bullshit, and getting you the self love you've always deserved. None of it is your fault, my love. ð’ð’ð’ðð

A photo posted by Megan Jayne Crabbe ð¼ (@bodyposipanda) on


Instead, Megan says she feels more 'relaxed' and 'content' with her new body: 'I am celebrating all the parts of myself I've been taught to be ashamed of for my whole life. The rolls on my stomach, the cellulite dotting my thighs, my face bare and my mind free from what anybody else wants me to be. And that freedom is beautiful.'

Megan previously suffered from anorexia, and at one point weighed just over four and a half stone. She said: 'I used to believe that losing weight was the most important thing in the world. I used to believe that there was no such thing as going too far, getting too thin, losing too much.'

However, after losing and gaining weight, she realised that obsessing over her weight and body image did not make her happy.

'Now I know that no matter how much extra jiggle might come along, nothing important about me will have changed. I'll still have the same heart, the same mind, the same passion, the same love'.

Do you wanna know the truth about gaining weight? Because I've done a whole lot of it. I used to believe that my life would end over a couple of extra pounds on the scale. I used to believe that losing weight was the most important thing in the world. I used to believe that there was no such thing as going too far, getting too thin, losing too much. Then I nearly lost my life. There were only two options left: gain weight, or die. So I gained weight. More and more. Anorexia morphed into binge eating disorder and within a year I'd gone from 65lbs lying on my death bed to 180lbs, right back to self loathing and wanting to lose weight more than anything in the world. I lost and gained hundreds of pounds over the years. I'd clawed my way back from the edge and still I believed that happiness could be found in the dropping numbers on a bathroom scale. Until I realised that no weight loss had ever made me happy. No amount of disappeared pounds had made me stop hating my body. And chasing thinness had made me lose much more than weight - I'd lost myself. Now I know that no matter how much extra jiggle might come along, nothing important about me will have changed. I'll still have the same heart, the same mind, the same passion, the same love. The scale will never be able to tell me anything about myself that truly matters. It doesn't have the power to define me - only I do. And I refuse to keep chasing that empty promise of happiness granted through restriction and self hatred. I'll take my happiness right now. We are all so worthy of it, exactly as we are. Don't be afraid of gaining weight, my love. There's a whole life for you to gain when you stop letting those numbers dictate your worth. ð’ð’ð’ðð

A photo posted by Megan Jayne Crabbe ð¼ (@bodyposipanda) on


Megan has been using her experience with weight loss and weight gain to send inspiring messages to others who might feel the same. In a recent post she said to her followers: 'How you feel about your body isn't your fault. You didn't ask to live in a world that profits from our insecurities. You didn't sign up to seeing thousands of images everyday of photoshopped, unattainable bodies that make your own seem so flawed.

Continued below...


'So please, you have to stop blaming yourself. Once you do that, then we can really get to work dismantling the bullshit, and getting you the self love you've always deserved. None of it is your fault, my love.'

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