An Australian mum has found strength by embracing her critics and posing nude, after a photo she posted of herself in a bikini went viral.
Mother of one Krystal Gordon, who slipped into a bikini for the first time at the age of 31, posted a picture of the personal milestone to her Facebook page in September last year.
Since then, the photo has gone viral, and has attracted comments from all over the world.
Krystal admits that she’s always struggled with her weight, so choosing to post the picture was a brave decision. And though most of the messages she’s received have been of support and encouragement, there have been some not-so-kind comments from Facebook users too.
‘I thought I would receive some negative feedback but wasn’t expecting the malicious nature that some of those comments contained, it hits really deep,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Some people went as far as to find my private Facebook account and send me messages saying that I was disgusting.’
But despite the cruel comments, Krystal is determined to keep flying the flag for body positivity and has responded by posting some beautiful professional shots of herself, fully nude.
So far her personal campaign has led to a lifestyle overhaul and a significant weight loss, after she had a ‘lightbulb moment’ following the birth of her first son.
‘I’ve carried weight all through my life and have tried every sort of diet and exercise regime going, but the real lightbulb moment when I knew I had to change, however, came when I was feeding my one-year-old son, Nate, a healthy, organic meal, while I was simultaneously eating a McDonald’s.’
She continues, ‘I had always said that I would feed him healthy, beautiful food, regardless of my body insecurities, but then something snapped in me as I looked at myself and my son.’
Buying the bikini, and posting the snap, was a personal goal that Krystal had set herself to celebrate her new healthy lifestyle and newfound Cross-Fit habit. She says she was mortified to read some of the comments, but wasn’t prepared to let them influence her aims.
Image: Morgan Parremore Photography
‘After the initial “oh my goodness what have I done” feeling I just had to make the decision to either delete the photo and stop advocating self-love or use it to fuel my fire.’
And what better way to build confidence than to indulge in a glamorous nude photo shoot? The resulting images are spectacular, showing a smiling Krystal posing by a beautiful natural landscape.
With her confidence boosted, Krystal has now set up an online programme to support other women and promote body acceptance.
‘Even when I have felt resistant I knew that I needed to keep going to help promote the sister hood,’ she said. ‘I just want to continue to help empower and strengthen women.’