Abbie Chatfield has hit back at people criticising her appearance and fat-shaming her in a series of photos shared to Instagram this weekend.
The podcaster, writer and last year's Bachelor runner-up shared a set of "imperfect" photographs of herself in lingerie — ones where the angles and lighting showed fat and cellulite, two extremely normal things every adult woman has.
Overlaid onto the photographs are comments from men denigrating her weight and character, with one calling her "pathetic and desperate", while simultaneously making the revolting comment that he would "take it for a test drive".
To quickly sum up Abbie's reactions to such comments, the first photograph features Abbie giving the camera, and the person calling her "Flabby Abbie" the finger.
After over a year in the public eye since her appearance on The Bachelor, Abbie said "comments like these only get a tiiiiny bit easier".
"Yes, they're laughable. Yes, our value doesn't come from our weight and yes, being 'fat' shouldn't even be a bad word BUT it still sucks [to receive these kinds of comments]."
She added that the constant barrage of negativity around her appearance "gets exhausting" and makes her feel "defeated". "I just want it to stop. I want it to stop for me, but also for people who read these comments and think it's the norm."
Abbie admonished men who objectify women, criticise their weight and say they want to "take them for a ride", calling that particular comment "especially repugnant". It really presents an idea about the disposability of women, emphasising their worthlessness as not 'girlfriend material' because they're not a certain size.
"Saying all I need to do is stay the 'correct' weight is . . . f*cked?," she added. "It implies that to have worth I need to stay thin, and that my value exists only when I fit into a standard of beauty that is not realistic."
There is no "correct" weight! And as Abbie says, it's totally unfair that women are held up to a set of unattainable beauty standards — ones that we all struggle against.
The influencer admitted that, as she had put on weight over two weeks of hotel quarantine in Brisbane, at the moment she is "struggling to look in the mirror naked, throwing on a towel before I have chance to see myself".
Still, she is trying to look after herself and be honest about the way she looks. "I'm actively trying to not suck my stomach in constantly because my lower back pain is out of control from trying to contort my body 24/7 to be more 'appealing'."
Abbie added that she felt empowered by posting the photos and exposing her own insecurities. "Huge GRRR energy," she concluded.
It's part of a concerted effort by Abbie to expose the realities of influencer culture and to champion body positivity, sharing unfiltered pictures of her cellulite and adult acne and explaining how much posing can change a photograph. She's also been an outspoken advocate for women's mental and sexual health and spoken about her experience of bullying on and off reality TV.
In July, Abbie wrote candidly on Instagram about losing weight in 2017 when she was suffering from anxiety and depression and how when people reacted positively to her skinny figure she was reminded of her mental health struggle.
She added, "Framing weight loss as a positive thing feeds into the fat phobia in our society. 'Complimenting' someone you know purely on weight loss is a little strange, don't you think? It assumes that with each KG lost they are closer to perfection. It also implies that they were not as attractive in your eyes before the weight loss."
This weekend's post has received the praise of people like her Bachelor in Paradise co-stars Jessica Brody and Glenn Smith, model and mental health advocate Olivia Rogers and former Bachelorette Ali Oetjen, who encouraged Abbie to "keep being authentic you": "It's so beautiful & inspiring to see! You're an amazing light 🌟."
We wholly agree! We're so glad Abbie is here furthering these conversations about body image and positivity, and reminding those of us who also engage in negative self-talk that there's absolutely nothing wrong with our bodies just the way they are.