A group of four mom bloggers who decided to post a group photo of themselves postpartum to promote positive body images on Instagram received more than a few hateful comments recently.
“Is this an advertisement for why women should get tummy tucks?” one commenter wrote.
“Posts like this bother me," another one said. "Not losing the weight is a choice.”⠀
The four women — Desiree Fortin, Katie Crenshaw, Meg Boggs and Bethanie Garcia — met through the social platform and collaborated on several body acceptance projects. They realized they'd finally have the chance to meet in late April during a conference for mom influencers called Mom 2.0. So, they decided to team up for a photo, Fortin told "Good Morning America."
"Each of us share our postpartum experience and we learned to celebrate our bodies after babies," she said. "For me, I carried triplets and my body changed a lot. It took me time to appreciate my new body."
The women posted the photo to their respective accounts and it was then shared by at least 15 other accounts. What happened next, Fortin said, was unexpected.
"It gave people an opportunity for those negative people to come and say horrible things," she told "GMA." "Thankfully, the four of us are really strong."
Just a few days into the body shaming, though, Garcia reached her tipping point and posted a response to Facebook.
"It just wasn't ok," Fortin said. "Enough was enough."
The post read, in part, "I want to encourage anyone who felt the need to leave any of the above comments to dig deeper, self-reflect, gain some perspective, learn. Your comment says WAY f---ing more about you than it does about us. Be better."
"I'm not giving my story to the people in the cheap seats. I'm giving my story to the women who saw themselves represented. To the woman who said she'd always thought her legs were too big for white jeans or she couldn't show her arms before we empowered her," Crenshaw said. "It's for the woman who said she'd never gone to the pool without a coverup on before she saw my posts. They are my people. Because vulnerability isn't a weakness, it's what will bring us back to each other. There will always be uninformed, insecure, hurt people with claws out. The minority is loud, but we are louder.⠀
Meg Boggs told "GMA" that despite all the backlash, she'd still do it all over again.
"It was a giant reminder for me that we have a long way to go in changing the societal perception of postpartum bodies," Boggs said. "And it’s probably going to make some people uncomfortable along the way. But I could receive a thousand more of those hateful comments and it still wouldn’t stop me from sharing this message with women around the world. Because then that one comment comes through and says, 'I’ve been struggling and this helped me today.' And I know that it’s worth it."
Fortin said the negativity wouldn't change her mission to continue being "the voice for the person in hiding." She told "GMA" that it "won't stop us."
"We stand for stand for every woman who needs to hear they are beautiful, loved and affirmed," she said.