Mallory King, a fitness blogger based in Florida, has documented her fitness journey by posting photos of herself in scant clothing on Instagram for several months. Her aim: to normalize real bodies, and inspire self-love and acceptance among her followers.
That’s why she was surprised when Instagram recently removed a photo of her showing off her cellulite, she wrote in a post last week. The women’s advocacy group Sunday Morning View had regrammed the image, increasing its visibility and causing it to rack up more than 20,000 likes.
“This upsets me for two reasons,” King wrote in the post. “1) Why do thousands of posts go unremoved that show butts and boobs in WAY more vulgar ways than mine? Is it because my cellulite is offensive? Is it because I’m not trying to be sexy? Is it because I don’t have the body type that is continuously shared on here?
“2) Why are people so threatened by a woman unafraid of showing her body and speaking her mind?” she continued. “People used the excuse that their kid could see the photo. Don’t let your kid on social media! No, that’s not it. It’s either people feel threatened by my fierceness or people are so brainwashed by media that a perfect pair of tits or butt is fine to flash but a body that’s outside of the norm is offensive.”
In the viral side-by-side photo, on the left side King is pictured in a bra and underwear giving a thumbs up, with her husband, Thomas, also giving two thumbs up, and on the right side she is pictured alone flicking off the camera.
Some have speculated the image was removed because King is shown giving the finger, but, as Cosmopolitan.com pointed out, thousands of #MiddleFinger posts appear on Instagram, so that likely wasn’t the reason for its removal.
Instagram does prohibit “close-ups of fully-nude buttocks,” “content that contains credible threats or hate speech,” and “serious threats of harm to public and personal safety,” but King’s post also doesn’t appear to violate those rules, Cosmopolitan.com reported.
Whatever the reason, King isn’t letting Instagram stop her, she suggested on Instagram.
“Y’all can report my photos as much as you want, I’m gonna keep sharing them because the world needs more women unashamed of their bodies and unafraid to share their voice,” she wrote.