Meet Chessie King, all around internet superstar based in London. She's a content creator, blogger, and master Instagram model. Yet she's got a little different spin than the other famous Instagrammers out there. She's taken to the social media site in order to promote body positivity.
Besides her forrays into Instagram, she also runs The Couple Bible with her boyfriend Mat, which is "all about working together as a team." Besides the beautiful photographs she posts, King also posts pictures on her Instagram side by side of what her polished photographs look like, versus the ones that depict reality. Her mission is to show how the right lighting and angles can make our images seem distorted, and how we shouldn't be ashamed of how we really look.
"Put your hand up if your thighs touch when you sit down. Keep your hand up if you've ever looked at those goddesses on Instagram and wondered why theirs don't," she writes. She goes on to say that she struggles with her image of her legs, but the images on Instagram aren't real and her legs carry her everywhere, so we should appreciate them no matter what they look like.
The photo on the left was one of eight pictures taken, and the others were immediately deleted. "I do so many of these but this one is my scariest & most exposing so far," King writes. We all need to remember, she says, that of the photos posted on Instagram, there are a bunch of other less flattering photos that the world will never see.
Feeling good is more important than looking good. "I know I train consistently, I know I fuel myself well, I know it's okay to let my belly out when I'm sitting down next to the pool," says the caption on her Instagram post. Stepping out in a bikini in confidence is never a simple task, and King wants to educate and inspire people to be proud of the way they look and stay healthy.
Even the clothes we wear can create an enormous amount of illusion when it comes to photography. She writes that high waisted swim bottoms give the wearer a waist that appears smaller, and is good for wearing on "those 'bloated' days." The low waisted bottoms, on the other hand, give you "nowhere to hide," and reveal "the 'life handles," on your body. No matter what type of suit you wear, confidence and being comfortable is the most important aspect.
What you do see — a picture perfect pose. What you don't see — the fifteen-minute dance it takes to get into the jeans. "Let's see more of the right photo take over our Instagram feed please!" King asks.
"3 different bikinis, 3 different weights, 3 different states of mind. Same height (just under 6ft/180cm)," King writes of her three different photos. She encourages people to stop looking at eating well and exercising as a chore, but something that will make you feel good. If we start now, it will impact the rest of our lives, and it's never too late to start.
The trend of posting real vs. fake photos has started to rise in popularity. "They make [me] feel normal and even more okay with not being perfect," says King. We can choose whether social media makes us feel good or bad, and filter out Instagrams that don't have a positive impact.
King's followers love her genuine, realistic photos. "All you need is a shower, a bucket full of makeup, a curler and you're ready to go," she writes of her before and after photo. She also encourages them to count her chins.
King coined the term life handles, for the parts of your body that show from living the life you love. "The nights out with your friends, the family pack of popcorn you didn't share, the seconds/thirds/fourths of Sunday roast with your family... the FUN in your life, the memories," she writes. We shouldn't hide what we perceive as our flaws, but showcase them instead.
In this particular Instagram, King photoshopped her body into what people perceive as perfection. "The body shape on the right is definitely achievable with hard work for some people but for others, like me, it's unachievable. We just gatta [sic] accept that one of our legs is bigger than some people's legs put together!"
Remember all the times your mom told you not to slouch? King says you should listen to your mother, and you should be positive about the way your body looks when you do. "Body confidence is a feeling, it's something you slowly find when you start thinking a different way. It's not just about 'losing a few pounds' or 'dropping a dress size.'"
"Ever sat on the floor like the right photo, looked down at your belly and thought 'yuk'?" King asks. Everyone does it, and it's completely normal. We just need to start realizing if we're healthy, we shouldn't body shame ourselves. If we own it, we'll be much happier in the long run.