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You may have noticed there’s a not-so-subtle social media movement going on right now that empowers people of all shapes and sizes. What you may not have noticed about the #BodyPositive trend though is that when it comes to sharing, less is more. In terms of clothes that is.

Think about it — we’re way likelier to commend a plus-size person spreading the word by posting pictures of themselves in their bras and underwear than we are if that same person posted a fully clad photo of themselves.

But maybe, just maybe, it took the person posting a picture of themselves covered up a lot more emotionally to share the picture than we think. And that’s the thing about being body positive: it isn’t always about going topless, despite the path we’re headed down. For some people, sharing any old photo without feeling the need for heavy edits or a filter is actually a very powerful thing.

That’s the point Instagrammer Lexie Louise wanted to make recently when she shared a side-by-side shot of herself. In one picture she was topless but in the other she was wearing a Prussian blue shirt with lace details and long sleeves.

There’s this misconception that in order to be Body Positive, you must “bare it all” on social media. I choose to post more “vulnerable” photos of myself because I feel empowered to do so. To be honest, it took me some time to get to this place. I used to be terrified of posting even an unedited selfie of my face on my private Facebook page. It took me time to get more comfortable with this. And that is okay. I want to let you know that you do not have to post more “revealing” photos of yourself to participate in Body Positivity. I have noticed that my more “revealing” posts get way more exposure and likes and comments. I think that’s a flaw in the system; it is visual that we get drawn into quickly and we see it as brave to show our bodies as they are. I personally think it is brave. I have struggled with my body image for countless years and I know for myself that posting photos like the one on the left is brave for me. The “flaw in the system” I’m speaking to isn’t around our bravery; it’s about putting so much of the focus on our bodies. There can also be bravery in our words. There can be bravery found in the photo on the right if for years I was too scared to post a photo of my whole body. This is for the people who have messaged me about this dynamic in the community. This is for the people who feel disheartened because they feel like they cannot make as big of an impact without posting something they aren’t ready to share. You can inspire others fully dressed. You can inspire others half naked or naked. I think the flaw in the system isn’t ever going to go away, and that’s okay. I wanted to take some time here to acknowledge it though because I think it’s important. I may inspire you through me posting photos similar to the one on the left. I am also inspiring through my actions, my words, my story, my struggles, and my strength. You are enough as you are and I commend you if you post more “vulnerable” photos like I do. And I also commend you if you aren’t comfortable with doing so yet or at all. Come as you are and do what feels comfortable and empowering for you – not for others. ⭐️

A post shared by Lexie ✨ (@soworthsaving) on

“I want to let you know that you do not have to post more ‘revealing’ photos of yourself to participate in Body Positivity,” she wrote. “I have noticed that my more ‘revealing’ posts get way more exposure and likes and comments. I think that’s a flaw in the system; it is visual that we get drawn into quickly and we see it as brave to show our bodies as they are.”

So far the post has received nearly five thousand likes and has been covered in publications like Teen Vogue and Cosmopolitan. It’s a good reminder that sometimes there’s more to a story (or a social media post) than first meets the eye.

“I have struggled with my body image for countless years and I know for myself that posting photos like the one on the left is brave for me,” Louise continues. “The ‘flaw in the system’ I’m speaking to isn’t around our bravery; it’s about putting so much of the focus on our bodies. There can also be bravery in our words. There can be bravery found in the photo on the right if for years I was too scared to post a photo of my whole body.”

It’s hard to argue with that; if you ask us, these are some words to live by.