Self Portrait: Ask Me Why I Took This Picture

This post originally appeared on Stella Boonshoft's Tumblr, The Body Love Blog. Brandon, founder of the photo blog Humans of New York, recently met and talked to Stella and published the portrait and Stella's post on the organization's Facebook page, where it got 270,000 likes, nearly 10,000 shares and over 26,000 comments in 14 hours. You might also be interested in reading Stella's thoughts on the origins of her body image issues and her response to all of the attention her first post has received.

WARNING: Picture might be considered obscene because subject is not thin. And we all know that only skinny people can show their stomachs and celebrate themselves. Well I'm not going to stand for that. This is my body. Not yours. MINE. Meaning the choices I make about it, are none of your f*cking business. Meaning my size, IS NONE OF YOUR F*CKING BUSINESS.

If my big belly and fat arms and stretch marks and thick thighs offend you, then that's okay. I'm not going to hide my body and my being to benefit your delicate sensitivities.


This picture is for the strange man at my nanny's church who told me my belly was too big when I was five.

This picture is for my horseback riding trainer telling me I was too fat when I was nine.

This picture is for the girl from summer camp who told me I'd be really pretty if I just lost a few pounds

This picture is for all the f*cking stupid advertising agents who are selling us cream to get rid of our stretch marks, a perfectly normal thing most people have (I got mine during puberty)

This picture is for the boy at the party who told me I looked like a beached whale.

This picture is for Emily from middle school, who bullied me incessantly, made mocking videos about me, sent me nasty emails, and called me "lard". She made me feel like I didn't deserve to exist. Just because I happened to be bigger than her. I was 12. And she continued to bully me via social media into high school.

MOST OF ALL, this picture is for me. For the girl who hated her body so much she took extreme measures to try to change it. Who cried for hours over the fact she would never be thin. Who was teased and tormented and hurt just for being who she was.

I'm so over that.


This post originally appeared onThe Body Love Blog.


Backstory: How I Learned To Hate My Body -- And Love It Again

I Spoke Out And People Listened -- So Why Am I So Upset?