A model has issued a rallying call telling women not to accept people commenting on their size, saying: “our bodies are no longer ‘fair game’ for comments and opinions.”
Imogen Ker, from Los Angeles, was inspired to write the empowering Instagram post after a male friend suggested she “would be perfect if it wasn’t for her body”.
Following the incident, Imogen told all women they have a right to be angry after receiving such comments and should not allow body-shaming to make them feel inferior.
Speaking to Shape, Imogen recalled the body-shaming incident, which left her feeling “exposed and vulnerable”.
“He [Imogen’s friend] was telling this stranger how wonderful and amazing I was and then out of the blue said, ‘Imogen would be perfect if it wasn’t for her body,’” she explained.
“It was almost like in his head he was complimenting me, but the insinuation was...because I was physically unappealing to him, I wasn’t good enough as a person.”
She said she felt “personally attacked” by someone who was supposed to be her friend, but did not confront him because “women are taught to let things like this go”.
However, she later text the man explaining why his words were hurtful and although he blamed his actions on drunkenness, he did apologise.
Writing on Instagram, Imogen said sharing her story had been “incredibly therapeutic”.
“My greatest hope is that women who have experienced the same kind of abuse can read my story, relate and get angry. You deserve to be angry,” she said.
“My path to self worship is a constant evolution. Most of the time, I want to love myself. It comes naturally. Then other times the brain washing of media takes hold. That brain washing has trained me to pick apart my body and tell myself if this was different or if that was different I would be perfect.”
She added that the self-doubt she feels due to societal beauty standards is why her friend’s comment was so harmful.
“He was saying out loud the words which I fight so hard to rid my mind of every day: ‘I would be perfect if it wasn’t for my big body,’” she said.
“My advice to a woman who finds herself in a similar situation is to tell that person they are not allowed to make comments about your body.
“Our bodies are no longer ‘fair game’ for comments and opinions.”
Imogen implored women not to hide when they’re feeling self-conscious and not to “shove down” feelings of anger because of shame.
“You experience shame around the fact that someone has labeled your body undesirable. You think pretending like it never happened will somehow make it disappear. Unfortunately that is not the case,” she said.
“The truth is I couldn’t let it go [...]. As women we are plagued by shame. It is one of the biggest oppressors of women that has been systematically placed into society.
“So don’t hold on to that sh*t. It will make you sick. We must rid ourselves of shame. So what I did was take that shame and turn it around. Shame belongs on this man for saying what he said.”
She ended her post with an empowering message for all women everywhere: “Please remember: you are a divine, bad ass goddess who deserves to be loved and worshiped. Never stand for less.”
Imogen, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.