La'Tecia Thomas is a 27-year-old model and makeup artist. Her Instagram is so full of gorgeous modeling photos and makeup looks that you might get lost in it, scrolling through for an undisclosed amount of time (yes, we're clearly speaking from personal experience, here). In short, she's a talented, beautiful, and successful woman. Much more importantly, though, she's happy.
But it hasn't always been that way, and she's not about to pretend that it has, either. According to MSN, she recently used her Instagram as a platform to speak out about self-image, body positivity, and confidence to her 377,000 followers. She posted a side-by-side photo that depicted herself at two different body weights to show that beauty isn't determined by the number on a scale. Since then, the post has gone viral, representing a truth that society often disguises. Keep scrolling to see this powerful image.
The first photo shows Thomas when she was training to participate in a bikini competition. The second photo shows Thomas as she is now. "I was going through my phone and I found this old photo of me back when I was training to compete in a bikini competition," she captioned it. "So many people will look at this photo and make physical comparisons and say they would prefer me 'before'. I prefer me at any weight as long as I'm happy."
This post is incredibly important, seeing as it's 2017 and it's still an anomaly to see ad campaigns featuring a diverse set of women. Focusing on only one body type subconsciously spreads a false message that only the tall and skinny body is ideal, preferred, or "worthy" of being displayed. What we need is better representation and more inclusiveness (which brands like H&M, Glossier, ASOS, and Covergirl are undertaking).
"I remember how unhappy I was In the picture to the left," Thomas continued, "I would loathe certain parts of my body- particularly my bum/thighs because that was and is the hardest part of my body to loose. [sic] I had so many insecurities, I compared myself to other women and I lacked confidence. Since changing my outlook on life and learning to embrace who I am, I know that hypothetically if I were to go back to what I used to be I would be so much happier and content than what I was because I've learned to love me."
It's a nice reminder to be gentle on yourself and care for your body on your terms. Take some time to celebrate yourself, whether that's going on a sun-filled hike, applying your favorite beauty products, or practicing a calming yoga flow. It's the least you can do. After all, as Thomas says it best, "Your mental health is just as important as your physical."
Head over to MSN to read the full article. Then, read about Paloma Elsesser's emotional reaction to seeing her first naked photo shoot.