When Stella Boonshoft let Brandan Stanton take a photo of her in NYC for his Humans of New York Project, Boonshoft did not realize she would become a Facebook sensation. When she spoked with Stanton, she told him she had a blog for the bio he posted with the pictures of each of his subjects. Once Stanton explored the blog, he found a new picture that he would post for his project instead of the one he had taken himself. This is the photo that has struck up so much controversy. The reason? Boonshoft is half naked. Stella Boonshoft, a college freshman, posted this picture to take a stance for body image. Under the photo, she posted a caption, saying this picture was for all of those people who called her overweight, told her to loose weight, or said she’d be pretty if she would only loose some weight.
Now, about a week later, this photo has been shared over 90,000 times on Facebook, and seen by millions. At first, Boonshoft admitted she was embarrassed that this photo had been seen by so many people. Now, she has gotten used to it, and is now encouraged by the idea that this has impacted so many people. Not everyone saw it as inspiring or brave though. Boonshoft did deal with a lot of criticism, with some people even saying it was an inappropriate picture due to her weight. Unfortunately, Boonshoft is learning that we live in a time where body image is still greatly skewed in the media. Despite some backlash, she hopes that this can inspire people to be comfortable in their own skin, and fight the many expectations for body image in the media. Specifically she hopes to touch the younger teens and preteens who widely seem to be fixated on body image and being what the media defines as thin.
Do you think body image is still problematic in college? Is Stella Boonshoft truly looked up to or simply sympathized?