Body positive activist Lexie Manion is learning to love herself in present-tense — and she’s teaching others to do the same.
In a recent post, the plus size Instagrammer revealed she had fantasies to be “thin and pretty” before her strides towards self-acceptance.
“At 15 years old, I desired a flat stomach, visible collar bones, a tiny waist, and little to no fat on my body,” she said.
Manion’s desire to be thin grew so intense that it became deadly. It took an eating disorder for her to realize she needed to change her mindset.
Today, the 23-year-old says she uncovered the hard truths about body-image and has taken to Instagram to spread the word.
“I was taught that ‘fat’ is not synonymous with good. Or pretty. Or approachable. Or important. Or worthy. I was taught that ‘fat’ is synonymous with bad. And ugly. And lazy. And useless. And invalid.
I was taught to dream of what I should become, instead of celebrating what I already was,” she said.
That all changed for Manion, who now insists she no longer lets her appearance dictate her worth.
“I have a large stomach. I have a double chin. I wear a size 24. I am fat,” she wrote.
“The truth is, the validity of what someone says, does or feels shouldn’t be challenged just because of what they look like. We are all human.”
Manion teaches her followers that our bodies are mere capsule for the heart, soul and mind — the parts that really matter.
“Beauty standards and people’s hate disguised as “health concerns” may challenge us to conform. Well, I challenge you to question what you’ve been told… Beauty and worth can be synonymous with the word ‘fat,'” she said.
With an audience of more than 40,000 followers, Manion’s influence has helped her to develop new ambition.
“Today, I dream of changing how this world treats people who don’t fit the mold, rather than changing myself,” she said.