Social media connects us all, but it also leaves us open to criticism or even discrimination.
Samm Newman knows what she is.
“I’m a big girl,” Newman said. “I’m proud, and I post lots of body love.”
But what she doesn’t know is why that got her kicked off Instagram.
“How confident can you be if you keep censoring yourself because people don’t want to look at you,” Newman said.
The 19-year-old Chillicothe student didn’t used to have the greatest self-esteem. Newman said she was bullied through junior high and high school and even harmed herself to cope.
“There were times when I ate lunch in the bathroom,” Newman said.
Then, she found a new source of support, online. She took part in a body positivity movement on Instagram.
A group of ladies used hash tags such as #bodylove and #pizzasisters4lyfe and would post pictures with compliments..
“It was my safe place, because when I went there, I could share anything,” Newman said.
However, the question is did Newman share too much online. Over the weekend Newman’s account was removed. Instagram said she violated their community guidelines under their “what not to do” headline.
Instagram officials warn against sharing photos that show nudity or mature content. Newman said it’s a double standard.
A picture of Newman in her favorite polka dot boy shorts and a bra was removed just hours before her account was rendered useless.
“I didn’t find them or the bra at all inappropriate,” Newman said. “They covered me entirely, and I’ve seen pictures like that all over Instagram.”
Newman, who is a size 24, said it’s size discrimination. There are plenty of photos of thin women wearing much less, even nothing.
Newman said she even reported some of these women, but their accounts are still active.
Meantime, she’s concentrating on the end result of all this experience. She feels her story is a motivation for others.
“I mean, I’m going to make a difference in the world, regardless of whether Instagram cooperates or not,” Newman said.
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