A moment, please, for the brilliance of Diana Veras.
A curve model who’s made a name in the fashion industry with her glorious curls, curvy bod, and her ever-present ‘feminist’ necklace, Diana is used to putting up with nonsense comments from people who think they have the right to criticise her appearance.
She’s not the norm in the fashion world, you see. So naturally, she’s going to come up against some backlash simply for being who she is and looking the way she looks.
But Diana is fighting back in a brilliant way: by loving her body.
Diana posted some photos of herself posing in a bikini (by a waterfall, naturally) to her Instagram, with the caption: ‘Summer is here and I look great b*tch’.
To which we said ‘YES’.
Sadly, some people appeared to be personally offended by the idea of a woman enjoying her body and displaying it on the internet.
Diana received some comments bashing her size, her looks, and all the other things that rubbish people on the internet like to criticise.
Diana decided not to back down. She did not decide to hide her body in shame. Instead, she fought back by loving her body even harder.
‘Here’s more of my lil chubby ass in a bathing suit since it offends men so much,’ Diana wrote on Twitter, along with two more photos of her in a bikini.
That tweet racked up more than 75,000 likes and more than 16,000 retweets, so clearly people were feeling it.
But Diana did not stop there with her brilliance.
After inspiring a bunch of people to respond to people’s hate with more self-love, Diana decided to use her Twitter fame to promote other plus-size models.
diana veras (@mynamesdiana) June 16, 2017
‘Although I do love the fact that that u guys look up to me and use me as someone 2 look up and I DO admit the FASHION industry is not the easiest on me, don’t forget that I can’t speak for all plus-size women,’ Diana wrote on her Twitter.
‘We all come in different shapes, sizes, proportions, colours, and ALLLLLL of our beauty should be celebrated!
‘Even though I’ve had my own struggles with my body, I don’t want 2 silence the voices of other beautiful women who also deserve recognition for their efforts.
A post shared by diana veras (@mynamesdiana) on
‘I only hope to inspire and represent who I can, there is so much room for all of us to shine.’
She then went on to shout out a bunch of body positive models she reckons we should all be following, including Gabi Gregg and Nikki Calloway. After that, she invited people to tweet her any other inspirational people, and retweeted a bunch so we’d all be aware of the existence of lots of lovely people on the internet.
Diana’s own journey to body positivity hasn’t always been smooth sailing.
In an interview with W earlier this year, Diana admitted that she hated her curly hair and curves for a long time before growing to accept, then love, the things that make her beautiful.
‘I wanted to be the pretty girl,’ said Diana. ‘And to me, curly hair wasn’t pretty. I straightened it every single day.
‘I hated my body and my body and myself. They had straight hair, so I straightened my hair. I contoured my face.
‘It was just puberty, boys, and the internet.’
It was a process of ‘self-love and realization’, as well as becoming a model, that allowed Diana to build up her confidence.
Massive props to Diana – not only for reminding us that the best answer to body-shaming trolls is loving your body harder, but for using her influence to amplify the voices of other body positive sources of inspiration. It’s much needed, and we appreciate it.