Meet Megan Jayne Crabbe, eating disorder survivor, lingerie model, body-positive campaigner and Instagram darling. Known as “bodyposipanda” on social media, Megan has shared stark and honest photographs of her journey from being a self-hating, undereating, over-exercising, deeply troubled young woman to the beautiful example of health and happiness she is today.
Megan Jayne’s uplifting example caught the eye of UK lingerie business Curvy Kate, and they invited Crabbe to participate in a unique advertising campaign. The company had Megan Jayne take part in a regular professional photo shoot for their new lingerie line. As with any other advertising campaign, the images were carefully staged studio shots with perfect lighting, careful posing, professional hair and make-up, and all of the post-production primpings you might expect. The twist comes with the second set of photos.
Megan Jayne posed for the second series, in the same lingerie but at home, without her hair and make-up done and without special lighting. The only thing that stayed the same was the underwear being worn, and a model whose happiness and confidence shine through in every frame.
“We wanted to show what professional photos really are – just manufactured moments in time,” said a representative from Curvy Kate on their blog. “They’re just a small snapshot which isn’t a true representation of how malleable and changeable our lives and bodies are.”
Of course, we all know that advertising and publicity shots are staged and that the one shot we see is the culmination of days of planning and work, but it is easy to forget that fact when you glance at those perfect bodies in the perfect photograph. This series of photos gives a direct comparison of reality versus the kind of idealized image that makes us want to buy things.
Most of us have stretch marks, scars, cellulite and other singular differences that make us unique. When we get home and try on new clothing, we should be thinking about how we feel in those clothes, if we are healthy and if we are happy. That happiness shines through and will always look so much better than a thinner, less healthy, more unhappy you.
This is another cornerstone of Megan Jayne’s philosophy and her push across social media for body acceptance. People are often judged by their size, and body size does not equate with either physical or mental health. Finding your “happy size” where you are healthy, confident and comfortable is far more important than trying desperately to conform to a body ideal that you are just never going to attain.
We should thank both Curvy Kate and Megan Jayne Crabbe for reminding the world of what is important. In this series of photos, they show us that our personal well-being should not be tied to the skills of a set designer, make-up artist, hair stylist, and photographer who dedicate their time to creating an unrealistic snapshot of a person who does not actually exist.