Stella Boonshoft Bikini Photo Turns College Student Into Internet Star

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Stella Boonshoft, a New York college student who started a blog on self-acceptance in order to help others deal with body image isssues, has become a viral hero.

Why? For putting her curves on full display in this bikini photo:

Stella Boonshoft Photo

Boonshoft, who writes The Body Love Blog and who has polycystic ovarian syndrome, wrote "My body must be a revolution" along with the image above.

"Picture might be considered obscene because subject is not thin. And we all know that only skinny people can show their stomachs and celebrate themselves."

"I am not going to stand for that. This is my body, not yours. MINE."

As Boonshoft's photo - and cause - spread virally, she was asked to sit down with the Today Show on NBC. She obliged, and was forthright about the topic of bullying.

"I think people are cruel because they are uncomfortable seeing an image of people who are not thin," said Boonshoft, whose photo has been viewed 2.4 million times.

"I found that after so many years of struggling with my body image that really there was no way to justify the bullying as a child and as a teen."

Brandon Stanton, who appeared with Boonshoft on Today, created the Humans of New York project, a collection of street portraits in the city.

He initially took his own picture of Boonshoft clothed but later made a decision to use Boonshoft's bikini photos, which she says mortified her at first.

She later decided it was the right choice, for the right reasons:

"It took a lot of years of soul searching to decide this isn't right, and I finally came to a place where I was really happy with the way that I looked."

"I wanted to leave a message to the bullies who tormented me."

Between this and that Lady Gaga underwear photo, consider the Body Revolution in full swing. Time to stand up and fight back against the bullies!

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Bullying happens on both sides of this issue, and I am kinda of sick and tired of it. I work out, and I mean "beastmode" type of hard in the gym. I'm a wife and a working mother, but I make time to eat right and exercise all on a budget. For my hard work, I get the "skinny bitch, so eat something" comments all the time. If I said, "fat bitch, put down the burger and pick up some weights" I would be the wrong one, right? I hear, "Oooh, girl, you have no boobs for that dress!" (34B unfortunately) I can't turn around and say, "Maybe you should try wearing tops that, oh I don't know, FIT YOU". Nope, I would be wrong again. There are two sides to every story, and YES, while the media is saturated with images of skinny women, it does NOT give bigger women the right to abuse. Just because you're fat doesn't mean you get to treat me like shit.

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im sorry peepz theres nothin to be proud off. what has being unhealthy has to do with being us being bullies jus cuz we r skinny. stop this bs and denial "we metobolize differently" "we dont eat much" yeah rite, thats why ppl in poor countries are dying of starvation?! u just eat alot and make lots of excuses and find it OKAY to call us sticks, with bony and dagger elbows and EWWW ur soooo thin, but omg if u say the truth to u, then lord have mercy we r on complete attack, bullied ourselves for havin healthy bodies. ur jus jealous.

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@ bullshit

before u start opening ur mouth u need to know how to spell and type what u posted makes no sense

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I didn't know bikinis came in that size. It doesn't look comfortable. I gotta say, now that 60+% of Americans are overweight, the minority are the slimmer people, and they have harder times getting hired. It's true.

Amanda-shroads
@ rihonnawilliams

bikinis come in lots of sizes but i don't think that's a bikini. the bottom's all lacy and looks more like she's wearing a bra and underwear.

Amanda-shroads

And right below this article is a pic of skinny super model Petra Nemcova in an article titled "THG Hot Bodies Countdown". The irony is almost painful.

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Ya know what I get when I walk around say, a water park? You're a skinny b***h, eat a cheeseburger. Not only heavier girls are sensitive and uncomfortable with themselves. Which is why I don't get why people preach to heavy girls about accepting themselves when it should be a message to EVERYONE. Including little ones like me.

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She is most certainly doing this to cover up the fact that she is fat, and uncomfortable with herself. If you even read the first line under the picture, she tells you that she has polycystic ovarian syndrome. Just in case you didn't know, that causes your weight to go up, without your control. and to Caiti, nobody said skinny is not beautiful. The whole point of this article is to show that skinny is NOT THE ONLY THING THAT IS BEAUTIFUL. Don't judge someone until you know their circumstances.

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@ Cierra

She is most certainly *not**** type

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And because I'm skinny, I'm not beautiful?

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@ Caiti

No-one said skinny people aren't beautiful. What do you see when you open vogue? Stick thin models. What about on TV, on the internet and pretty much everywhere in the media? Skinny people. It's got to the point where people see average sized women as fat, when they're not fat, they're normal! I personally find all shapes beautiful in some way. I find skinnier bodies good in their own way, I can't explain it I just do, but I also find slightly bigger women good in their own way as well - curves are beautiful. Now people are growing more confidence with their REGULAR sized bodies, as seen in the body loving tumblr blogs. Take me for example, I always thought I was chubby, and I think that yes, my stomach does look quite big sometimes, but I like my overall shape. I can live with my tummy because I love my thighs, hips and boobs, and overall I'm satisfied with my body. You said you're skinny, find what you like about your body. Everyone should learn to love their bodies.

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@ Caiti

Sad you have to ask that question.

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Everyone is so fond of talking about the physical health concerns of being overweight. What about the emotional health concerns that come from living in a society where we're bombarded with images of anorexic models (who are often truly, literally, anorexic) and comments by fat-bashing cyber-bullies? So many girls/women hate their bodies, hate themselves for anything that goes in their mouths, hate themselves for not exercising 2+ hours a day... No matter their size. I'd rather have happy, confident people burden the health care system with obesity-related illnesses than continue to see growing numbers of people dealing with anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating disorder, and food-related anxiety and depression. The chick in the photo is doing her part to help women stop hating themselves, and her courage is very inspiring.

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@ Jackie Shepherd

Do you understand that anorexia is a psychiatric illness characterized by a feeling of shame about oneself and a completely distorted body image? That, thus, an anorexic hides her body under layers of baggy clothes and would never, EVER, walk a runway in a bikini, strut the red carpet in a skin-tight evening gown or pose for lingerie photos in a catalog...hence, models, actresses, etc. may be ultra-thin by whatever means they CHOOSE to keep their weight down and their careers up, but they are NOT, by definition, anorexic. Please stop using a medical term that describes a serious illness to describe self-absorbed twits in vapid professions.