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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I think you look confident, and beautiful. I'm a petite person w/ less confidence than you. I was bullied as a child, and I take that very seriously. You go girl!!!!!!

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We're not "uncomfortable seeing an image of people who are not thin", we are disgusted by obesity! Why should we be comfortable seeing naked fat people!? This girl's logic is an absurd excuse for being over weight! She's talked herself into thinking she's happy with the way she looks, DENIAL! I don't think that photo is going to shut up any of those bullies...If you really want to feel empowered EXERCISE!

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@ WakeUp1Love

Hello don't you think you are bullying.. People kill themselves over things like what you have just said.. Grow up and realize words hurt forever!! My Gah way to miss the whole point of that story!!!

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@ reallypeople

If I'm such a 'bully', please reference when....

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@ WakeUp1Love

No, it won't shut bullies up, but it will help girls become more confident with themselves. You my friend are a fucking bully that thinking that because she's overweight, she's using it as an excuse. I am overweight, yes, but I exercise and lift weights like crazy. (Probably shouldn't both girls with a little meat and a lot of muscle on them). Everybody metabolizes food differently. So, for you too assume she doesn't exercise mes you look like an ass. I support 100% for stand because of dicks like you knock people down because they aren't as skinny as people on tv. And if you don't want to see a fat person naked, don't have sex with them?.... But, judging them on the internet jist makes you that much more of a coward

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@ Airika

1) If you're trying to make a point, it helps to learn grammar first. 2) I myself am overweight and confident with my body but would never subject others to look at my unclothed body just because thin people do. 3) I'm not a bully, you're just a moron :)

Jess giggenbach
@ WakeUp1Love

Just because you're not comfortable or proud of your body and you feel the need to cover it up does not mean everybody else should cover theirs. Whether "fat", "thin", or "average", someone who is able to say "I'm beautiful and proud of my body no matter what society deems it should look like and I'm not afraid to show it" should be celebrated. If you can't understand that, then there's a bigger issue here.

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Yes, that is underwear, not a bikini. Yes, fantastic dimpled confident smile. However, I suspect that if she wasn't sick i.e. didn't have polycystic ovarian syndrome, then the general reaction would not be so positive/accepting...

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I am pretty sure that is a strapless bra/ lacy underwear set... not a bikini. It's great that she has a pretty smile and good confidence, but she could have showed off her figure proudly without wearing her undies. That is what would be embarrassing to me, not the figure.

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CURVES? are you serious? you mean rolls right

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@ Joey

Someone got an 'A' in bully class right!? One day karma will kick you in the butt and rest assured there will be a bully there to call you out on it! What goes around comes around and hurting other people is never ok!