Aussie bikini designer Karina Irby has hit out at the double standards around what people see as acceptable editing on social media.
The founder of Moana Bikini, who has one million followers on Instagram, was forced to delete a post after she decided to conduct a ‘social experiment’ and edited her image to appear ‘curvier’ than she actually is.
“I did expect some hate, but I am not in the business of offending people, so I removed the post to remove the risk of further offence,” Karina tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
“However, I do think that those people who got offended may have taken this in entirely the wrong way.”
Karina decided to “test the boundaries” and see how many people engaged - negative or positive - with her image, compared to “their daily feed of fakeness”.
The negative comments flooded in with people, many not knowing the reason for it, slamming Karina for ‘pretending’ to be a size 18. Others also just used the opportunity to leave nasty comments about her ‘fake butt’ or ‘horrible bikini’.
“It’s so ridiculous that girls that may be considered ‘curvy’ or ‘bigger’ than average have to put up with judgement on a daily basis, both online and in person,” she says.
“But it’s entirely okay for individuals, or brands, to over-edit - to a stupid extent - themselves to be so skinny and obviously fake.
“This is totally normal, smiled upon, and rewarded.”
Karina took to her Instagram stories after deleting the post to apologise if she offended anyone.
“However, the amount of noise that post made and how many people took it in entirely the wrong way only goes to further my point about the double standards,” she adds.
Standing up to hate
Karina isn’t new to trolling and regularly calls out bullies on her social media feed.
The 29-year-old has also been forced to hit back at people claiming she has had surgery on her derriere.
“Please STOP talking at me about MY body,” she writes in another recent post.
“I never planned for my body to look how it does. I stuck to a few simple, yet time consuming tasks and Mother Nature did the rest. People are consistently picking at me and my looks and as much as I get a giggle it’s worrying.
“People actually think I have had surgery on my butt. People think it’s that easy to transform your body? Yuk. Please reset your mind.”
The importance of body positivity and shifting beauty standards is something she continues to try and push through her online presence and business Moana Bikini.
“Everyone deserves to feel good about themselves and happy and confident in their own skin,” Karina tells us.
“And a big part of that is being supported by, not only your close circle of friends and family, but importantly, what is being communicated, endorsed and supported by mainstream media and global brands.”
Despite the backlash on the post, there were plenty of Karina’s supporters that stepped in to defend her and thanked her for always being honest.
“Thank you for absolutely loving the body you’re in, regardless of nasty, negative people,” one person commented.
“Why people can't focus on the message you’re delivering to so so many rather than the size of your arse (which is a glory in its own right!!!) Is beyond me,” another added. “Keep doing you! you really are amazing and you inspire, motivate and promote body positivity in such a unquestionably unique way.
“After reading the negativity, thought I’d drop a positive comment saying I like reading your posts. Keep it up! You are a badass,” was another comment.
Got a story tip or just want to get in touch? Email us at email@example.com
Or sign up to our daily newsletter here.