One woman wants you to know: Every body has "flaws," and they are nothing to be ashamed of.
Imgur user SomewhereUnderWater recently shared photographs of herself which show how her fit body looks in various poses, some of which are more traditionally "flattering" than others.
Alongside the photo composite, she wrote:
We aren't Barbies. We are made of flesh and blood. These are all the same body -- my body. I have worked hard for this body and I am proud of this body. In a world where we are surrounded by the images of our friends highlight reel sometimes it's good to see a little reality so we can keep our expectations real. No matter where you are on your body's journey, be proud and love yourself. Make goals because you love your body not because you hate it.
These pictures are remarkable because we so infrequently see images of the completely natural folds and wrinkles that women of all sizes have. "Illusions Of The Body," a 2013 project by Gracie Hagen, tackled just this subject. Hagen photographed women in "flattering" poses, and then in "unflattering" ones, presenting them next to each other.
"Most of us realize that the media displays only the prettiest photos of people, yet we compare ourselves to those images," Hagen told HuffPost. "We never get to see those photos juxtaposed against a picture of that same person looking unflattering."
Images of women's bodies showing both their "good" and "bad" sides clearly resonates, given the hundreds of comments on the image SomewhereUnderWater has received. After seeing the incredible response, she updated her post with another inspiring message of body love:
The important thing is that we love our bodies -- and when I say that I mean that we care for our bodies. We won't always like everything that they do, or the path they have gone down or everything that happens to them but we do have to love them (like family). Respect them, guide them, show them kindness, mercy, forgiveness, push them to be their best with positive affirmation and encouragement! Be thankful for them.
A valuable lesson for all. In SomewhereUnderWater's own words, "Every body has its awkward moments -- be kind to yourself and others."