Paris Harvey just faced one of her biggest fears: wearing a bathing suit at the beach.
On May 27, the 13-year-old from Gillingham, Kent in the U.K. posted three photos of herself wearing a one piece bathing suit at the beach. According to local news outlet Kent Online, this was the first time Paris had been to the beach in three years.
“Omg so I faced my biggest fear today and went to the beach in a swimsuit,” Paris captioned the photos.
Paris’ post went viral and, as of Tuesday morning, had over 46,000 retweets and 337,000 likes.
The 13-year-old told HuffPost she originally posted the photos online to show her Twitter friends the body-positive progress she had made. Paris added that she also posted the photos to help break the stigma around “plus size people wearing swimsuits.”
“I feel in a way inspired by the hate, they know nothing about me and my attitude towards helping people and caring a lot about people,” she said. “I’m always trying to radiating positivity whenever I go. I can’t change overnight and I shouldn’t change for anyone. I embrace the skin I’m in.”
Many people agreed with Paris’ outlook, tweeting an outpour of love and support for the 13-year-old. Big names like YouTube star Tyler Oakley and even Paris’ favorite artist, Ally Brooke from Fifth Harmony, tweeted at the 13-year-old.
Paris’ dad Bill told HuffPost that his daughter is a “mature” teenager who’s an “inspiration” to her family and friends.
“Paris is such a positive role model to everyone around her,” he said. “... Love drives out hate and the support she has been getting is just phenomenal. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram for all the kind words and support to Paris as it is much appreciated from all of us.”