Brooke Birmingham, a 28 year-old woman from Illinois in the US, has chronicled her weight loss journey on her blog, Brooke: Not on a Diet
, for some time now.
The blogger has lost more than 170 pounds over the last few years through Weight Watchers, and she was delighted when Shape magazine approached her to do a story on her success.
Brooke sent the magazine a photo of herself in a bikini to showcase her astounding weight loss – but was subsequently asked to send a photo in which she was wearing a shirt.
Brooke was offended by the request as she explains: “Have you logged on to Shape’s website lately? You can find MANY women in bikinis on the site.”
So, she wrote back to them explaining that she did not want to hide her body after massive weight loss, as she believed it would portray the wrong idea: “This is my body after massive weight loss and by refusing to show my body (or forcing me to hide it), Shape is giving women a false look at weight loss.”
Following this, the person who had interviewed Brooke tried to explain that it was policy, but Brooke had had enough. She replied, saying: “I feel like my body is not being shown the same respect that the others on your Success Stories section have been shown. Because of this, I am going to have to kindly decline being featured on Shape online. If you are not willing to show my body as is, then I don’t want to be a part of it.”
Brooke has now written a piece about the incident on her blog and says: “My body is real, not photoshopped or hidden because I feel like I should be ashamed. This is a body after losing 172 pounds, a body that has done amazing things, and looks AMAZING in a freaking bikini.”
She continues on to say that using success stories such as hers will give people realistic hope: “This is the type of body they should have featured because it can give people hope. Hope that they can lose weight healthfully and even if they don’t end up with airbrushed abs of steel, they’re gorgeous and shouldn't be ashamed of whatever imperfection they believe they have.”