Writer Rosie Waterland made the decision to post a naked photo of herself to Facebook on Thursday, in the hope of informing women that their bodies do not determine their self-worth.
Counting down until it's removed from FB. Sad that it's only women who have told me to expect my pic to be taken down. Like they just know.
— Rosie Waterland (@RosieWaterland) January 20, 2016
True to her predictions, the image was subsequently deleted from Facebook (most probably for nudity) but not before it started a conversation. Waterland took aim at women in the public eye who referred to themselves as “brave” for being a “few kilos heavier than the average fashion model,” as she argued that many women see weight as a contributing factor to their value, when in fact it has nothing to do with it.
Waterland spoke about how there are far more important qualities than just the size of women’s bodies, and how society should not place so much emphasis on physical appearance.
“When you are spectacularly intelligent and talented, your appearance and weight should not even be an issue. I know, that as a woman, it’s not easy to say that. As a woman, even if your appearance isn’t an issue to you, it is to everyone else. I get that. But, f*** everyone else,” she wrote in the now deleted post.
Responding to the overwhelming reaction that her post got, Waterland wrote another, this time without an image attached to it — as some people had questioned whether it was counter-intuitive to post a naked picture along with a message about how physical appearance should not matter.
“Well, I had a message to get across I guess, and being a bigger woman, I felt like I was in a somewhat unique position to do so visually,” Waterland explained.
She continued, “I have been seeing so many women, much thinner than me, constantly talking about how they’ve achieved things in life in spite of their flaws. The thing that bothers me about that discourse, is that ‘flaws’ are even being talked about at all, and so damn often. Why is the physical always so important? So high on the agenda? There just seems to be this overarching attitude that the physical should always be top on the list of values and priorities and attention.”
She revealed that she has refused all media requests and would leave the picture up (this was prior to Facebook deleting it), that she had nothing more to say about her body, “because my body is THE LEAST INTERESTING THING ABOUT ME.”
While she may not be speaking about her body in the future, Waterland has inspired countless others with her post.
Comments on the picture include one from Andrea Boschetti. She wrote, “Today I miraculously convinced myself that I could in fact, among other things, even be a little bit sexy… regardless of previously ingrained beliefs. Thank you!! xo.”
Trish Gill also shared her thoughts, writing, “Rosie Waterland you are totally my celebrity lady crush at the moment!! I love reading what you write and reading that you love that I [we] love reading what you write. I also love that you back yourself. You have an opinion you think is worth sharing and you stand by it. This and your previous post make perfect sense to me. And I’m off to check out the link to your one woman show!”