Instagram has proven to be a helpful tool for young entrepreneurs and artists, those who wish to disseminate a political message or cause quickly (for better or worse), and, of course, the unknown amount of people who have truly been ‘inspired’ by ‘inspirational’ Instagram stars to change their lives. On the flip side, Instagram is also a place where these stars peddle products that don’t work to young, unsuspecting kids, where bullying runs rampant, and where everyone— e-v-e-r-y-one— receives short-lived ego validation from friends and strangers.
For example, body positivity and the community that has sprung up around acceptance of all body types is a definite asset. The other side of this coin are the prevalence of online bullies, who still use the platform to attack strangers’ appearances and bodies from the safety of their anonymous accounts. Melissa Gibson has experience with both of these groups.
Gibson, from Louisville, Kentucky, is a body positivity blogger who has amassed over 215,000 followers on Instagram. On New Year’s Day, she uploaded a photo of herself and her boyfriend sharing a NYE kiss, quickly coming under fire from trolls deeming her boyfriend “out of her league” due to her size.
Only we can fuck it up. Only we can make it amazing. Ours is the kind of love that feels right because we are both present, honest, and excited. The kind of love that flows from two people in love with life. Two people who appreciate the moment and the journey. 2017 brought you into my life, and we face 2018 together. Wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else. Love you Johnathan ❤️. #2018 #nye #louisville #love #bf #ootdeb #debshops
“2017 brought you into my life, and we face 2018 together. Wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else. Love you Johnathan ❤️”
The comments, since deleted, essentially called Melissa unworthy of Johnathan and slammed her for her ‘unhealthy’ size. Luckily, many of her followers quickly jumped to her defense: