Rachele Cateyes is a positive body image blogger and fat activist. She blogs at www.nearsightedowl.com and last year she posted this fabulous photo of herself in a bikini to “send a powerful message about body positivity.”
Anchors away! I finally have myself a proper high-waisted fatkini. I took my body and put it on a beach and voila! Beach body! Wearing a bikini as a fat woman is an act of rebellion. I felt glorious and glamorous all at the same time. I wore my stretch marks as ribbons of honor and let the sun kiss my lumpy thighs and arms without a care in the world.
Rachele obviously rocks and so does this photo. So imagine her horror when friends, fans, and even co-workers started reporting to her that they were seeing the photo used in ads for a weight loss product with taglines like “why women should never diet like a man”, or “how to cut down your body fat.” Not just a couple of ads but, thanks to an affiliate program, the use of the picture was spiraling out of control. Not just using her picture for profit without permission, but using it in precisely the opposite manner as it was intended. Some even wondered if she had pulled a Jess Weiner, giving up her fat activism and body positivity to pursue the profits of the diet world.
Rachele reacted like the rock star she is, going after them like a honey badger. After posting her story on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter other activists started making complaints, and that helped her story get picked up by the media, and then she started to get some action – the leadership of the parent company has become involved with ferreting out the affiliates who are misusing the picture.
There’s still work to do here and you can help. Read the whole story in Rachele’s words here, and check out this video to learn how you can get involved:
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