Like any pair of best friends, 22-year-old Kate Wasley and 21-year-old Georgia Gibbs used to post photos of themselves hanging out on Instagram. But the Perth, Australia-based models, who have different body types, began stirring controversy online after posting what most would agree was a harmless photo, with some people accusing Gibbs, who is a U.S. size 4, of Photoshopping Wasley, who is a U.S. size 12, to look bigger than her, Sporteluxe.com reported.
Where it all started ^ We posted this picture online, just as best friends going out on the weekend, it got reposted a lot and the controversy started.. You have photoshopped yourself thinner or your friend bigger, what kind of friend are you? Was one of the comments, it broke my heart because Kate and I are best friends why would I do that? The fact that a simple picture of two people together went so viral purely because of their body types shocked me... and @any.body_co was created because no one should have to deal with that and it shouldn't even be acknowledged, all I see here is two women.. not one "skinny" woman and one "curvy" woman, stop comparing everyone to each other and accept every person as beautiful in their own right. #loveanyBODY
“We would work out the same, eat the same, go to the beach together, sing to Beyoncé with all the windows down in Kate’s Hyundai, and never once did it cross our minds that there was any obvious difference between us,” Gibbs told the website of the backlash.
The young women fired back at critics with a powerful statement: They hired a professional photographer and started a new Instagram account, any.body_co, with the aim of slashing stereotypes surrounding what a woman’s body should look like and what makes them beautiful.
“The purpose of Any Body is to remind women of all shapes and sizes to embrace who they are and what makes them unique, and to stop comparing themselves to the women around them or women they see on social media,” the women said in a Q&A with Sporteluxe.com. “Our aim is to encourage a societal shift from the idea of the ‘perfect’ body, to the perfect body being whatever you want it to be ….”
Since launching the new account, Wasley and Gibbs have seen their online following jump by 35,000 users and counting, the website reported.
In reality bodies are just bodies, what's powerful is seeing two very different but individually perfect bodies next to eachother & embracing that, well that's totally 100% normal and okay... We're best friends we walk next to eachother every day and love each other for who we are and for so much more than our appearances, size 6 or 16 WHO CARES, health & happiness over size! 💕 #loveanybody #healthy #confident #natural #bestfriends #empowered @bakuswimwear 📸 @chrismohen
“This photo went viral purely because people were shocked and instantly began to pick us apart and compare us to each other,” the women told Sporteluxe.com. “That is when we decided, what better to do than create something positive out of this situation and try and change the way women look at each other and the way society looks at today’s modern woman?”