Fitness + Well-being

Viral Instagram photo inspires others to love their body

An aspiring plus-size model has become an overnight sensation on Instagram after a day on the beach with her husband.

Jasmine “Jazzy” Owens and her husband Keenen Owens were spending a day on a Hawaiian beach when Jasmine had a photo taken of the two.

She later posted the picture to Instagram with this message: “How could he love something that isn't 'perfect'? How could a man who was 'born fit' love someone like me! I don't have a flat stomach, I jiggle when I walk… But now I see I do have the 'perfect' body!!”

It instantly went viral.

Within 12 days the post had nearly 90,000 likes and hundreds of comments.

“I have the same issues with my body……but you are truly an inspiration. We are not all stereotypes and I think what you have done is just fabulous to spread the word for yourself and others,” Helenhowell68 posted on Owens’ feed.

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Tralex08 wrote, “I have 3 kids had 3 c sections and all way afraid to ware a 2 piece swim suit because of all stretch marks and extra skin that I have on my tommy now I feel inspired now to ware that swim suit after seeing your photo thank you so much for inspiring so much of us ….you look beautiful.” 

Lacie.elizabeth14 says the post made her cry. “This is such an inspiration to all types of girls. Big, little, tall, short. Everyone needs body positivity and your promoting it.”

Owens, also known as a_body_positive_jazzy on Instagram, was flooded with messages of encouragement and thanks, but she has had to deal with negative comments as well.

One comment in particiular had an impact. “You’re setting the worst example for young women…you don’t have to be skin and bones but it’s not okay to be obese….don’t you want to be in your children’s lives as long as possible?” an Instagram user wrote.

Owens didn't realize just how much they would affect her. “Starting this journey publicly I knew that I would get some negative comments and I TRIED to prepare myself for the day that they started. But when I saw this comment no lie it hurt! It stabbed me hard, harder then I thought it was going to!”

A post shared by Jazzy (@a_body_positive_jazzy) on

Despite her positive message, Owens says she has struggled with her body image. 

“I always thought that I was exactly what some of these comments are saying! I'm fat, I'm ugly, I'm unhealthy! Well one thing was right...it was unhealthy for me to be doing all of these diets, unhealthy for me to be thinking of myself in such a negative way, unhealthy to my mind, body and soul." 

It even began impacting her relationships.

“The feeling of discomfort in your own skin is one of the worst feelings ever! Hiding from everyone, including your significant other, with fear that they will judge you and dislike you because of what you look like is something that I know all too well,” said Owens.

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She ended her post on a positive note, writing about how she's finally learned to love and accept her body and see herself the way her husband does.

"But now I see I do have the 'perfect' body!! Every roll, every curve and every stretch mark is put on me just perfect to make both of us happy!!! I love my body and I finally see why he does too!!"

Terace Garnier is a Fox News multimedia reporter based in Columbia, South Carolina. Follow her on twitter: @TeraceGarnier