An Ohio teenager whose Instagram photo was removed following user complaints wants to change the way social media considers body image.
Samm Newman, a 19-year-old student at Ohio University-Chillicothe, said her Instagram account was removed after she posted an image of herself wearing a white bra and boy shorts — far more clothing than some celebrities and other, thinner users get away with, she said.
“I would like an answer myself as to why so many other photos on other accounts are still up,” Newman told FoxNews.com. “The problem is Instagram silencing anyone who doesn’t fit their agenda.”
Newman said she suffered enough bullying during middle school and high school due to her size. She found herself determined to change that once she got to college, where she’s now studying sociology.
“When I graduated high school and joined a different crowd in college, I was able to completely come out of my shell,” she said.
In a statement to FoxNews.com, Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, said an error was made in connection to Newman’s account, which now has nearly 1,200 followers, up from 560.
“When our team processes reports from other members of the Instagram community, we occasionally make a mistake,” the statement read. “In this case, we wrongly removed an account and worked to rectify the error as soon as we were notified. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
Newman, however, isn’t entirely satisfied. She said the photo that started the controversy, as well as another one depicting her in a similar outfit, wasn’t restored when her account was reinstated.
“They gave me my account back, but the photos weren’t there,” she said. “That was kind of the whole point. The hypocrisy is still there.”
She vowed not to succumb to “corporate bullies” like Instagram and said she’ll continue to test the limits of social media platforms regarding decency and body image.
“I’m still going to be the voice,” she said. “I’m just not sure where I’m going to go from here because I’m still angry. But I want to stress that it’s not just about the ‘big girls,’ because I know a lot of thin women who were bullied for being thin. A lot of people have body issues who don’t fit the status quo.”
Whatever the future holds, Newman’s mother, Nicole, said she’s certain her daughter will be just fine.
“I’m very proud of her,” she told FoxNews.com. “She’s very well-educated and she knows what she’s doing so I’m not worried about her at all.”