By Jennifer Earl
Published January 29, 2019
Dove Cameron doesn't care if trolls want to shame her for sharing a "sexy" selfie.
The 23-year-old said she's old enough to make her own decisions, which includes controlling the content that makes it onto her Instagram account — in particular, a short clip that included her posing in a two-piece swimsuit. In the meantime, Cameron urged her followers to "get more comfortable" with the human body.
"I love the female body," Cameron posted.
The actress then updated her caption to include a disclaimer: "Guys if i’m in a bathing suit, and i’m 23 and you’re tripping, you need to re-evaluate what trips you up."
Cameron, who starred in the Disney Channel teen sitcom "Liv and Maddie" from 2013 to 2017, posted a blurry video of herself posing on a bed in her two-piece on Friday. The video, which has since been viewed more than 2 million times, sparked a mix of reactions — many negative.
"My cousin's teenage daughter (she’s 13) is a fan of yours. Do you think this is appropriate for her? It’s one thing to pose in your bikini and be proud of your body (yeah you’re sexy)... But you’re posing and stroking your hair very provocatively on a bed. Considering your fan base... Not appropriate. Go pose on the beach or something," one Instagram user argued.
"Can you not there is [sic] young people on here," another added.
"I get it and totally agree but I'm already GUCCI about the human body I'm just not a huge fan about it being displayed like this," one user replied.
Hours later, Cameron posted a follow-up Instagram picture — William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s 1879 portrait of “The Birth of Venus" — to defend her alleged risqué look.
"The human body isn’t offensive y’all. stop objectifying women so hard that you convince yourself that something natural and beautiful could ever be something offensive. also let women define their own bodies & their relationship to their bodies for themselves. stop defining women’s bodies for said women," Cameron wote, in part.
The "Descendants 3" star argued that "nakedness" is deemed inappropriate "when we objectify and sexualize" images and videos such as the one she posted.
"A body is not inherently sexual. its beautiful and innocent. stop ruining it for yourself & others ((just to be clear to the thousands of people who RAN with this post because it upset them so much, no, i am not saying “everyone should just run naked in the streets like animals and the world should be in total chaos.” i am simply encouraging the embracing of the human body, the removal of the stigma that it is evil, the comfortability and LOVE of ones OWN body, and yes, if it is appropriate, if we are alone of at home, knowing that nakedness isn’t wrong," she continued.
More than 400,000 people had liked Cameron's post as of Tuesday morning, and thousands commented to share their "100 percent" support.
"Amen and well said," one fan commented.
"And this is why you’re my favorite human," a user agreed.
"She isn’t ruining any reputation. she’s growing and maturing and that means talking about topics like this. she definitely hasn’t lost me," a third added.
It's been a goal of Cameron's to be a body image champion for women. In an emotional interview last year, Cameron revealed her battle with anorexia.
“I’ve never said this before, but I had such a bad case of anorexia. I was so badly down that hole,” Cameron told StyleCaster last spring. “I was not eating for days sometimes. But it was because I thought I needed to be absolutely tiny to be loved. I genuinely thought I needed to be as skinny as I possibly could to be loved and appreciated and good enough.”
Cameron then stressed the importance of being a role model for women — young girls especially.
"I realized that if I was going to be a role model then I needed to live like the girls that I needed when I was young," she explained to the fashion site.
“I’ve worked really hard to maintain health and a normality,” Cameron continued. “And if someone wants to go on my Instagram and tell me that I am not as thin as I used to be, or I have a zit here, I don’t care about what that angry person has to say. What’s important is the freedom and the quality of my life. As long as my life is happy and healthy, so is my worldview.”