Ariella Nyssa took to Instagram to share a photo of herself with fellow bikini babe Karina Irby as the pair splashed about in a swimming pool. The gorgeous snap was taken while the pair were on a photo shoot, modeling for Irby’s swimwear brand Moana Bikinis.
But it’s not the colorful outfits that have caught the attention of Nyssa’s 294,000 followers — it’s the fact both women have “bloated” bellies and they’re proudly showing them off.
“Wait you don’t think bloating is cute?” Nyssa captioned the photo. “NEWS FLASH: bloating is normal and just because I don’t have a six pack doesn’t mean I’m not beautiful.”
The Sydney model went on to encourage her followers to not feel “embarrassed or ashamed” if they didn’t have a flat stomach.
“You bloat, I bloat, EVERYBODY BLOATS! Don’t you dare feel inferior for it,” she said.
The positive and empowering message has clearly struck a chord with Nyssa’s followers, with hundreds leaving messages thanking her for sharing the “real” photo.
“Seeing these posts make me so happy,” one said.
“True words. Stunning girls,” another wrote.
“So nice to see bodies like mine on my feed along with all the other unique and stunning bodies of other shapes and sizes,” one fan shared.
Another wrote, “Love your powerful message.”
Others praised Nyssa for “keeping it real” — something she and Irby have been known for doing in the past.
Earlier this month Nyssa — who is about to launch a new swimwear line with Australian e-store Beginning Boutique — posted about suffering with bloating.
In August, however, the woman became the target of cruel trolls who bombarded her with hateful comments and personal messages about her body, causing her to take a lengthy break from Instagram.
“WHY IS SOCIAL MEDIA LIKE THIS? Why are brands trying to make us feel like [expletive] if we don’t represent their ‘ideal’ interpretations of bodies,” she said. “I actually cannot believe that this has gone on for so long and I’m so angry with myself for accepting this as the norm for years.”
Nyssa, who is well known for fighting for acceptance and representation of bodies of all shapes and sizes, had recently spoken out about the fact that brands had refused to work with her because of her size.
“Shouldn’t we all feel beautiful enough to wear clothing from ALL brands? How ridiculous. I didn’t realize how bad all of this was until this week,” she said in a lengthy Instagram story.
“I didn’t realize the extent that the industry and social media have warped and manipulated our brains into thinking you have to look or be a certain way to LOVE the way you look and be represented in the media.”
Irby is on a similar crusade to empower women and fight brutal body standards in the industry, recently telling her one million followers she’d gained 22 pounds and “never felt better.”
Irby accompanied her honest post with two photographs, one showing her at 119 pounds and the other as she is now, a healthy 141 pounds. She then detailed the difference between the two photos to her one million fans, welcoming the presence of “boobs, butt, hip and thighs."
“This morning Facebook notified me of a memory from 9 years ago. I was so shocked to see how tiny I used to be when I was a teenager!”
She went on to describe how she felt when her body started to change, making her feel “self-conscious”.
“I remembered that as my body was maturing I was gaining weight, curves and more fake reasons to feel self-conscious about my appearance,” Irby wrote. “I used to put so much pressure on myself to try and keep my teenager look but not only was it unhealthy, it just wasn’t in the cards for me.”
After gaining 22 pounds, she said: “I’ve never felt better about myself mentally and physically."
“What I’m trying to say is stop being so hard on yourself. Your body is beautiful and it’s keeping you alive! Worship the heck out of it! I wish I did sooner,” Irby revealed.