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.
“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.
“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?”