Sia Cooper, fit mom and creator of Strong Body Guide, has amassed over half a million Instagram followers thanks to her kick-ass workout tips and never-give-up attitude. She's also known for her blog, Diary of a Fit Mommy, where she helps new moms get back into shape while enjoying every moment of early motherhood. One look at her life and it's easy to assume that this woman is without a flaw, but she wants you to know that's far from the truth.
In a recent Instagram post, the 27-year-old shared a video of herself being candid about the perfectly posed photos we constantly see on social media—including those on her account. Donning a bikini, Cooper pinches her fat and shakes her booty in the video to show that even someone who is as fit as she is has lots of "jiggle." And that's perfectly okay. (Related: Why This Woman "Forgot Her Bikini" On a Date to the Beach)
Feeling ugly in your bikini? Sia to the rescue!!! EVERYONE JIGGLES IN A BIKININobody walks around 24/7 posed and flexed. If so, they might get cramps or even pass out from holding their breath so long I rather be jiggly and alive than flexed and deadSeriously though.. nobody is going to notice how you look in your bikini because chances are THEY themselves are feeling self-conscious. Let your confidence shine, beautiful. Wear that bikini with confidence!Be an inspiration to that girl who's struggling to love her body today. Or that mama who's looking down at her postpartum belly in tears that her body just isn't what it used to be. Or the girl who skipped dinner last night because she was disgusted with her thighs. Your confidence might just be what she needs to get through her week! I love you, queens! @womenshealthmag @womensfitnessmag @allure @popsugarfitness @shape @muscleandfitnesshers @femail @dailymail @cosmopolitan @usweekly @people
"It seems as if I am always bombarded with emails and messages telling me how perfect I look and how these women wished they could look like me," Cooper told Shape exclusively about her motivation behind posting this video. "I shake my head in disbelief because I am so not perfect—if they only knew!"
"There is so much that you can miss from a simple photo that does not compare to real life," she continued. "I wanted to break the standards of perfection that have been placed on women by social media—fit does not mean perfect." (Related: Ronda Rousey Makes a Powerful Statement About Perfection)
Yesterday, I saw another fellow trainer promising her followers a "bikini body" by Labor Day if they sign up for their workouts. This rubbed me the wrong way for so many reasons! First off-I hate the phrase "bikini body." It creates this stupid image that you must look sexy or fit in order to wear a bikini. This is simply not true! Secondly, getting in tip top shape by Labor Day is just plain unrealistic. Transformations take time-weeks and months-to accomplish. But back to the bikini body-if you've got a bikini and wear it then that's a bikini body, to me. We already face enough pressure to look good in a bikini so the idea that you MUST have a specific body type to look great in a bikini is just absurd. Girls... if you've got it.. wear it! Celebrate your body type! All bodies are bikini bodies! #allbodiesmatte
Cooper, who has previously suffered from bulimia, shared that constantly seeing flawless photos on Instagram can really affect those who struggle with self-confidence. "We shouldn't set out to look like the girl on Instagram because, chances are, that girl does not even look like that herself." (Related: This Woman's 30-Second Ab Secret Will Make You Lose All Faith in Instagram)
That isn't to say that Cooper completely shuns attractive or posed photos. "There should be a balance," she says. "This is why I love posting the 'Instagram vs. Reality' type posts that sort of show the background or true side to every perfected image."
Hold up! Can I thank all the ladies who told me about @frandenim for just a second? Never did I know a pair of jeans existed for athletic girls that accentuated a big booty/thighs and a tiny waist! Seriously.. just grabbed a pair and I love them! No more waist gap and I'm not pouring out the sides or struggling to get my jeans on. Hallelujah! By the way... not sponsored-I just freaking love them and thank you guys for this recommendation! However I do have a discount code if you want to try them for 10% off! Just use code sia at checkout
Cooper hopes that by posting candid photos and videos she will encourage other women to love their bodies as they are and stop feeling the need to compare themselves to each other. "You cannot physically look like someone else so why not improve yourself to be the best version of you?" she says. "Those gorgeous Instagram models that flood our feeds do not look like that 24/7. They have scars, stretch marks, cellulite, acne—you name it. But they choose not to show it." (Related: Fit Bloggers Reveal Their Secrets Behind Those "Perfect" Photos)
If you find yourself obsessing over someone on Instagram who makes you feel like crap, Cooper has one simple suggestion: Unfollow them. "Even I have my own qualms and body hang-ups so I had to do the same thing," she says. "Follow those who make you feel good about your own body."
We couldn't agree more.