Anna Victoria Has a Message for Anyone Who Says They "Prefer" Her Body to Look a Certain Way
If it's not your body, it's not your business.
Anna Victoria's millions of Instagram followers have earned her a top spot in the fitness-sphere. While she might be known for her killer Fit Body Guide workouts and her mouthwatering smoothie bowls, it's her candidness on social media that keeps everyone coming back for more.
The body-positive role model has been refreshingly honest about her stomach rolls, sharing exactly what goes into those "perfect" fitness blogger pictures. And she has explained why she doesn't care that she gained weight. But even though she's all about spreading body love, she isn't immune to haters.
"Recently I've received a few negative comments in particular about my progress photos," Victoria tells Shape as part of the #MindYourOwnShape campaign.
One Instagram user took to the comments section of Instagram saying: "She looks nice and toned on the right but at what cost? Her chest has shrunk a whole cup size, maybe two. I really prefer women to stay less toned and curvier."
Another commenter wrote: "I prefer less muscle like you had before. It's just more feminine, but that's just my opinion." One even said: "No hips. Not sexy." (Insert eye-roll here.)
Each comment was equally hurtful, but the one about not having hips really struck a nerve: "The comment about not having hips as not being sexy is saddening," she says. "It's not right for people to project their own preferences on other people's body type, especially when we can't change some things. I can't change my hip bone structure, and even if I could, I wouldn't. I'm proud of my body for what it is, for what it can do and how far I can push it."
Unfortunately, Victoria isn't alone when it comes to this kind of body shaming. Women's bodies are the subject of constant criticism, especially on social media.
Take Kira Stokes, for example. The trainer behind our 30-day plank challenge has been told innumerable times that her toned physique "isn't feminine" and that she should put on some weight. Yogi Heidi Kristoffer, on the other hand, was told she looked like a "beached whale" after we posted a video of her doing prenatal yoga.
Having been in these women's shoes, Victoria has a message for all the body-shamers out there: Her fitness journey is exactly that-her own-and it really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about her body.
"I'm not doing this, working hard, eating healthy, pushing myself to be the best that I can be, for them," she says. "How someone else feels about my body as I go through my fitness journey is irrelevant. Their comments might be annoying, sure, but no amount of outside opinions about my body is going to change what I decided to do on my fitness journey."
At the end of the day, beauty isn't "one size fits all" and Victoria wants us to remember that each person defines it differently. "There's no one standard of beauty and it's ignorant to think that their view of someone else's body is more valuable than that individual's own opinions," she says.
To women who've dealt with this kind of negativity, Victoria says: "I would encourage other women who've been body-shamed to remember that they are the only person whose opinion matters and that we define our own standard of beauty. To quote Dita Von Teese, 'You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.'"