Decade after decade, the idea of what defines the perfect body has evolved. While the '90s and early '00s were marked by the desire for slim and flat bodies, recent years have brought about the celebration of curvier bottom halves (hence the Kim Kardashians of the world). However, negative stigmas toward larger stomachs continue to run rampant, as seen by a spike in the sales of waist trainers and liposuction procedures. The "what waist" movement has continued to shame women who don't have 24-inch circumferences and often results in full-bellied women feeling ashamed in form-fitting clothing.
That's how one plus-size beauty influencer, Lonyea Maiden, felt. But with encouragement from her family and followers, she was motivated to speak out, and her message has moved women far and wide.
The response? Hundreds of women commented on her post on Reddit, sharing their own stories of body acceptance.
"One of my coworkers just told me I was 'getting heavier,' so I escaped to calm down and process. This post just put a smile on my face and gave me some much needed confidence. She is beautiful, and you are too. And so am I," a Reddit user shared.
The bold post made other women with more prominent tummies reconsider wearing more form-fitting clothing.
"I got these two dresses a while ago and tried them on. I could see the slight flatness of my belly button and threw them in my closet, haven’t had the guts to even try them on again. But Loneya looks wonderful here. She’s a bigger girl, but she looks confident, stunning, even with that belly button indent. Kind of makes me wonder...would anyone but me even notice it on myself?" another commenter noted.
The fact that voices like Maiden's are becoming more prevalent is something the influencer community has long been in need of.
"I'm so glad honesty and body positivity has become more prevalent among influencers and celebs. It truly is refreshing and makes such a difference to their followers. she looks so beautiful," a fan said, relieved that more women are speaking up about such issues in society.
Fewer and fewer women are trying to fulfill unrealistic beauty and body standards.
"Took me a while as a short person with some weight on, I hated it. With work and better mental health I realized, I am in fact hot. & And that's an okay thing to experience and feel towards myself, in my current body," someone shared.
I'm losing weight for health, but I was never able to while I held my body to a beauty standard I'm not genetically inclined towards, got those big hips and thighs, and that's alright."
One commenter recovering from an eating disorder was relieved to see Maiden's post.
"As someone who is recovering from an anorexia relapse, seeing some belly positivity is something I need more often," she shared.
So why is it that larger thighs and butts have been embraced but not stomachs?
One commenter had the answer for that. "It’s because fat thighs are ~*thique and In right now. Fat bellies are still considered just fat. Fat acceptance in different areas of the body wax and wane with trends," she said.
And while that may be true, it's about time that same trend wanes toward embracing the size of any body part. Maiden just took us one step further.