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Katie Maloney-Schwartz has given us the body-positive inspiration we need time and time again — and on January 20, she took to social media to address another "important" issue about harmful body shaming.
Recently, Katie's Vanderpump Rules castmate Raquel Leviss shared a beautiful photo from her engagement party to wish Katie a happy birthday. When some trolls took to the comments to call the photo "unflattering" and say that Katie should be "pissed" at Raquel for sharing it, Katie had the perfect response:
"This is important, please read," she wrote, alongside a re-post of the same photo Raquel had shared. "I wanted to post this photo that Raquel had posted on her story the other night, wishing me a happy birthday. Now, it was alerted to her that this [photo] was 'mean' and to me that I should be pissed. Neither of those things are true. But here’s my issue. It’s assumed that because some have found it unflattering that I would agree or that I would be angry that someone would post and unflattering photo of me. When I saw this [photo] I was like 'omg I look really happy.' Like that is a genuine smile right there."
She continued: "I’m not blind, I can clearly see the expression I’m making has given me about 12 chins. I have been hearing now for too long that I should be ashamed of my body, calling out weight gain, weight loss... and it f--ked with me. It made me not even want to take photos with my friends and family, because I wouldn’t like the way I looked. [Because] I couldn’t get past all the 'unflattering bits' and just enjoy the memories, I have scrapped photos and refrained from posting because of 'bad angles'.
"But not anymore. Being about to look at the photo and not feel shame and only happiness because I look so happy here is really showing me that the work I have been doing is improving my self image. Self hate/criticism is more damaging than that of others. So really be kinder to yourself. It’s not easy some days, I have good and bad, but I’m working at it."
After Katie shared her powerful message, Raquel took to the comments section to support her friend: "I love you for standing up to this nonsense," Raquel wrote. "People can be so cruel. I saw this photo and it [made] me smile [because] it's so candid. When I posted this, I kept thinking how effing cute your beaded heart bag is with that dress. I think you're so beautiful!!!! People need to look at the bigger picture and realize what they say can impact how we view ourselves if we let it. I admire you for not letting that get to you."
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