A 170-lb. weight loss seems like something to celebrate. But one Illinois blogger who was set to be featured in Shape Magazine says the publication told her to cover up her inspiring post-weight loss body.
HLN reports 28-year-old Brooke Birmingham lost the weight while following a diet over the past four years, but such a significant weight loss means she now has some extra skin.
"When Brooke sent them this 'after' photo of her in a bikini, loose skin and all, she says Shape asked her to cover up - citing editorial policy."
Birmingham says she was furious with the request - as Shape has run many of these kinds of stories with women wearing bikinis before. (The Huffington Post has the entire email exchange between Brooke and the blogger right here.)
She declined to continue with the story, and insists the public needs to be aware of the realities of major weight loss.
In a blog post on her website, she explains the magazine made her feel like she should be "ashamed" of her body. She adds, "I don't feel like my body was given the same respect as others on their site."
But Birmingham didn't let the rejected bikini photo bring her down. She tells NBC, "I did this ... to show all women and men they can be perfect in their own image and they don't need to listen to what the media's perception of what ideal image is."
ABC has a statement from Shape in response to the incident - calling it a "misunderstanding with a freelance writer." It adds: "This does not represent Shape's editorial values ... Shape prides itself on empowering and celebrating women like Brooke, and any indication that we would not run the piece with the photo provided was wrong, as we would have been proud to share her inspirational story."
Many people who lose significant amounts of weight are left with some sagging skin. Some even resort to surgery to have it removed.
But According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the procedure has its risks, such as infections, blood clots and scars.
As for Birmingham, she says she's happy with her new body and will continue to bare it.