Fitness influencer sparks body positivity debate with ‘powerful’ photos: ‘No such thing as perfect’

A former bodybuilder with more than 85,000 Instagram followers is sparking a conversation about body image standards with her “powerful” photos.

Hayley Madigan, a British fitness trainer and social media influencer, has shared a series of images over the past several months exposing the parts that she sometimes “may not like about [her] body.”

Madigan’s posts often expose the cellulite on her legs, as well as other imperfections, all with messages of encouragement and inspiration for other women.

“You shouldn’t ONLY accept your body in Good lighting and in good poses. You should try to ACCEPT your body in all lights, poses and angles, because it’s important for you to appreciate your body for what it does for you day in, day out,” one recent post reads. “There is no such thing as perfect.”

The 30-year-old spoke about her body-positive Instagram page in a recent interview with Insider, in which she explained that she was originally nervous to share her “flaws” online. Eventually, she realized it would help others feel more secure.

“When I used to tell my clients I had cellulite in my lower body they would feel better about themselves,” she told Insider. “So I wanted to translate this across to my followers too.”

Now, Madigan often shares “Instagram vs. reality” posts that address the way some influencers modify their appearance on social media.

View this post on Instagram

What you see Vs What you don’t see 👉🏼⁣ ⁣ Felt like my gram needed some more reality to it today so here’s some to help you open up your eyes on this sunny Sunday. ⁣ ⁣ Remember having parts about your body that you don’t necessarily ‘like’ isn’t a bad thing but scrutinising yourself for it is! ⁣ ⁣ If you’re sat pondering around today picking holes in your body and not showing yourself the love you deserve then can you do this one thing for me and ... STOP! ⁣ ⁣ Stop picking holes in yourself, stop judging yourself for not being perfect or for having imperfections, because every single person has them and they are what makes you YOU! ⁣ ⁣ Stop over criticising yourself, Stop wasting time, energy and effort on over analysing every single part of your body. ⁣ ⁣ Start focusing on what we all have to be grateful for and what we can do to help others who may need our guidance to get into a better head space. ⁣ ⁣ If you stop over over analysing every single part of yourself, you’ll have more time to think about what you’re grateful for and how you can show this towards others as well as yourself 💜 ⁣ ⁣ #selflove #overthinking #stopoverthinking #selflovejourney #reality #instareal #bereal #letsbereal #instavsreal #covid_19 #isolation #guidance #support #bodyimage #bodyimageissues #cellulite #youareyou #realness #realtorlife #simple #onlinesupport #ptonline #loveyourselffirst

A post shared by Hayley Madigan (@hayleymadiganfitness) on Mar 29, 2020 at 4:53am PDT

The posts have received an overwhelmingly positive response online, with several of Madigan’s followers calling her message “powerful” and “inspirational.”

“These pics help me SO much!! Thank you for posting!” one user commented on a recent Instagram photo.

“I so needed to see this today. Been really struggling lately with not being ‘perfect!'” a user wrote in response to another post.

Madigan told Insider that her following has grown “quite a lot” in recent months. With that with that increased exposure has also come more negative comments, but she now feels much more secure in ignoring those.

“I think I used to struggle a lot more with this, but I try to rise above it especially when it’s from people I don’t know,” Madigan said.

If you liked this story, check out In The Know’s article on Lena Dunham’s emotional Instagram post about body image.

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