Popular plus-size blogger Rachel Cateyes was horrified when she discovered a diet company had stolen her bikini pictures to use as 'before' shots on their fat-shaming website
Rachele Cateyes told US newsite KGW that she originally posted the photo of herself in a bikini on her amazing body acceptance blog, Near Sighted-Owl, to send a message about having a positive self-image.
She originally posted it up alongside this amazing message: "Anchors away! I finally have myself a proper high-waisted fatkini. I took my body and put it on a beach and voila! Beach body!
"Wearing a bikini as a fat woman is an act of rebellion. I felt glorious and glamorous all at the same time. I wore my stretch marks as ribbons of honor and let the sun kiss my lumpy thighs and arms without a care in the world."
The glorious and glamorous shot really did sum up that carefree feeling - until the image was hijacked by a diet company in a bid to sell their "weight-loss" product.
Via Near Sighted Owl
Rachele's followers tipped her off, explaining that her image was being used above a weight loss product that professed to know "how to cut down your body fat".
Speaking on her blog, she explained: "It was a terrible, crawl in a hole feeling and I realized that this ad is everywhere and being seen by lots and lots of people. Meaning that this disgusting, terrible f**king diet company is making money off my body.
"They used my over the sunglasses expression to say, 'Hey, don't be a fat fuck like me!' which was really supposed to say, 'I am a fat confident lady that feels awesome in this bikini.'"
Rachele immediately contacted the company she thought was responsible for using the photo. She identified it as a diet company called Venus Factor which sells an online diet program.
Via Near Sighted Owl
Unit 8 called the company several times and got a recorded message each time. We also emailed the company and got no response. Because these individuals, or affiliates, as they’re called, are subcontractors, finding who is responsible is tough.
Cateyes also sent a Facebook message to the company, stating, “These photos were stolen from me and are being used to sell your product, I would like your help in having them removed.”
The response she received stated, “We have no control over it. You need to contact the people who specifically put this on his website.”
Her blog followers are now emailing and reporting the misrepresentation by the thousands. They also emailed the company, requesting that the photo be taken down.
And it appears to be working. The ads that remain online with Cateyes' photo no longer link to the diet company’s website.
We hope that people continue to associate this fabulous carefree bikini shot with feelings of body confidence, not body shame, and that Rachele isn't disheartened by this experience. We want her to continue to promote body acceptance on her blog.