What Emily Ratajkowski’s Post Tells Us About Toxic Instagram Culture

On behalf of women everywhere, give it a break.

Emily Ratajowski Caitlyn King

by Sofia Tindall |

Breaking news: two women with different-sized bodies posted a bikini picture together and neither of them particularly care what Instagram commenters think about it.

At least, it shouldn't be news – but followers of Emily Ratajkowski have other ideas about that. The model and influencer posted a bikini shot of her and her friend Caitlin King sunbathing together, to an almost immediate onslaught of body-shaming, sexist commentary in which the two women were pitted against each other. The post, which was published three days ago, tagged her recently-released swimwear line that she designed – Inamorata, which means 'a person's female lover' – captioning the photo 'beach bums'.

Unsurprisingly (given Ratajkowski's 22.1m strong following) the comments flooded in, and the focal point immediately became the the two women's bodies. Even in the wake of movements like #effyourbeautystandards, an army of body positivity advocates on Instagram – and Jameela Jamil constantly shouting about the damage that body-shaming does on social media – it seems that people still can't get over attacking women for wearing a swimsuit on Instagram.

Comments left included, 'This is what a Big Mac looks like in real life vs. Reality' or 'Instagram vs. Reality' – among more degrading interjections which we're not going to repeat here. Eventually, Ratajkowski was forced to respond by writing back and clarifying that the post was also supporting publicity for her swimwear line:

'I love my friends body and both her and I think she looks great here! And I'm proud that she's rocking my suits. All these haters are crazy. Just because you're used to seeing one body type on the internet doesn't mean that that's the only kind that should be considered "beautiful",' Ratajkowski wrote.

Emily also shared a post on Twitter, writing 'I love my girls body and her ad I both think she looks great here and that this is a very cute pic of us getting severe sunburns,' and captioning the picture 'Thank u, Next'.

But it doesn't just stop there (does it ever just stop there when a woman posts something on Instagram?) now, some commenters also suggesting Ratajowski deliberately posted the picture in order to look 'skinny' next to her friend.

Instagram comments 1
Instagram comments 2

Recent studies show girls as young as twelve developing self esteem issues about their bodies that are linked to social media use. Is it any surprise when women are forced to defend themselves Instagram a daily basis?

It goes without saying - but NONE of this is OK. When two women post a picture of themselves online and it immediately gets reduced to a catfight, or a discussion of sexual preference comparing two different body types against each other it contributes to a toxic, harmful and reductive conversation about women's bodies that cannot continue.

On behalf of women everywhere: can we just let two women go on holiday and post a bikini picture together?

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