YouTube star Cassey Ho reaches millions of people everyday with her short, fun fitness videos.
But the 28-year-old creator of the YouTube workout channel Blogilates keeps receiving vicious comments about her weight and appearance. Despite the fact that she knew they were coming from negative places, she says the mean comments affect her much more than the positive words from fans.
“It’s something that’s been eating away at me for a while now,” she said in a video about body shaming and eating disorders last week. “The hatred and the mean comments that have been swirling around lately, I can’t shake it off.”
So she decided to fight back by making a poignant video about how it felt for her to see what she would look like with the “perfect” body.
In the video, Ho has just gotten back from a work out. Pleased with herself, she takes a selfie, but is immediately inundated with rude comments about her weight and appearance.
Surrounded by voices telling her to change, Ho digitally shaves inches from her thighs and abs, increases her bra size, and even changes her eye colour to please commenters.
After Ho has virtually edited herself, she takes another snap in the mirror — but she remains upset with how she looks, insinuating that changing yourself for other people will not make you happy.
She created the video with help from a body double, fellow YouTube star Arika Sato. She believes that after all of the days of shooting, visual effects, weeks of editing, and everything else it took to create the short film, it was worth it.
“I grew up being a little bit overweight and I fought to have the body and the life that I have today,” Ho told her followers in an earlier video about the negativity. “All of us come with a backstory, and that’s why I feel like you shouldn’t judge people because you never know where they’re coming from, slash you shouldn’t judge people by how they look.”
So far, the video has been viewed by 1.2 million people, and many of her fans and commenters have praised Ho for sharing her body image struggle, calling her inspiring and telling her to ignore the haters.
But it hasn’t all been positive. To promote her video, Ho had shared an edited snapshot of a “perfect” body on her Instagram and was shocked to see many of the comments were either still extremely negative or else praising her for looking “amazing.”
Wow guys. The response on yesterday's post was moving, incredible, and shocking all at once. Thank you. I couldn't have asked for anything more. I'm happy that many of you clicked over to watch my short film when you saw my new "perfect" body. You experienced the most powerful video I have ever created. You saw me strip down my confidence and self esteem. You saw me raw. Hurt. And vulnerable. For those who haven't seen it yet, please click on the link in my bio. I wanted to post again because there was a weird phenomenon that happened when I posted this photoshopped picture. On the very same photo, I got some people praising me and others degrading me. What worries me is this: 1. That some people think this is real and that it should be "goals." 2. That some people still think it's not good enough. It's tough knowing what's real and what's not when magazine covers and music videos are photoshopped (yes, music videos), Instagram pics are photoshopped, and so many women are getting surgery. How are we to know what kind of beauty can be naturally achieved when everything around us is so deceiving? If you want to know what you can do to help stop body shaming, all I ask is that you share the video with at least 1 person. That's all. After countless days of shooting, weeks of editing, visual effects, and lots of hard work from a team of amazing people, my short film was turned into a reality. Thank you to James Chen, James Jou, and @smashboxcosmetics for helping me bring this to life. #madeatsmashbox I hope you guys liked it. I love you. Stay beautiful.
“I wanted to post again because there was a weird phenomenon that happened when I posted this Photoshopped picture,” Ho said on her Instagram. “On the very same photo, I got some people praising me and others degrading me. What worries me is this: 1. That some people think this is real and that it should be ‘goals.’ 2. That some people still think it’s not good enough.”
“It’s tough knowing what’s real and what’s not when magazine covers and music videos are Photoshopped (yes, music videos), Instagram pics are Photoshopped, and so many women are getting surgery,” she continued. “How are we to know what kind of beauty can be naturally achieved when everything around us is so deceiving?”
But of the nearly 6,000 comments on the YouTube video, the vast majority are people thanking the Blogilates creator for her honesty.
“This is actually pretty amazing,” said one commenter. “There are lots of things I would change. But it took me years to know the changes I want to make are based on health, self respect, and self love. I don’t want perfection. Nor do I want the societal standard of beauty. I just want to be healthy. I already love myself.”
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