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Chillicothe Teen's Challenge To Body Image Attracts International Attention

A Chillicothe teen's challenge of how social media treats body image is getting worldwide media attention. Atish Baidya of members station WOUB in Athens reports.

19-year-old Samm Newman’s story has been covered by media organizations around the world. Fox News, Cosmopolitan, England’s The Daily Mail, Australia’s, and the list goes on, and on, and on.

“I have been feeling a million emotions,” Newman said. “I went from feeling really sad to angry to happy.”

The story was first reported by Columbus’ NBC4 on Monday.

Newman claims her Instagram account was deleted over the weekend after she posted a picture of her in a bra and boy shorts because of a double standard when it comes to body image. Instagram said Newman violated their community guidelines.

Newman, who is a size 24, claimed it was size discrimination – pointing out similar pictures of thinner girls are present on the social media site.

Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, apologized for removing her account and restored it this week.

The whole experience brought back painful memories for Newman who suffered bullying in middle and high school due to her size. She said it has been a long journey to overcome her body image issues.

“It is all about loving yourself,” she said. “It is all about getting to a place where you can look in the mirror and like what you see.  I mean this applies for everyone.  It is not like a female thing or a fat thing, it is an everyone [sic] thing.

Newman credits the body positivity movement and support from, ironically enough, a community of online friends with her change in attitude; a change that not only gave her the courage to stand up to “corporate bullies” but has also resulted in changes to the body she’s learned to love.

“Once you really love your body, you think about things, like, you know, ‘Okay, is this really good for me, should I eat that,’” she said. “I know since I’ve started this I’ve lost 12 pounds because I go on walks. I love to go on walks.  I love to eat, like just good food because I am constantly thinking about what is good for me.”