When plus-size fashion blogger Jessica Kane posted a photo of her and some friends hitting the beach, the Instagram racked up more than 900 likes and dozens and dozens of comments calling her ‘brave’ for going sans cover-up.
But Kane doesn’t think she earned that accolade.
“THIS WAS NOT BRAVE,” she wrote in a Facebook post, which has over 52,000 shares. “I've been told how brave I am for not having a coverup, but going with out a wrap would only take bravery if I cared what others thought of me, but I don't.”
Kane argues that being brave is about much more than going against societal expectations.
"When you say you're being brave, what you're implying is you are doing something you probably shouldn't be doing," she told People. "I know so many people who are doing actual brave things in this world that mean something much deeper, and I want to emphasize that me getting in a swimsuit shouldn't be perceived as brave."
The newly-named creative director for fashion company Cool Gal Blue couldn’t believe the reaction to the photo, considering how often she’s posted similar photos in the past.
“I’ve been in the body positive movement for over 10 years now so I’ve done a lot of these kind of posts, and it’s amazing that it’s struck such a cord within people,” she said. “I’m just truly speechless.”
Kane wasn’t trying to make some kind of statement; she was just posting about her daily life on Instagram, like millions of us do each day. Kane is entirely right—wearing a bathing suit when you’re considered ‘plus-size’ by retail standards isn’t brave, and believing that it is only gives credence to ridiculous ideas of an ‘ideal body type.’
Now she hopes that her post will at least give people a better idea of what it really means to be brave.
"It's much easier to go about your day, put on clothes, feel good about yourself, and not care about what so-and-so thinks about how you look when you put in perspective how short our life is, how we have one little moment on this planet, and to cherish every second of it," Kane said. "I would hope that [people who see the post] would put into perspective what life is all about."