With their ultra-clean diets and intense workout regimes, it would be fair to assume fitness gurus need never worry about their bodies.
But a hard-hitting viral video by a popular online fitness instructor has proven that anyone can be a victim of cyber bullying and fat shaming.
Cassey Ho, whose positive attitude has earned her Blogilates fitness channel millions of followers, appears in the video called "The 'Perfect' Body". It shows her returning from a run and taking a selfie in the mirror, before reading positive messages from her fans.
But the posts soon take a darker turn, as Ms Ho is confronted with messages telling her she “shouldn’t give advice when you’re so fat.”
“Trainer?...really? tone up the belly fat and love handles," another reads.
In a scene likely all too familiar to viewers, Ms Ho then undresses, and examines her body – pinching at her stomach and squashing her breasts to make them appear arger.
As more negative messages flash up, asking why she doesn’t have a 6-pack like “all trainers” and harshly advising her to suck in her stomach, Ms Ho uses special effects to scrub away what are deemed to be her imperfections.
The video shows her thinning out her thighs to create a “thigh gap”, flattening her hips, englarging her behind, inflating her breasts, thinning her face, and even transforming the colour of her eyes.
Ms Ho then happily takes another selfie, showing off her new “perfect body”, but quickly realises she isn't happy, and undoes the changes. The final screen asks viewers “what would you change?”
The social-media-savvy fitness guru cleverly unveiled the video on Facebook last week by sharing a secretly Photoshopped image of her body. She captioned the post: “Finally got my perfect body” and invited readers to discover her “body slimming secrets”. Readers were then directed to the thought-provoking film.
And the reaction to the video only proved Ms Ho’s point. She later posted how her ‘perfect body’ photo she was both praised and degraded.
Ms Ho wrote to her Facebook followers: “It's hard to be content with the shape of your body when people are constantly telling you how fat you are. The backhanded compliments, the mean comments, the cyber bullying - all of this messes with us...and it hurts.
“What if getting flat abs and bigger boobs was as easy as a click. What if you could stop all the hate and just photoshop yourself right now, in real life? What would you change?
She urged them: “Please share this video to battle body shaming and cyber bullying.”
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