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Body Positivity

Woman Starts #CelluliteSaturday to Fight Her Body Dysmorphic Disorder

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Source: Kenzie Brenna/Instagram

One woman is on a mission to fill your Instagram feed with photos of women proudly showing off their cellulite.

Kenzie Brenna started sharing photos of her own about a month ago with #CelluliteSaturday. She says it helps her to feel better about herself as she recovers from body dysmorphic disorder.

“I use social media as therapy,” Brenna, 26, tells PEOPLE, “I find things I’m insecure or vulnerable about and I post a picture and write about my thoughts. Cellulite naturally came up because I feel ashamed about mine. But why? Women are genetically predispositioned to it. Why am I being ashamed of something 90 percent of us have?”

GOOD MORNINGGGG ✨☀️🌎 So, today is #cellulitesaturday 💆💜 Let's talk stats ok? These are pretty wild to me. 42% of girls in grade 1-3 want to be thinner 💔 78 fucking % of 17 year old girls are unhappy with their bodies 💔 "Teenage girls are more afraid of gaining weight then getting cancer, losing their parents or nuclear war." 😖😖😖 In 2013 the American Medical Association created a policy that really didn't go anywhere, stating that the effects of digitally altering images to impressionable youth were so harmful they cause HEALTH PROBLEMS. I'm not fucking making this shit up people. And did it do anything? Nope. That's why offering up my #realbody, unedited, unfiltered for you to look at, for trolls to rip apart, is important because we have LITERALLY FORGOTTEN WHAT REAL BODIES LOOK LIKE. To quote WIKIPEDIA "cellulite occurs in 80-90% of women, the prevailing medical condition is that it's 'merely the normal condition of many women.'" 👏NORMAL. It's fucking NORMAL.👏 With stats above it drives me so hard so that way my future daughters and sons grow up with more real images of bodies around them than I did. To pray their mental and physical health isn't as affected as mine was. #fuckyeahhhhh #thisbody #celluliteisokay #bodyconfidence #nobodyshame #recovery #bodyimage #bodyimageissues #cellulite

A photo posted by Kenzie Brenna (@omgkenzieee) on

It’s a topic that clearly resonated with women, because the hashtag quickly took off on Instagram, a big boost for Brenna.

Outtake turned favorite shot for #cellulitesaturday hosted by my girl @omgkenzieee . She shared some seriously eye opening statistics this morning about the epidemic that is body image distortion plaguing our young people. I find so much value and passion in my work with young teen girls, teaching them the foundations of self love so that they don't wait until they're 30+ to start discovering how amazing they are with my nonprofit @girlphoria . We can make a difference by creating an open environment to talk about the expectations and the realities. I don't put bathing suits on and flaunt my body for attention or validation. I do it for the young girls and women trying to find someone that looks like them in a sea of photo shopped bodies. In short- body diversity. Representation of all the different ways you can look with emphasis that there is no right or wrong way🤔. This is why you'll find me sharing the parts of me that make me uncomfortable. So that I can provide peace for just one girl that she is worthy, cellulite and all. As always babes, just do you! Xoxo Allie

A photo posted by 🌴 ALLISON 🌸 Girl Power Guru 🙌🏻 (@allisonkimmey) on

“It means the world to me! It means women are embracing apart of themselves that has been ridiculed forever!” the Toronto-based actress says of the response. “It’s difficult to do, so I never underestimate the strength of my girls who act with such bravery. That makes the message so much more meaningful, because it becomes way bigger than me. It becomes about affecting the world around you.”

And their support has helped Brenna, now three years into her recovery, “explore [her] vulnerability.”

RELATED VIDEO: Katie Couric Has Learned to Love Her Cellulite

 

“I have hated the way I looked ever since I could remember,” she says. “But it got really bad in the year 2012. I ended up covering my mirror with a blanket, I couldn’t watch myself change in change rooms, I wouldn’t look at myself in the bathroom. When I did I would spend a massive amount of time going over imperfections, I would cry before work because I believed people would see me and only see my imperfections, then judge me on it.”

Hi, I'm Kenzie! It's #WorldMentalHealthDay 🤗 The girl on the left wishes she met the girl on the right ten years ago. The girl on the left was hiding her left arm so people didn't become uncomfortable realizing her self harm, she couldn't eat in front of people and she didn't want anyone to love her, she was also in therapy in a alternative high school for people with learning disabilities. She has an awesome sense of humour, loves pizza and her dogs. The girl on the right who is still trying to get her footing still loves pizza, has a wicked sense of humour and loves her dogs. Something's never change. The things that have: got a better therapist, used social media as a tool to heal, can eat in front of others without feeling triggered AND increased her reading level 😊📖 🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸 Be so so kind to others, invisible and visible battles happen daily and we just really don't know what each one of us is really going through. #staykindandloving #stayaware

A photo posted by Kenzie Brenna (@omgkenzieee) on

Brenna says she’s been “slowly recovering” since 2013, and works on spreading a message of body positivity on social media.

“Loving yourself is the scariest, most incredible revolution one can go through,” she says. “The rewards are eternal and your struggle becomes the voice for others who can’t yet articulate what they are going through. Having the courage to love yourself in a world that constantly is telling you to change — that’s the riot I will be apart of.”