Shape magazine rejected a photo of Brooke Birmingham showing her excess skin. Now, she's speaking out

By Michelle Ward
Updated December 11, 2014 09:40 AM
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Courtesy Brooke Birmingham

Brooke Birmingham is completely comfortable in her own skin. All of it.

The blogger became an Internet sensation in May after sharing a bikini photo of herself following her 172-lb. weight loss. She said the image, which showed excess skin around her abdomen, was rejected for an online story by Shape magazine.

When Shape asked that she send another image wearing a shirt, Birmingham, 29, proudly refused. Her story quickly went viral. (Shape explained the situation stemmed from a miscommunication on the part of a freelance writer).

Now, Birmingham is opening up about her experience. Not only will she be featured in a Shape photo shoot next year, she contributed to Today.com’s 2014 Voices, a series of online essays and interviews.

Although Birmingham said in her essay that she was surprised at becoming “the face of positive body image,” she also said: “I’m happy that I’ve given hope to others who may have a lot of weight to lose – hope that they too can live a better quality of life.”

She explains that her initial blog post received positive and negative comments, but the good outweighed the bad. “I heard from so many people that they loved seeing a non-Photoshopped image, and seeing that it was okay to love the skin you’re in, no matter what.”

In the essay, Birmingham also expressed gratitude for her “rock,” husband Zach, and admitted that her fitness and health regimen “sort of went by the wayside during the whole viral experience.”

But she s back on track once more.

“I’m fully committed to getting back to Weight Watchers and an exercise routine this last month and it feels great!”

As for what she s learned: “Be yourself no matter the situation, and never be afraid to stand up for what you believe. You never know who you may inspire when you do.”