A plus-size blogger has revealed she was told to cover up after she wore a string bikini.
Anna O’Brien, 33, from Cleveland, Ohio, is best known on social media as @glitterandlazers and has built a sizable audience thanks to her Instagram account and YouTube channel.
However, the fashion-loving advocate for body positivity has revealed that she was told to cover up her body while wearing a string bikini in Las Vegas, despite being surrounded by women in pasties.
Cover up: Anna O’Brien, 33, from Cleveland, Ohio has revealed she was told to ‘cover up’ while wearing a bikini in Las Vegas
Loud and proud: The blogger who is best known on social media as @glitterandlazers revealed that she found it ‘ironic’ that the ‘thin girls in thongs and pasties’ weren’t told the same
No shame: The body positivity advocate frequently posts pictures of herself in swimwear on her social media accounts
‘I find it ironic that I’ve taken photos in swimsuits all over the world and the one place I was told to cover up was Las Vegas. Sure, thin girls in thongs and pasties are A OK but a plus girl in a full coverage suit, trying to take an epic editorial shot- now that’s just too much,’ she captioned a shot of her posing in an ornately decorated hallway while wearing a leopard print bikini.
‘Jokes on them though, I’d already gotten the perfect photo. They can’t erase this happened,’ she added.
Although Anna was proud to pose for and post the photo to social media, she added that her attempt to push boundaries and offer an alternative interpretation of the ‘bikini body’ has been frequently met with criticism.
‘It’s more than just a girl in the city of sin in a bikini, It’s a statement. We will be seen. We’re not hiding anymore. And we’re going to wear whatever we want, wherever we want. Not just in Vegas. EVERYWHERE,’ she wrote.
‘Change is coming; the question is are you going to stand in the way or help us push through?’
And it seems Anna’s bold statement has resonated with her followers as they have taken to the comments section in their droves to offer words of encouragement, praise and support.
Instagram user @mosdefsteph_ wrote: ‘I cannot tell you how happy it makes me that you got the shot you were there for and that they cannot take that away! I am so tired of the idea that being big means you have to wear a parka and a floor length skirt. Thank you for pushing this issue and for letting people know that it’s ok to love the skin you are in’.
Pushing it: Although she’s happy to push boundaries, Anna also shared that she’s frequently subjected to criticism online
Support: Anna’s bold statement has resonated with her followers and they have taken to the comments section in their droves to offer words of encouragement, praise and support
Stunner: Hundreds of women have commented that Anna’s photo has given them the courage to embrace their own bodies
A sentiment shared by @juliaalegra who typed: ‘Stunning, fearless and graceful! This is one of the most beautiful pictures of you. You give me hope that I can be proud to be different too!’
While @antoniettelara commented: ‘You make me so proud to be a woman. Not perfect but real!!! I love you and the body positivity!’
Fan @thegrumpynat shared: ‘Thank you for your brave attitude. I wish we‘d met 20 years ago, when the mobbing I had to go though in school started. I‘m glad that the next generation has role models like you. Keep going’.
And @fragments_of_fi felt moved enough to write: ‘Brilliant! Such an icon Anna! I know it’s not a big deal to do something so normal like wear a bikini, but to do it when so many feel it’s wrong, clearing the way for it to be normal for every one is simply nothing but wonderful and magical.’
However not everyone had positive things to say, with several people taking to the comments section to suggest Anna was promoting an unhealthy body image.
Username @laurenlmg88 typed: ‘Pushing boundaries is great but also pushing for a healthy body is exceptionally important if you want to keep blogging and making a difference with the boundaries you push, long-term. Not hating, just suggesting.’
And @lotusdahlia_xo said: ‘I’m sorry I do not want to be rude at all, but perhaps this weight is not good for your health. Body image should not be about vanity and if you are projecting yourself as a public role model, do you not want young girls to know how important it is to take care of your health by eating properly and exercising? Stereotypes are meant to be broken, yes absolutely, but not at the cost of health.’
Happy: One person shared that Anna’s image made them feel happy and joyful
Emotional: Another fans revealed that her picture made them feel emotional
Rocking it: One woman encouraged Anna to ‘keep rocking that beautiful body’
Slay: Another fan commended her bravery for sticking up for those who do not have a voice online
However some Instagram fans proposed that Anna’s experience was not because of her size or shape, but because Vegas has strict rules about wearing swimwear indoors.
User @alliyogi shared: ‘Vegas is the only place they tell you to cover up when your inside of hotels and other places. It’s not just you on this one. I was running through a hotel with a coverup on but it was open and I got yelled at for skin showing and I’m a size 4. Vegas is extremely strict unless you’re at a pool’.
And @if_you_start_now suggested: ‘Saw this and before I read the caption was like “wow” but then “I’m surprised she could get away wearing a bikini in somewhere like that”. Maybe the UK is different but I’ve worked in tourism and had to tell people to cover up even on really hot days. That men with shirts off or women wearing shorts and a bikini top or similar. If you’re at a hotel/ tourist attraction in the UK I would expect to be told to cover up and I am not overweight. Maybe American culture is different but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be asked to cover up in a private place’.