I hugged my computer at least five times yesterday.

In case you missed all the noise on The Militant Baker's Facebook, it started when I received several emails from FB denying my request to promote an anti-bullying campaign called Bodies Aren't Ugly; Bullying Is

FB purposefully curbs visibility of posts so that you’re encouraged to purchase promotion services but there are apparently rules for such privileges. When I attempted to boost these images, I was sent a rejection email saying:

Your ad wasn't approved because it uses profane, vulgar, or threatening language, or insults, harasses, or demeans people, or addresses age, gender, race, physical condition, sexual preference, or generates high negative feedback."

When I appealed these four rejected ads I was greeted with a “Sorry We Can’t Process Your Request”.

I already take issue with the fact that body hate and bullying aren't considered "reportable" offenses, but now I'm now beyond frustrated that FB refuses to allow me to promote an ad (and I was paying them, remember) that CHALLENGES these social issues.

So I decided to challenge you to share, tweet, tag, and take back the internet. I challenged you to make some noise. 
I could not have prepared for the deafening roar that followed.

I expected a few dozen submissions,  generous sharing, and a legitimate amount of righteous indignation.
Instead, I was greeted by was over 500 images of you and your powerful messages (and they're still coming), thousands upon thousands of shares, and a call for justice so impressive it nearly broke your Facebook feeds.

Yesterday we reached over 1,700,000 people. Almost Two. Million. People.
You did that.
THAT is advocacy. 
THAT is power.

I got all misty-eyed guys. I really did.
It was beyond inspiring.

You made a difference. A huge difference. I was flooded with so many emails that I’m still trying to catch up. People wrote to thank YOU for your images. They shared how they sobbed, shook, and felt like they weren't alone for the first time. Parents thanked YOU for inspiring their daughters because all they want for her is a life lived body shame -free. Husbands wrote YOU, saying thank you for reaching their loved one; that she needed to see the message she was unable to hear from him. They thanked YOU for lifting up every woman and man who feels crushed by the pressure to be a vision of perfection that doesn’t exist.

It changed lives.
You did that.
THAT is advocacy. 
THAT is power.

It was an overwhelmingly positive day for your newsfeeds to say the least. But I know that it was also hard for some of you to read; maybe you even felt negativity about the autocomplete searches. I totally understand. This shit is ugly, hard, and sometimes knocks you over. And on top of this, it reaches deep into our core and reminds us of what we’ve been taught our entire life: that we are unworthy, undesirable, and unlovable because of our body.

But this a new day, guys. This isn’t 4th grade when Danielle called you Hippo all year. It’s not the time you were ten years old and afraid to teeter-totter because your weight might “do it wrong”.This isn’t the time when that guy told us that he just wasn’t into fat chicks. This isn’t the moment our mom told us we shouldn’t wear those sleeves because it made our arms look fat. This isn’t the advertisement on TV that made you feel uncomfortably large. This isn’t the awkward night where you watched a movie with a steamy sex scene and you couldn’t look your partner in the eye because your entire life you’ve been told that you're undesirable and you believed it. 

This isn’t the time when you experienced that sort of profound body shame in your life, whatever that looked like for you. 

We ALL have those stories, but this, my fellow comrades, is a new moment. A new starting in point life, we are creating our story OUR WAY and that all begins now. 

And so we must look at the ugly hate that tries to define us. 
We must look it straight in the eye and say "No. More." 

Because promoting what we love when we are oppressed isn't enough. We must both promote what we love and challenge that which tries to wrongfully shut us down.

Doing one of these actions without the other makes us...  
Half as effective.
Half of a statement.
Half of a movement.
Half of a revolution.

We must both love and fight.

Love the beauty around us. Love the people, places, moments, ideas, and glimpses into the future. We must also fight the discrimination, anger, judgment, bigotry and abuse that surrounds as well.  Only through using both of these tactics, will we be able to wrap our arms around the world and blanket it in change.

So that’s what your posters are.

They are the acknowledgement that there is some fucked up shit in the world, and jesus it can hurt. BUT, even louder than that, they say "LIAR!" They say that all bodies are beautiful. They say that we’re perfect just as we are. They say that we are all deserving of love, success, happiness, and respect no matter our shape. Those posters are your voices in visual form, roaring loud enough to drown out the hate, and that’s pure fucking magic.

It’s both loving and fighting, simultaneously and with such magnitude that people can't ignore it if they tried.

So thank you.
From me, and all of those you touched yesterday.

Seeing all of you, men and women, with smiles on your gorgeous faces while you unapologetically shared your fierce body love with the world... well, that was life changing.

I’ll tell you what. 
You are some rad motherfuckers.

This is still continuing, and will for quite a while. If you'd like to read the original post, it's here. If you want to see the Facebook album, it's here. IF YOU WANT TO FOLLOW OUR NEW #BodiesArentUglyBullyingIs TUMBLR CLICK HERE!!!

Oh, and come back on Monday. I've got something special for you.

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