Does getting naked online prove you love yourself?

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By Madame Noir

I wasn’t going to touch this Countess Vaughn situation because, honestly, I’m still trying to unsee the picture above which someone tagged me in three nights ago. And I’ve now since put the photo in this post for you all to see because… misery loves company.

Just kidding.

In all seriousness, I have no issue with Countess’ body and I’d be a hypocritical clown to try to shame her shape — especially in a public forum. But what does give me pause is the idea that straddling a chair backwards in a thong on the gram is the definition of self-love when, in all honesty, it looks like the exact opposite. I can think of a lot of ways to spread the message of loving one’s self. I can think of even more ways to practice loving my damn self more. None of them involve me prancing around in panties for IG likes, which is really just a digital form of seeking affirmation — and we’re all guilty of falling prey to that from time to time.

But the thing is, if you’re going to post a pic like this and preach “You better love yo self,” two things have to happen: (1) you have to actually love yourself and (2) you have to also love other people’s bodies,without reservation. Just a week ago, Countess was shaming another woman on IG for stepping out in public rather scantily clad.

I’m not even touching the situation in the pic above, but the reality is, if Countess’ photo is OK, then what this woman wore has to be OK too. Who’s to say this isn’t how this woman proves she loves herself? I mean, she actually has on more clothes than Countess, who is dead wrong for blasting this woman on social media without her consent, but that’s another issue.

I get why women take to social media with anti-body shaming campaigns. We’ve all long been tired of only one type of body being celebrated as beautiful by the mainstream, and it’s inspiring and encouraging to witness the confidence of women who lead and participate in those movements. But if you’re going to be about body positivity,  make sure you’re really about that life. Loving yourself isn’t something you just turn on when you’re feeling yourself for the night and get someone to snap a pic when you’re “cute” then turn off when you’re not overly made up or dressed overtly sexual. In fact, you can actually show you love yourself fully dressed, even more so by dressing your body with appropriate clothing that enhances your figure. Novel concept, I know.

What bothers me a bit about Countess’ latest photo, and many others on her page like it, is the motive doesn’t strike me as genuine. If you want your booty cheeks on the gram because you want your booty cheeks on the gram, that’s your right. Just don’t say it’s because you love yourself, admit that you’re feeling yourself for the moment. Or you had too much to drink and thought this was a good idea and there weren’t any real friends around you to tell you better. I can respect that.

What I have a hard time doing is looking at the image at the top and seeing self-love. And for that reason, I’d give Countess the same advice we give any other Instagram or video model we believe is seeking validation by being publicly hypersexual and half-dressed: You don’t have to do this to make people love you. You’re beautiful just the way you are.

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