When model Georgia Gibbs posted a cute photo of herself with her best friend, Kate Wasley, she wasn't expecting such an overwhelming response — Gibbs was accused of Photoshopping the image so that she would look thinner, and her friend would look bigger.
"We posted this picture online, just as best friends going out on the weekend, it got reposted a lot and the controversy started," she wrote on the photo's caption on Instagram. "You have photoshopped yourself thinner or your friend bigger, what kind of friend are you? Was one of the comments, it broke my heart because Kate and I are best friends why would I do that?"
"The fact that a simple picture of two people together went so viral purely because of their body types shocked me," she wrote.
In fact, both Gibbs and Wasley were appalled that the simple fact that two women were standing next to each other in a photo meant that strangers could readily make assumptions about what they felt about each others' bodies or even their own. So they decided to team up with a joint Instagram account proving that they — and all women — can be friends without competing with each other or comparing themselves with each other.
"@any.body_co was created because no one should have to deal with that and it shouldn't even be acknowledged," Gibbs wrote in her Instagram caption. "All I see here is two women.. not one 'skinny' woman and one 'curvy' woman, stop comparing everyone to each other and accept every person as beautiful in their own right."
The BFFs' response turned the conversation on its head, and made an important point about comparison.
"In reality bodies are just bodies," they wrote on the caption of another photo. "What's powerful is seeing two very different but individually perfect bodies next to eachother & embracing that, well that's totally 100% normal and okay... We're best friends we walk next to eachother every day and love each other for who we are and for so much more than our appearances, size 6 or 16 WHO CARES, health & happiness over size!"
The duo is right — as the old saying goes, "comparison is the thief of joy." Whether you're comparing yourself to other people, or even comparing old photos of yourself, it can bring up insecurities.
Gibbs and Wasley, thankfully, were able to channel their energy into something more positive and embrace their friendship — instead of letting people tear them down.
Photographed by ERIN YAMAGATA.
Written by Kimberly Truong, contributor writer of Refinery29.