“I wish I had your confidence!”

Now wait a minute here.

Do you really think you can tell that a plus size woman is confident simply because she posted an Instagram image showing a lot of skin?

A body positive influencer who has 100,000 followers may earn over a thousand dollars per post if that individual has a partnership with a leading company or brand.

“I wish I had your confidence!”

For what? To pose for a shot that she knows will help pay next month’s rent? Who needs confidence for THAT?

It’s a safe bet that if a woman had the the face of Chucky and weighed 280 pounds — but knew that she’d get paid handsomely every time she posted an image of herself in a bikini or a crop top and short-shorts – she’d do it in a heartbeat.

Especially if she has a few young kids to take care of, car payments, mortgage, etc.

What body image influencer of large size is thinking, “I really gotta muster up my confidence for this photoshoot,” when she knows just three posts will reel in enough money for a new car?


But certainly, they had to start from ground zero. At some point, Instagram stars with plus size bodies were earning nothing for their posts.

One might argue that at that point, they needed major confidence to put up pictures in swimsuits, lingerie and mini skirts.

But the “I wish I had your confidence!” comments continue to pour in every time an influencer with well-known collaborations puts up a shot of herself in a bikini, tight leather mini skirt or some other “daring” attire. 

Don’t loyal followers realize that these images of so-called confidence are, to the Instagram star, a gravy train? 

There comes a point where a body confidence and self-love influencer is raking in so much money on Instagram that the belief that these women need confidence to post even more images is just plain madness. 

The Jealousy Factor

Those who see my point may be labeled as jealous by the Instagram star’s adoring followers.

Hey, who isn’t jealous of anyone who makes good money by posting selfies?

One particular red-head Instagram influencer appears to be around 350 pounds and may not need a single ounce of confidence to post several thousand images that have generated megabucks for her.

© Lorra Garrick

Plus, who needs confidence to post on Instagram when you have a gorgeous face?

Yet follower after follower posts on her pages, “I wish I had your confidence!”

It would make more sense if they posted, “I wish I had your face!”

What about influencers with under 100,000 followers?

In general, companies are not interested in accounts with fewer than 100,000 followers.

Does this mean that plus-size account holders with only 48,000 or 400 followers have great confidence because the pictures of themselves baring a lot of skin are unpaid?

Of course not. Some women like to put up images of themselves no matter what they look like. This is not a barometer for self-confidence.

They may also be doing it to gain followers so that one day they can snag paid sponsorships.

Also … we all have known at least one woman in our life (any size) who looks wonderful and supremely photogenic in pictures — yet outside of that posed snapshot in time — she’s drowning in self-pity and feelings of worthlessness.

Smiling for a photo on Instagram in “daring” outfits should not be equated with confidence.

What Confidence Isn’t

Roberto Hund, Pexels

“As both an RN and someone who has struggled with her weight, I often find myself scratching my head when I see some of the advertising, corporate branding and social media advocacy surrounding the body positivity movement,” says Sarah Johnson, an RN and health ambassador for FamilyAssets, an online eldercare and senior living resource.

“Despite the superficially feminist presentation of much of it, there are still a lot of women in their underwear showing off their bodies and giving themselves permission to feel ‘sexy’ (i.e., to conceive of themselves primarily as sexual objects).

“Confidence is often portrayed as a woman’s willingness to shamelessly and proudly flaunt her body in public, regardless of its shape, size or proportions.

“It is a very narrow definition of what it means to be a confident person and leaves out confidence in much more important contexts, including one’s abilities, one’s opinions, one’s decisions, one’s morality.

“The most counterproductive and outright irresponsible part of this new movement, however, is its advocacy of cavalier attitudes towards healthy weights, BMI and lifestyles.

“Some of the women appearing in these campaigns are quite clearly at a very unhealthy weight, which puts them at risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, joint problems, reproductive problems and even early death.

“They deceive women who see these advertisements and leave with a false sense of security and normalcy.”

FamilyAssets connects families with leading senior care providers using data and technology. Individuals can select goals and preferences to create a customized list of senior care options including assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained clients of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 



Top image: Shutterstock/staras