One would hardly expect Cassey Ho, the 28-year-old fitness star behind the popular YouTube channel blogilates, to feel insecure about her body. But her most recent video, "The Perfect Body," proves that body insecurities deceptively have less to do with what one actually looks like than they do with the toxic culture that surrounds us. And she does so without saying a single word.
The video starts on a positive note. Ho reads supportive comments like, "Love u Cassey!!!" and "pls pls pls come to DC!!! u have tones of POPsters here!"
Then the comments take a nasty turn. "You shouldn't give advice when you're so fat," one comment states. "Trainer? ... really? tone up the belly fat and love handles" reads another.
Like so many other women who have faced similarly demeaning comments about their bodies, Ho critically inspects her body in a mirror.
A screen then appears before her. "Would you like to make changes?" it asks.
Ho then begins to effectively Photoshop herself — narrowing her thighs and waist, increasing her bust and even altering her facial features.
She snaps a photo of her supposedly new and improved body, but seems to realize her mistake. "What would you change?" The video asks in conclusion.
"It's hard to be content with the shape of your body when people are constantly telling you how fat you are," Ho wrote in a Facebook post announcing the video last week. "The backhanded compliments, the mean comments, the cyberbullying — all of this messes with us ... and it hurts."
This video may not explicitly condemn the body-shaming culture that encourages many women to alter their bodies in order to please or live up to the expectations of others. But Ho shows the effects of this experience in a way that might encourage some of those demeaning YouTube commenters to think twice before they body shame again.
h/t Business Insider