I used to hate my cellulite and stretch marks but now I flaunt them in bikinis, self-love is the way forward | The Sun

A BODY positive influencer is reminding her followers to love themselves regardless of what they look like.

She shared unedited images of herself in a bikini – stretch marks, cellulite, and all – to prove that all women are beautiful and to help others heal their relationship with their bodies.

Danae Mercer Ricci (@danaemercer) is a 36-year-old influencer who aims for authenticity on her page.

In a recent post, she shared two photos of herself: one in which she looked toned and lean, posing confidently in a bikini, and another in which she wore the same bikini but zoomed in on her relaxed frame so that her belly rolls and cellulite were on display.

She also shared an edited version of the posed photo which made her look even more glamorous and modelesque.

But she added a disclaimer: “When I’m 60, I don’t want to look back and only see fake photos of myself.”

The photos not only proved that most of what you see on social media isn’t real, but also that even the stereotypical flaws on a woman are beautiful.

Danae offered some words of wisdom with her post.

“You haven’t met all the people who will love you yet. But maybe you could start with the girl in the mirror,” she began in the caption.

“With her lines. Her scars. Her skin that tells of stories and years and struggles and triumphs.”

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She reflected on the feeling of loving oneself.

“How the relationship we have with ourselves, is the most important one of all.

“And how we love ourselves, is the way we teach others to love us too.”

The young Instagram model left her followers with a challenge.

“I want to challenge you, you brave, wonderful, complex creature. To look in the mirror, and open the door to the idea of love.

“Not for a stranger. Not for Prince Charming. But for you. You.

“I know it is hard. We have been taught to hate so much about our bodies, from our cellulite to our stretch marks, and standards are always shifting. Being a woman is complex.”

She offered a toast to self-love.

“You are smart. And you are strong. And you have all the power of a universe caught inside your chest, wrapped in your frame.

“You’re a love story waiting to happen. With the greatest fairytale ending of all.”

Viewers appreciated her advice.

“Always see your posts, I just wish every girl growing up right now could also see. Keep doing what you do – such a breath of fresh air in this fake world,” one wrote.

“I really needed this today, thank you!! Most of the days I feel ugly and I would like to change almost every part of me. I need to learn to love myself. It's so difficult when you fear that if you're not attractive, no one will love you. Your posts are really helpful,” added another.

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