‘Nasty’ backlash to star’s gym selfie
It has been seven months since Australian fitness star Emily Skye gave birth to her second child - and after experiencing a barrage of vile comments about her post-baby body, she has an important message to share.
The Gold Coast trainer, 36, who is known for her successful online fitness program Emily Skye Fit, spoke exclusively to news.com.au about some of the "hurtful" messages she has been receiving since the birth of her son Izaac in June last year.
She said that while she experienced body shaming after having her eldest daughter Mia, 3, some of the things people are writing to her now are "a lot worse".
"If I engage, it's always kind, I'm never nasty back," Emily said.
"One lady wrote 'I hope your baby dies'.
"And as much as what she said was hurtful and pissed me off, I thought she must be in pain herself or something must have happened because her prior messages were nice - she would tell me I have such a lovely bond with my daughter and ask if I have had Izaac yet."
Emily responded to the woman saying, "I hope you are OK, sending love."
But admittedly, she said like most people, it's never nice to receive nasty comments, especially one's about your children.
Other comments have centred around her post-baby body, with some reading: "Yuck. Adding to list of reasons to never have Kids. RIP fit bod. Unfollowing", to "Well you better practice what you preach, because looking at your rig … it's not in good order to steal millions off the public … your (sic) a scab".
She explained that despite her body naturally changing after birth, it doesn't take away from her experience and qualifications as a personal trainer.
"After I had my daughter, I had this feeling that I needed to be fit - I thought I had to look fit to be an expert in fitness, but I am still an expert because I will always have that knowledge and experience," she said.
Emily, who has a combined social media following of 12.5 million, said she is initially filled with anger by the harsh comments.
"I am irritated, frustrated and hurt - all those natural human responses, but then I go OK, let's take control now, I am not going to let them bring me down."
"I practise deep breathing, it helps calm me down and I think about it; that they are coming from a place of pain and not thinking clearly."
She purposely posts photos showing her differences, to prove no one is perfect - not even social media influencers.
And by sharing her own body shaming experience, she wants to remind women to always love themselves and not let anyone negatively influence your relationship with your body.
"I've said this before - I love my body so much and I am grateful for everything it has done for me and my kids," Emily said.
But it was a moment straight after giving birth to her son, when she felt the most connected and grateful for her body.
"I always used to be focused on how I looked and wanting to be lean, but now I am obsessed with my body's functions," Emily said.
"I made a promise to myself the day I gave birth to my son Izaac that if I were to ever have negative thoughts about my body I'd remind myself of what it's done for me and how blessed I am."
She said it was after she was taken to hospital following her emergency birth it was then she had a moment of realisation.
"After I took my first shower (following the birth) I looked in the mirror, held my belly and said 'thank you', you are amazing'."
"I thought to myself if I every get those feelings and worry about things like stretch marks, I have to think about that moment and remember what it has done.
"And I have never have had to remind myself to this day."
Part of the reason for Emily's huge success and social media following is attributed to her raw and honest posts.
In fact, for her newly created post-pregnancy program, to be released February 1, the mother-of-two recorded it in real-time with her post-pregnancy body.
"It's not a year later when I am back in shape with abs - I want people to go through my journey with me, to see I also struggle, have stretched skin and everything."
Emily, who worked with a post-natal expert on the program, said she is really proud of it and her body in getting through the training.
It is filmed in three stages - recover, progress and rebuild and it also covers mental wellbeing, self esteem and body image expectations.
Emily has been back at training five days a week and while she said it has been challenging, particularly finding the motivation, she added that she has never felt stronger.
"I am listening to my body and understanding that it takes time - but I feel amazing and on top of the world," she said.
Originally published as 'Nasty' backlash to star's gym selfie