When Georgia Gibbs (21) and Kate Wasley (22), two models from Perth, Western Australia, shared the below picture of themselves out partying on the weekend, they were shocked to see the snap go viral.
The longtime best friends couldn’t believe the reaction to the seemingly innocuous photo. However, thousands of people on Instagram were obsessed with the friends’ size 8 and size 16 bodies photographed together—some even cried Photoshop, accusing the women of digitally altering the picture. “We would work out the same, eat the same, go to the beach together, sing to Beyonce with all the windows down in Kate’s Hyundai and never once did it cross our minds that there was any obvious difference between us,” Georgia Gibbs told Sporteluxe
However, it’s what they did next that really turned them into a social media sensation. With the goal of making the world see them as the BFFs saw themselves—two happy, healthy friends—and make size irrelevant, they hired a photographer, created an Instagram account, and started sharing snaps of themselves together at @any.body_co.
Since launching five days ago, the Any Body Instagram account has amassed almost 35,000 followers and had a staggering 12,800,000 views. The Perth-based besties have been flooded with positive comments and messages of support from people who feel connected to their message of body positivity. It’s a pretty incredible story—particularly in today’s size-obsessed social media environment—so we reached out to Georgia and Kate to learn more about their story. Keep scrolling.
Sporteluxe How long have you been modeling for?
Georgia Gibbs: Kate and I have both been modeling for a short period, I’ve been modeling for around three years and Kate about two, before that we were both at university studying in Perth.
Why did you start this Instagram?
The purpose of Any Body is to remind women of all shapes and sizes to embrace who they are and what makes them unique and to stop comparing themselves to the women around them or women they see on social media. Our aim is to encourage a societal shift from the idea of the “perfect” body, to the perfect body being whatever you want it to be and push for a movement amongst brands to stock broader size ranges and use different size and shape women in their advertising campaigns alongside each other.
Why now? Was there a specific event or reason that made you want to create the account?
I posted an Instagram photo of Kate and I out on the weekend, it got reposted a lot and the controversy blew my mind, we were just girlfriends out for a dance, whats the big deal? “You have photoshopped yourself thinner or your friend bigger, what kind of friend are you?” [people said.] In retrospect, society just wasn’t used to seeing a size eight and a size 16 next to each other in a photo. This photo went viral purely because people were shocked and instantly began to pick us a part and compare us to each other. That is when we decided, what better to do than create something positive out of this situation and try and change the way women look at each other and the way society looks at todays modern woman. We never saw one “curvy” girl and one “skinny” girl so why do they?
Your photos are stunning! Did you work with a professional photographer ahead of launching the account?
We spent two hours with [fashion and lifestyle photographer] Chris Mohen and literally ran around the beach being a usual selves in an effort to capture not only our differences but our friendship too.
What are you both hoping to get out of sharing this message?
We are hoping that women will be kinder to themselves, that the majority of brands we appeal to a broader audience and change their marketing, and we are hoping that we all learn to stop comparing ourselves to one another and appreciate ourselves as more than just physical beings. Our aim [is to promote] health over size.
As friends who spend a lot of time together, did you ever feel like you were comparing your bodies?
No never, we would work out the same, eat the same, go to the beach together, sing to Beyonce with all the windows down in Kate’s Hyundai and never once did it cross our minds that there was any obvious difference between us. Sure we’ve commented on each others bodies, but always in a positive and uplifting way, people forget a lot of the time body shape is genetics so why do we beat ourselves up about things we sometimes can’t change?
What has the response been to your new account?
The response has been absolutely amazing, more than we ever could have dreamed of or asked for. We have had hundreds of direct messages from women writing paragraphs about the way the account makes them feel, posting pictures of their group of friends embracing their bodies and overall men and women have both been so positive and open to the idea its been such a heart warming week! Obviously, you alway get the odd person with something negative to say but how can we focus on that when we have had such a beautiful response from everyone else. We launched five days ago, we have 35,000 followers and had 12,800,000 views. We are both so humbled and filled with love by the response to Any Body and we can’t wait to share what we have in store for everyone.