Plus-Sized Woman Sexually Harassed During Times Square Photoshoot

Plus Size Woman Wears Bikini In Times Square And Is Relentlessly Harassed

Image via Anna O'Brien/Instagram

The plus-sized fashion blogger says she was ‘overwhelmed’ by the graphic comments

Anna O’Brien, a plus-sized fashion and lifestyle blogger, conquered her fears last week when she posed in a bikini in Times Square. The photoshoot should have been a positive, inspiring, and important moment. Instead, she was forced to listen to awful, sexual comments about her body.

O’Brien took to Instagram to recount the whole disgusting series of events. As she stood on a bench, rocking the hell out of a bright purple bikini, men stopped to make a bunch of gross catcalls. Ironically, O’Brien noted, there were two nearly naked women covered in body paint nearby who were left completely alone.

“No one felt the need to yell or scream what they wanted to do to their bodies,” she wrote. “But to me, a plus woman in a swimsuit, the things that were said were so graphic it made me sick to my stomach.”

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Yesterday I did the scariest thing I have done in my 30+ years… I stood in times square in a bikini and posed for a photo shoot. In the beginning I felt really overwhelmed. Not because I was mocked, but because I was so extremely sexualized by a few men who were watching. What was so ironic to me was that to the right of me were two nearly nude women covered only with body paint and no one felt the need to yell or scream what they wanted to do to their bodies. But to me, a plus woman in a swimsuit, the things that were said were so graphic it made me sick to my stomach. One man said he felt justified in saying what he did- because “plus women don’t know they’re ****able.” Let me be very clear here: a plus size woman’s worth, or any one woman’s worth for that matter, is not contingent on someone wanting to have sex with them. You don’t exist to pleasure someone else… you exist to change the world. #plussize #timessquare #selflove #selfworth #brave #fearless 📸 @larabellenewyork

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“What was so ironic to me was that to the right of me were two nearly nude women covered only with body paint and no one felt the need to yell or scream what they wanted to do to their bodies,” O’Brien writes.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, one of the men said he felt the comments were justified because “plus women don’t know they’re ****able.” Excuse me while I vomit everywhere. This really, really shouldn’t have to be said but no woman needs to be reassured by a strange man that she is fuckable. Ever.

“Let me be very clear here: a plus size woman’s worth, or any one woman’s worth for that matter, is not contingent on someone wanting to have sex with them,” O’Brien said. “You don’t exist to pleasure someone else… you exist to change the world.”

Yup, yup, YUP.

Plus Size Woman Wears Bikini In Times Square And Is Relentlessly Harassed

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Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that O’Brien has had to deal with this awful double standard. During a bikini photoshoot in Vegas last April, she was told to put some clothes on. In Vegas of all places.

The blogger had even gotten permission from the location ahead of time. “I asked to shoot swimsuits with a professional photographer and included my media kit,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle. “I received a reply stating that I was welcome to shoot anywhere in the hotel except the casino floor, provided I had no large equipment.”

Five minutes into the shoot, a guard came over and told her she needed to cover up. “Sure, thin girls in thongs and pasties are A OK but a plus girl in a full coverage suit, trying to take an epic editorial shot- now that’s just too much,” O’Brien wrote in an Instagram post.

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I find it ironic that I’ve taken photos in swimsuits all over the world and the one place I was told to cover up was Las Vegas. Sure, thin girls in thongs and pasties are A OK but a plus girl in a full coverage suit, trying to take an epic editorial shot- now that’s just too much. Jokes on them though, I’d already gotten the perfect photo. They can’t erase this happened. I’m learning as I push myself to do more editorial type concepts, the push back is greater. But that’s why I push. It’s more than just a girl in the city of sin in a bikini, It’s a statement. We will be seen. We’re not hiding anymore. And we’re going to wear whatever we want, wherever we want. Not just in Vegas. EVERYWHERE. Change is coming; the question is are you going to stand in the way or help us push through? Bikini by @curvybeach #lasvegas #plussize #fashion #bodypositive #confidence #idowhatiwant 📸 @larabellenewyork

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These awful comments and ridiculous double standards aren’t going to stop O’Brien. She’s going to keep modeling and looking fierce as hell – no matter how much pushback she gets.

“We’re not hiding anymore,” she concluded. “And we’re going to wear whatever we want, wherever we want. Not just in Vegas. EVERYWHERE. Change is coming; the question is are you going to stand in the way or help us push through?”