Amy Sheppard, uber-successful singer and songwriter for Australian pop band Sheppard, is a fitness advocate and brave body-positive soldier. She is also the founder of the #KISSMYFATASS movement that took over our social feed last year. Sheppard sat down with STRONG Australia to explain how a few raw Instagram posts first started a social revolution.
SFMA: How do you think social media should be used to promote body positivity for women?
Sheppard: Social media is extremely detrimental to the body image of women of all ages. With followers being used as currency and instant gratification for the way you look, it’s no wonder people only post their highlight reel.
Eating disorders, low self-esteem and suicide are on the rise, and people are lonelier than ever before. My view is that it doesn’t have to be this way: social media can be used to do amazing things. Positive role models are desperately needed on social media, and I hope that my profile can be a breath of fresh air for anyone struggling with keeping up appearances online.
SFMA: What has been your personal experience with body image issues?
Sheppard: I grew up as an overweight child and was subjected to bullying from a young age. Being in a successful band only exacerbated my body image issues. People would comment about any body weight changes, and I always worried about what people thought of me.
SFMA: How did the #KISSMYFATASS movement come about?
Sheppard: At the start of 2019, I became fed up with trying to be the perfect version of a ‘pop star’. I was only ever posting my most flattering photos online and I was in a miserable relationship with yoyo dieting. I decided to post a series of photos of myself as I really was – I exposed my lumps, bumps and rolls, and used the hashtag #KISSMYFATASS. Before I knew it, women from all around the world were joining me in sharing their realistic bikini photos. I no longer need to chase perfection and I don’t compare my body to other bodies I see online.
SFMA: Finally, what advice would you give women to help promote body positivity?
Sheppard: Unfollow anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself. I only follow women [on social media] who are inspiring or women I can learn something from.
To read the complete interview with Amy Sheppard, grab a copy of our December/January edition of the magazine.