This Plus-Sized Woman Turns Body-Shaming Comments Into Empowering Art

this is what retaliation looks like.

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Laura Delarato sure knows how to turn a bad day into a good one. For about a year, the 30-year-old Refinery 29 video producer has been taking the hurtful comments she receives on dating apps and turning them into empowering works of art through her kickass photo series The Comments Project.

"The whole project started as a way to uncover the messages I would get on dating sites, as I couldn't just be a woman looking to date," Delarato told Allure. "I was constantly reduced to a fetish because I'm plus-size. As I kept making more wide-spread projects in my professional life, the comments and trolling amplified across social media."

Delarato took those body-shaming comments and applied them over her gorgeous, NSFW portraits, resulting in powerful images that highlight everything that's wrong with how plus-size women are treated.

when I look in the mirror, I see the ultimate hot as fuck #plussize dream girl who can squat 180lbs, deadlift 240lbs, warrior pose with the best of them, run a 8-10 minute mile, dresses like a champ, dates like a queen and who values kindness above all • • • comments and personal attacks like this come from an ignorant understanding of health, size, and the misconception that having a larger body means you can't take care of yourself. • • • There is a lot of thin privilege in posting a food photo, eating in public, or just being confident — because if you're plus size, those simple moments are under scrutiny • • • Sadly, people still ask me if I ate junk food as a kid, if I workout, if I know my top is sheer, or where I get my confidence from. Answers: No...my grandmother would kill me, 5 days a week plus I'm a Getty Image fitness model, yes...sheer is life, and from the confidence store right on Go Fuck Yourself street • • • next time you want to come at me with some comment about my health, go to school, get your medical degree, start a practice, call me for a check up, and tell me that I need more sunlight because vitamin D deficiency is the only health problem I currently face • • • if you don't see me the way I see myself then that is tragic for you. XOXOXOX, your goddamn dream girl 🖤

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"The point of comments like these is to make me feel small and uncomfortable and like an object," she told Refinery29. "That’s how we control women."

"I didn’t want other people to think this is allowed," she continued. "So I refuse to let this go unnoticed."

MORE: Kelly Rowland Had the Best Response After a Troll Called Her Booty 'Old Looking'

In addition to her photo series, Delarato also pioneered a similar video campaign in which she created sexy images of plus-size women and blasted them onto buildings in New York City.

"Studies suggest that seeing body diversity more often can actually make people more likely to consider larger bodies more aspirational and attractive," she wrote about the video. "So I created a photo project to show New Yorkers how sexy plus-size women can be — by presenting them with steamy, intimate scenarios featuring one sexy plus-size woman: me. The project was dedicated to tackling misconceptions around fat bodies and sex, like fat people only have sex with other fat people, plus-size women don't look good in lingerie, and the idea that fat is a derogatory word."

While many people praised Delarato for the project, others still responded with sexism, fetishism and body shaming — so she simply incorporated those negative comments into her photo series.

"I'm a human, and that's the point of the whole project," she says. "Go ahead and say what you want to say — but I'm a person that you're saying this to. Not a computer screen."

Check out some of her empowering images below.

just out here living my diabetes-free life; being reduced to a fetish ... check out the lovely article written by @refinery29 writer @kassie_brabaw about how I use trolling comments for my own personal #bodypositive project (link👆in bio) #commentsproject

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Do your worst. I'm ready for you ⛓⚒🔪

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not today, misogyny. (click link 👆in bio) #silentrapeculture

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sitting & surviving

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a lesson in value

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fetishism, sexism, sizeism

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[H/T Instagram / @lauradelarato]

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