Model and body positive advocate Melinda Parrish posted a Facebook Live video on Friday talking about her diet and weight loss struggles. Although Parrish said she received an overwhelmingly positive response for the video, she was not allowed to “boost” it to reach more viewers, PEOPLE reports.
“My goal was just to open up and reveal some of what I’ve gone through personally and create a dialogue,” Parrish, 32, tells PEOPLE. She wanted to spark a conversation.
In the video, Parrish, a former Navy officer, talks about her own history with dieting and how it used to consume her life.
“I’m here to tell you that you do not have to lose weight in order to be worthy of the life of your dreams,” she says in the video.
“Having been a woman that didn’t always feel like she had a voice, didn’t always feel like she had control of her body, inspiring and empowering women is something that’s really important to me,” Parrish says. “I view this work doing body positive advocacy as my way to serve my country in my life after my Navy service.”
Facebook told her she could not boost her post, even though she thought she was sharing a positive message. Facebook sent her an email that said, “We find your message to be offensive.” They explained that weight loss is a “sensitive in nature topic” and try not to promote posts about “changes to the body that may upset or be sensitive to some users.”
Parrish said, “it really put a bad taste in my mouth,” especially because she opened up to people and was incredibly vulnerable. All she wanted to do was share her story.
Eventually, Facebook boosted her post, but never really answered why they didn’t promote it in the first place.