Sophie Gray’s Instagram feed is a haven of body positivity and self acceptance, but it wasn’t always this way – the former personal trainer gained a ha-uge number of devoted fans posting #fitspo snaps and ripped ab selfies.
And it was this evolution that saw her followers drop from 430,000 to 367,000.
“This is not a coincidence but rather a result of me changing my message,” the 22-year-old told Yahoo Beauty.
Sophie no longer poses in crop tops or posts candid bikini pics, deciding to focus on healthy living from the inside out.
“I was trying to deny who I was,” Sophie said. “I even had two sets of workout clothes — colourful sports bras for my demo videos and a very old sports bra, which I wore with a ratty Nike T-shirt for exercising in private. Those cute sports bras aren’t supportive!”
“Having a six pack and thigh gap doesn't make you happy,” Sophie wrote previously on Instagram.
“And I'm sick of women being told they have to be anything other than themselves to be happy. I know I was in the #fitspoindustry for years, and I still want you to care for your body but🖕 this b*llshit.”
Sophie has been open about her struggles with disordered eating, anxiety and a lack of self acceptance. After starting a health and fitness journey to help her heal, she realised the bikini clad shots she was sharing didn’t jibe with her general ethos.
“A year ago, I had a panic attack while on a plane and began questioning why I felt the need to post those types of photos,” says Gray. “How could I preach self-acceptance and post these images? Why is my self-worth attached to a body type? I don’t even like working out! Once I realised those photos were a way to avoid who I really am, I made a vow to stop posting them.”
Ultimately, that little number on the top of her account doesn’t matter.
“I don’t care how many followers I have,” says Gray. “My audience may be smaller, but I’m attracting the right people.”