Making the rounds online is a 24-year-old hair and makeup professional’s transformation story that has resonated with a lot of people. Simone Anderson, who lives and works in New Zealand, was proud of herself for losing 182 pounds in just under a year and hoped to use social media to inspire others who may have a challenging amount of weight to lose. She started with gastric bypass surgery and followed up with an aggressive, dedicated workout and diet plan.
“I set myself a goal that seemed so far out of reach at the time, but I have stuck to it and with a lot of determination, will power, drive, motivation & compromise I have achieved my goal,” Anderson wrote as part of her caption for a before-and-after pic. “Proud doesn't even begin to describe this feeling! Every 5am start, every single workout, tear, crying fit has all been worth it!”
But the reaction wasn’t what she’d expected. Anderson looked so different in her “after” shot that people accused her of faking her weight loss by photographing two different people. Others attacked her personal style, accused her of being obsessive or made other derogatory comments. It was as if they were bringing to life Taylor Swift’s lyrics—“Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate.” But Anderson couldn’t just shake it off. Instead, to at least prove she hadn’t faked the photos, she posted another after pic, this one revealing the excess skin left after the weight came off.
This time, people came to her defense. There’s now a Givealittle account to help her pay for the surgery to remove the excess skin. Like a lot of hairdressers, she relied on her confidence, candor and good intentions to bring her through. Anderson ended her skin-reveal post with a self-affirmation: “GO ME!”