Shira Rosenbluth is a fashion blogger known on Instagram as “A Sequin Love Affair.”

Her profile describes her as a body positive style blogger, and she currently has over 98,000 followers. On Instagram, Rosenbluth showcases a dazzling display of beautiful clothing, accessories, and makeup in her posts— but she also promotes body positivity.

In November, Rosenbluth posted two photos of herself side by side.

A Sequin Love Affair/Instagram

In the caption, she wrote that she was a size two in the first photo. In the second photo, she was five dress sizes higher and 50 pounds heavier than the first— but healthier.

Rosenbluth explained that when she was a size two, she enjoyed the compliments others gave her. After all, she was the size society wanted her to be.

A Sequin Love Affair/Instagram

Rosenbluth wrote:

I looked exactly how society expected me to. I got comments every day congratulating my “discipline” and my strength, while being told I looked so much prettier and I better keep the weight off.

But Rosenbluth realized that maintaining her weight loss through extreme diets came at tremendous cost.

She continued:

I was also constantly dieting, tracking every calorie I ate, and would skip all social events related to food so I could eat 100% clean and perfectly. At my lowest weight, I passed out with a severe concussion but hey, I was RIGHT where society wanted me to be and the perfect BMI.

Rosenbluth realized that she couldn't be happy while continuing the extreme diets.

A Sequin Love Affair/Instagram

She told Dearly:

“I could spend my entire life fighting the size my body is meant to be naturally, but what kind of life would that be? I realized that I genuinely believed that others were worth so much more than the size of their bodies and I needed to work on believing that was the case for myself as well. I decided to focus on taking care of my body by eating balanced (without deprivation or extremes) and exercising regularly even though it meant giving up on the body I wanted.”

Rosenbluth said that she's healthier now at her current size than when she was a size two, a concept that often confuses people.

A Sequin Love Affair/Instagram

She explained to Dearly:

“People assuming that I'm suddenly less healthy because my body no longer looks like what it 'should' look like according to society's ideals has been a struggle. The reality is I'm perfectly healthy but we've been conditioned to believe that thin equals 'healthy' and fat equals 'lazy' and 'unhealthy.'”

Rosenbluth hoped to get across to her followers the idea that who they are as people is far more important than perfecting their body according to others' standards.

A Sequin Love Affair/Instagram

Rosenbluth told Dearly:

“I continue to remind myself that my worth and value as a person comes from the kind of person I am and how I treat people; not from how much I weigh.”

However, Rosenbluth told Dearly that she has to keep reminding herself this as well, since our culture relentlessly inundates women with messages regarding the ideal woman's weight, size, and shape — and that women who don't meet these standards are not good enough.

A Sequin Love Affair/Instagram

Rosenbluth said:

“I still struggle with body image and it's hard not to as a woman living in our world where conversations revolve around dieting and putting our bodies down. Dealing with my body changing in a society that abuses, bullies, and stigmatizes large people is still a difficulty I face daily.”

On another post, Rosenbluth told a story about searching for dresses on a site that sells hundreds of different brands and collapsing in tears when she couldn't find any of the ones she wanted in her size.

A Sequin Love Affair/Instagram

Rosenbluth wrote:

I kept finding dress after dress that I loved but couldn't buy and I remember feeling increasingly worse and worse about myself. It wasn't about the silly dress I couldn't buy, but it was about how it felt to be excluded yet again. It made me feel like something was wrong with me, that I was unworthy, disgusting and not good enough.

A Sequin Love Affair/Instagram

Rosenbluth continued that her best friend then reminded her:

[T]hat my worth cannot be determined by a number or my body size ... [S]o many of you guys tell me that you admire my confidence and the truth is, I struggle just like any other woman in our society to feel comfortable in my body.

Rosenbluth told Dearly that there were times when these negative messages affected her to the point where she wanted to stop blogging. But her followers gave her the encouragement to continue.

A Sequin Love Affair/Instagram

Rosenbluth said:

“The positive feedback from my followers is the number one reason I'm still blogging 5 years later ... There were times I've considered stopping my blog because it felt too difficult ... And then I'd be reposted by a major brand and see comments from other women saying that they were happy to see a body that resembled themselves or thanking the brand for posting a photo of more body types. It was those comments that reminded me why I do what I do and gave me the inspiration to keep going.”

Rosenbluth's success proves that one need not be a size two to be beautiful and glamorous, happy and healthy — the sincerity and positivity of this belief truly shines through in each of her brightly colored posts. But Rosenbluth also makes a point to validate and empathize with women who might feel lonely, sad or marginalized because of their size or appearance.

A Sequin Love Affair/Instagram

Rosenbluth told Dearly:

“It's a hard road to body acceptance in a world constantly telling you that you're wrong for simply existing. But I will never stop working towards that goal because we are all so much more than our body size.”

With society proclaiming the message that one can't be beautiful, happy or healthy without being skinny, Rosenbluth challenges this notion by showing others that they can be beautiful — no matter their weight or clothing size.

When Rosenbluth isn't blogging and modeling outfits, she works as a psychotherapist and eating disorder coach in New York.