Women Recall the First Time They Were Body Shamed with #TheySaid
For many women, the first time they were body shamed is unforgettable. On Thursday, the founder and CEO of running sportswear company Oiselle, Sally Bergesen, asked women to share that moment on Twitter and change the narrative for young girls.
Bergesen started the conversation by recalling her own moment.
” ‘Keep eating like that and you’re going to be a butterball.’ My dad when I was 12. Pls RT and share a body shaming comment. #TheySaid,” Bergesen tweeted.
"Keep eating like that and you're going to be a butterball." My Dad when I was 12. Pls RT and share a body shaming comment. #TheySaid
— Sally Bergesen (@oiselle_sally) May 25, 2017
From there, hundreds of women followed suit, sharing heartbreakingly relatable phrases they heard from family, friends and even people they had never met before.
@oiselle_sally "You'd be a knock-out if you lost 15 pounds". Spoken to me by my "boyfriend" who was about 30 pounds overweight.
— Cory Benson (@coryrbenson) May 25, 2017
— Heather Mayer Irvine (@RunsOnFuel) May 25, 2017
"You don't look like a runner" my colleague said disapprovingly, a few days after I ran my second ultra. https://t.co/MJSkxioID2
— Liza (@run_boston) May 25, 2017
"I didn't break 100lbs until I was pregnant with my second child." My mom when I hit puberty and weighed in at 100lbs at 12. https://t.co/Ub9IfIqGUj
— Amanda Smith Wedig (@uhmannduh) May 25, 2017
— Kristiana Almeida (@MsKristiana) May 25, 2017
— Coco Renato (@coco_renato) May 25, 2017
Kara Goucher, a professional runner and two-time Olympian, tweeted about a former professor who thought she had gained weight.
— Kara Goucher (@karagoucher) May 26, 2017
RELATED VIDEO: Christie Brinkley’s Girls Alexa and Sailor Reveal How They’ve Conquered Bullies and Body Shamers (and still love carbs!)
The comments also included stories from people who were told they were too heavy, and from others who dealt with skinny shaming.
"You look so skinny! You look beautiful!" My Irish dance teacher to 16 year old me after I'd spent a month starving myself for competition. https://t.co/tTUrgTQHJ1
— Kelly Roberts (@KellyKKRoberts) May 25, 2017
"You look like a Holocaust victim." Family member, when I was in middle school. https://t.co/TvFMB2ollB
— Jasmine (@runflamingo) May 25, 2017
— Lisa (@organicgirl22) May 25, 2017
@oiselle_sally "You look great – have you lost weight?" after I had GAINED 10 lbs when I stopped starving myself
— Shannon P (@kentuckyshan) May 25, 2017
And a few men added their own moments, pointing out that body shaming affects all genders.
@oiselle_sally body shaming doesn't happen to women only. I'm constantly told "eat up, you could use it," even as I eat everything.
— Benjamin David (@rabbibpd) May 25, 2017
Bergesen followed up her tweet later in the day by suggesting ways to respond to body shaming comments, with polite a suggestion — and one to fully express the anger.
“What replies can we arm our girls with? I’ll start: ‘Actually, all bodies are different and I’m just right for me,’ ” she tweeted. Alternatively, Bergesen suggested, “‘Thanks for objectifying me, a–hole.’ “