Recently a video posted by a woman named Shauna went viral on Facebook, in which she provides details about her fat-shame experience on Free Cone Day at Dairy Queen. In her video, which you can see HERE, Shauna reveals that she has lost 60 lbs since starting a paleo lifestyle–but 120 lbs overall. Her weight loss is obviously a huge accomplishment, and she decided to treat herself with a food she very rarely has any more: an ice cream cone. While eating the ice cream outside with her husband, a car full of men yelled out the window, “Eat that ice cream you fat b*tch!” Unfortunately, Shauna’s experience is not a rare experience. Fat shaming happens all the time no matter where you are. My heart broke when I watched Shauna’s video. It hit so close to home because like Shauna, I have been fat shamed (numerous times in fact).
There is absolutely no reason to call someone a mean name. One of the biggest motives behind putting others down is feeling better about yourself. But are you so insecure that you have to embarrass and harass a complete stranger, or worse a family member or friend, just to feel good? Just to feel in power?
Shauna asks in her video what bullies get out of putting others down and points out that bullies have no idea what circumstances others are facing. A person you bully for their size may be on an ongoing weight loss journey, making major progress to live a healthier life. S/he may be suffering from health issues you cannot see. Because at the end of the day, the person you are bullying is a person. That person has a life, and you have no clue how your comment(s) will affect them today or in the long run. Think before you speak. Be a nicer person.
I was happy to learn after seeing Shauna’s post that Torrid, a plus-size fashion brand, invited her on a special, once-in-a-lifetime shopping spree with their newest model and brand ambassador, Maria Gimena. Shauna left her shopping spree with a new friend, a bunch of clothes and a large amount of confidence. I’m SO JEALOUS of her shopping spree — because Torrid is my favorite store– and SO HAPPY that something amazing came out of this terrible shaming experience.
If you’ve ever been shamed or bullied because of your size, what did you learn from that experience? Do you have any advice for others who are going through similar bullying? If I could give any advice, I’d just remind you that things will get better. You will get stronger as long as you fight for yourself. At the end of the day, doesn’t your love for yourself matter a whole lot more than some stranger’s feelings towards you?