It’s unfortunate, but body shaming remains too prevalent. Some people think that judging others strictly based on their appearance is okay, but the toll that body shaming takes on recipients can be excruciatingly painful – mentally and physically.
Meet seven women who clapped back when they were body shamed and help remind us that people are more than just a physical appearance.
While on a flight from Dallas to Los Angeles Natalie Hage, a plus size model, noticed that the man next to her was texting and turning the phone away from her. She managed to peek and the messages and noticed that they were about her.
According to Hage, “not only were the texts about me, but they were really mean and ugly.”
On Instagram she wrote that when the person he was texting sent him a message reading, “Hopefully she didn’t have any Mexican food,” his response was, “I think she ate a Mexican,” and that he complained that he was smashed up against the wall of the plane because she was taking up too much space.
During the flight Hage initially felt embarrassed, but she eventually decided that she had to say something to the man.
Hage told ABC News, “I’ve had a lifetime of experiences of people getting away with treating me terribly, and this time was enough. This was enough.”
At the conclusion of the flight, she confronted the man and recorded it on video (although she purposely avoided filming his face).
Initially the man denied what he did, but eventually when he admitted to the act, he blamed it on alcohol.
Hage posted the video on Facebook and received over a million views to let others know that they aren’t alone and that regardless of your weight, you deserve to be treated like a human being.
A random man on Twitter decided not only to use South African plus size model Lesego Legobane’s picture without her consent, but he did so in a degrading manner. Placing a Legobane’s image side-by-side with one of a thinner model (Joëlle Kayembe), he said ‘Girls that I like vs Girls that like me’.
When Legobane found out, she responded directly to the original post clarifying that she wasn’t attracted to him.
Many others react to the original post that judged woman by their body, including Joëlle Kayembe, the other model that was in the original post.
Blogger Jenna Kutcher has been ridiculed on Instagram by people that say that she doesn’t deserve her husband because of her looks. While she said that these messages initially surprised her, she remembered that you can’t judge someone based on just looks.
On Instagram, she wrote:
“Someone once slid into my DMs and told me they couldn’t believe I had managed to land a guy as good looking as @kickingitwithkutch. I’ll be honest that I was taken aback.✨ Part of my insecurity with my body has stemmed around being married to Mr. 6-Pack himself. Why should I, a curvy girl get him? I feel unworthy and when I write narratives in my head that because I am not thin, I don’t deserve him. 🙋🏼Jenna Kutcher on Instagram
This man has embraced every curve, every dimple, pound and pimple for the last ten years and has always me reminded me that I’m beautiful even when my inner dialogue doesn’t match (and when I haven’t showered in days.) 🙌🏻
So yes, my thighs kiss, my arms are big, and my bum is bumpy but there is just more of me for him to love and I chose the man that could handle alllll that (and so much more!) ✨
I am so much more than my body, so is he, and so are you. Double tap if true love doesn’t see size.”
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Someone once slid into my DMs and told me they couldn’t believe I had managed to land a guy as good looking as @kickingitwithkutch. I’ll be honest that I was taken aback. ✨ Part of my insecurity with my body has stemmed around being married to Mr. 6-Pack himself. Why should I, a curvy girl get him? I feel unworthy and when I write narratives in my head that because I am not thin, I don’t deserve him. 🙋🏼 This man has embraced every curve, every dimple, pound and pimple for the last ten years and has always me reminded me that I’m beautiful even when my inner dialogue doesn’t match. 🙌🏻 So yes, my thighs kiss, my arms are big, and my bum is bumpy but there is just more of me for him to love and I chose the man that could handle alllll that (and so much more!) ✨ I am so much more than my body, so is he, and so are you. Double tap if true love doesn’t see size. Photo by: @mrslindseyroman
Many people ended up agreeing with her, as the post ended up getting more than 130K likes.
She followed up with another post that reminding us to value people based on something greater than just their appearance.
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THE REALITY OF GOING VIRAL: We’ve spent the last few days gawking at the fact that society believes that seeing two people (who happen to have different body types) in love is newsworthy, and yet we are embracing it whole heartedly because it means that we get to share our message with YOU, with the world. 〜 We are not our bodies. I am not defined by titles like “curvy” or plus size, Drew is not defined by “Mr. Six Pack.” At the end of the day, we are the girl and the guy who fell in love and started dating in college after @kickingitwithkutch lost a bet that led to a first kiss – the rest is history. 〜 Our story is has held ups and down, light and loss and we’ve chosen to show up and turn the mess into our message. Because we believe the world is hungry for REAL and going viral has proven that. 〜 Here we are: Jenna and Drew, a small town couple who are as normal as they come and more in love today than the day they said “I do.” You might have met us because of our bodies but I pray you fall in love with our hearts and souls and stick around awhile. Will you? 〜 Photo by: @mrslindseyroman
YouTube star Loey Lane, like many women, had been told by many people what she should NOT wear because of her body size. She got sick of it enough to create a sarcastic video, “Fat Girl Summer Dress Code,” where she mocks some of the things she’s heard over the years.
In the video, Lane says: “I can say personally, as someone who has been overweight several summers in a row, have been informed many times about what I am and am not allowed to wear.
As she shares pictures of herself wearing a crop top, Lane sarcastically says, “How can anyone think they can rock a crop top successfully without offending everyone around them?
“Do you see that sliver of skin — do you see it?”
She goes on to say: “You are completely expected to spend the entire summer in full-length leggings and/or jeans.”
“You should probably do it in the standard long-sleeved T-shirt, full yoga pants, maybe a second layer of yoga pants just so you’re not being too risqué,” Lane says in regards to fitness attire.
She finishes her parody with swimsuits commenting, “This is the biggest one to date… some fat girls dare to go outside in a two-piece swimsuit.”
In the end, Lane gets serious and reminds us that everyone – regardless of what they look like – should just wear what they want to wear.
When Melissa Gibson, a plus size blogger from Louisville, Kentucky, posted a New Year’s Eve picture on Instagram, she was met by trolls who told her that her boyfriend was too good for her simply based on looks.
Gibson, a body positive activist with a sizeable following on social media and her blog, had a response for the trolls two days later with a Instagram post where she posted another picture with her boyfriend with a caption that said:
“If the world won’t just let us be, we will keep fighting for our love, for our space, for our right to be seen, accepted without question, and celebrated.”Melissa Gibson
People responded overwhelmingly in favor of Melissa, with many including pictures of themselves with their partner who was a smaller size.
Plus size fashion blogger Callie Thorpe, like many women, was once weighed down by the things that people, and society, said about her.
She explained the origin of her blog to Yahoo Style, “I originally came into the blogging world writing a diet diary where I just wrote horrible things about myself, and that’s where I started it,” she says. “Then I sort of discovered other plus-size blogs and realized that this negative way I was treating myself was really not the right thing to do. It wasn’t positive and wasn’t helping me lose weight. It was making me feel more anxious, and more worried, and making me hate myself more. So I decided to have a go at writing my own similar blog and then my own journey into body confidence and body positivity came about.”
Nowadays, Thorpe is more comfortable with her body, as he writes on Instagram.
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It’s crazy how comfortable I now feel being in swimwear, younger Callie would wear it but feel so conscious of her body. I’m a different person now, more secure in who I am, and i’m really okay with posting photos of my tummy rolls and my bruised and scarred legs because it’s just a body, my body. This particular bikini isn’t really high waisted which is my go-to and I wanted to share this photo in the hopes that if you are struggling with the thought of summer and being on the beach or by the pool, that you will remember all bodies are bikini bodies and life is far to short to spend life on the sidelines. Bikini @elomilingerie 👙
Even better, Thorpe got the last laugh at those who put her down over the years because her weight, after she was asked to post for British Vogue.
While walking down the street, Felicity Hayward had the unfortunate encounter with a body shamer who not only laughed at the plus size model, but also felt the need to shout, “You’re too fat to be wearing those clothes!”
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To the older woman who just walked past me in the street whilst I was wearing this outfit, laughed and shouted in my face “ YOU’RE TOO FAT TO BE WEARING THOSE CLOTHES “ you picked on the wrong babe to try and hurt. Just because you don’t have the confidence to be unapologetically yourself, don’t take your bitter insecurities out on others. I’m not saying I didn’t get mad, I really did and the whole street heard me cuss you out, but you looked like someone’s mother, you should have known better, you never know what someone has gone through to look the way they are and I’m glad you tried to hurt me rather than a young girl with severe insecurities, what if you shouted at a girl who had just lost a father, a sister and gained weight due to grief, had polycystic ovaries or another medical condition which caused her to be that size? Aside from that my height, weight and shape is not an offence , it’s my prerogative and has nothing to do with you. To all my JUICY BABES out there wanting to wear crop tops, shorts as it’s SUMMER, be you boo and rock whatever the hell you like. Don’t let anyone else try destroy your happiness 💕 #SelfLoveBringsBeauty
Sadly, this wasn’t the only time that Hayward was body shamed in public this month. A few weeks ago, she shared that she was mocked while in a swimsuit on the beach.
When she realized that people were trying to have fun at her expense, she shared a picture of herself on Instagram with the caption:
“To the couple sitting on the beach making fun, laughing and taking photos of me and my friends enjoying our holiday in lil bikinis, I will stand in front of you for 15 mins and take this banging photo because my body is just as worthy as yours sweetie. Comparison is the stealer of joy, so I’m gonna live my best life just like this and you can carry on dealing with your own insecurities #SelfLoveBringsBeauty.”Felicity Hayward
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To the couple sitting on the beach making fun, laughing and taking photos of me and my friends enjoying our holiday in lil bikinis, I will stand in front of you for 15 mins and take this banging photo, because my body is just as worthy as yours sweetie. Just because you have a toned gym bod doesn’t mean you are worthy of more respect. Comparison is the stealer of joy, so I’m gunna live my best life just like this and you can carry on with dealing with your own insecurities 🤙🏼 #SelfLoveBringsBeauty
Thank you to these women along with any others who remind society that we should be judged by more than our appearance.