This woman's response to drive-by body-shaming is priceless
When Lindsey Swift was out running with her partner in Barnsley, she endured something obnoxious, cruel, and totally not OK: a man heckling her and making jokes about her body as she jogged. The man, driving a van, mocked her by singing Mika’s “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)” as she passed.
Lindsey, a 26-year-old based in the UK, didn’t have the opportunity to confront him, so she took to Facebook to write an open letter to this stranger whose insensitivity was mind-boggling. And the joke’s on him, because her status has gone totally viral with over 17,000 shares — probably because it’s equal parts eye-opening, clever, and empowering.
Addressing her letter to “the idiot who thought it was OK to heckle me with fat jokes on my run yesterday,” she started with a heavy dollop of sarcasm. “Your comment was a clear indication of both your incredibly witty repartee and a feat of observational comedy,” Lindsey wrote. “I am indeed a big girl, and I am indeed beautiful. Thanks for noticing. I’m not sure who you were telling I was fat, you clearly have eyes, and the only other people present were me and my boyfriend. I assure you that despite your concern I do own a mirror, and my boyfriend has seen my fat body as he too has eyes. Don’t tell anyone but I think he might even like it.”
She explained why she’s bothering to write this letter: because his comments could make others who aren’t very confident in themselves stop running altogether. “Everyone starts somewhere,” she wrote.
She totally dropped some amazing body-positive wisdom on that heckler, letting him know that she adores her body. “Let me make one thing very clear, I am not ashamed of my body,” she wrote. “It has never stopped me from doing anything I want. My fat body has done things that you, hanging out of the window of your babe-magnet white van could only ever dream of.”
Lindsey told him about how her body has seen various countries in her travels and experienced cultures that he probably never has and never will. “My fat legs have carried me up mountains on more than one occasion,” she continued. “My fat brain speaks languages you probably don’t see the point of learning, which is why you spend your time hanging out of van windows since you have nothing better to occupy it with.”
And then, Lindsey ended it unexpectedly: by telling him that she forgives him. “But in all seriousness, now I have written this, I feel sorry for you,” she wrote. “Your behaviour is not normal, and your manners are well below par.”
“Most importantly though, I forgive you,” she ends her letter. “Here’s hoping that anyone with a goal, fat or thin, isn’t put off by this kind of thing. I know I haven’t been. Engage your brain before opening your mouth.”
*drops mic* YAAAS. We totally love this letter, not only because it has some serious “you messed with the wrong gal” vibes goin’ on, but because it educates and inspires others. Every body is beautiful and those who body-shame need to get that straight. But it’s even more important for victims of body-shaming to remember that fact—and to recognize ignorance when it threatens to brig them down. Lindsey’s open letter isn’t just a self-empowering meditation, but a positive message to anyone who’s faced the same bullying.
“I’ve had messages from people all over the world saying that they have experienced similar things and will think twice before getting upset in future, which is amazing,” Lindsey told Metro about her letter.
One commenter, in particular, took the words right out of our mouths: “Thanks for the goosebumps you have put all over my body missy and the massive whoop that escaped my mouth when reading this!! Superb and I am giving you a little bow from living room…..sisterhood!!”
(Image via Facebook)