#TheySaid Goes Viral as Women Talk Body Shaming

Many describe the first time they heard a negative comment about their bodies
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2017 7:06 AM CDT
Women Fight Body Shaming With Hashtag #TheySaid
In this 2016 photo, Sadie Kurzban, center, leads the Cardio Arms class at 305 Fitness in New York. Kurzban says drill sergeant-style putdowns and body-shaming comments from instructors are ultimately counterproductive for clients.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

There's a new hashtag taking off on social media, and it's one that takes on body shaming. It all started on May 25 when Sally Bergesen, CEO of sports apparel brand Oiselle, took to Twitter to describe the time her dad body shamed her when she was 12: "Keep eating like that and you're going to be a butterball." She then encouraged others to share their stories using the hashtag #TheySaid, and Mashable reports many such stories followed. "You should wear a girdle," one woman says her grandmother told her when she was 5. "Fat women cannot be happy," a stranger told a teen at 16. "You have such a pretty face. It's a pity you're so fat. No man will ever marry you," one woman says her mother told her around age 12.

Some women also wrote about being shamed for being thin, reports HuffPost. "I bet my leg weighs as much as you" was one. That same day Bergesen asked people to recommend how to respond to body shaming, and offered up her own advice using the hashtag #SheReplied: "Fueling the miracle machine you gave me, mom," Bergesen suggested to one woman whose mother chided her for her eating habits. Another woman's reply: "Well I can't lose weight to fit into someone's narrow mind!" Bergesen has also taken some heat for starting a thread about body positivity while running an apparel company whose sizing only goes to 12. She promised to add more options for plus-sized women by 2018. (Research suggests that people who are fat shamed gain weight.)

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