When it comes to the shape + size of our bodies, people always have something to say. Often, these comments can be degrading or hurtful — especially when it comes to social media. When put in this situation, Ari, an Ohio State CHAARGie, went to her blog to shed some light on this issue. Here’s what she had to say:
I saw what you said.
“u know when all ur friends have there bellys out + your the chunky one in the middle, literally me :(“
If you don’t remember when or where you said this, I’ll help remind you. A few days ago, you posted a comment on a photo that a well-known company shared. The company shared a picture of 15 girls wearing their latest workout clothing line. These girls were ending a weekend of a lifetime, making sure to thank this company for believing in their community + for sponsoring this incredible weekend. These 15 girls were my friends + myself. The chunky one in the middle was literally ME.
I’m not going to sit here + pretend that reading your comment didn’t hurt. I’m not going to act like I didn’t read it over + over again, crying harder each time. I’m not going to lie to you + say that I easily brushed it off. What I will do, though, is use your unnecessarily upsetting comment to shed light on a situation much larger than mine.
I’m hoping that by sharing the comment mentioned earlier, you were trying show that you can relate to the “chunky girl in the middle”, rather than sharing it because you were trying to hurt her (A.K.A. me). Regardless of your intentions, your comment DID hurt me. But fortunately, I’m not the same girl I was years ago. I’m a healthy + strong human + I have an endless supply of love + support coming from the empowering community of women that I’m surrounded by. I was able to walk away from your comment (although it did take some time) feeling stronger + more empowered than ever before. I wish I could say the same thing about every other girl who has been affected by comments like yours.
The crazy thing about the internet is that EVERYONE has access to EVERYTHING. People who you have never met before can see pictures of you + vice versa. What these people choose to do when they see pictures of you is up to them, which is pretty scary when you think about it.
Because everything + everyone is on the internet these days, you don’t know 99% of the people in the pictures you see on a daily basis. You don’t know their names, you don’t know their story, you don’t know their struggles. Whether this person is “insta famous” or a random girl who was standing next to a distant high school friend in a picture, it’s safe to assume that you’ve only seen a tiny glimpse of their lives – + that glimpse is only what they want you to see. You don’t genuinely knowthese people.
You had no idea who I was, yet you chose to post a comment about my body anyway. What if I was someone who struggled with depression? Or someone who suffered from an eating disorder? Or maybe someone who struggled to appreciate the person I’ve become? A comment from a random girl on the internet could have broken my already broken spirits even more. Thankfully, I’m none of these people. But I can’t say the same about other girls out there who may be struggling to love themselves. There are girls out there who DO suffer from depression, eating disorders + a lack of self-appreciation. You may not realize it when you post things like that, but what you say can + does affect these girls, regardless of whether or not you know who they are.
So next time you think you need to share a comment that may not be kind or empowering, do us all a favor. Keep it to yourself.