Twitter's hashtags can be funny and touching, but the latest one to come to the social media platform is working to empower people who've been body shamed. People reports that Sally Bergesen, founder and CEO at Oiselle, a sportswear company, is encouraging everyone to share their first encounter with body shaming with the hashtag #theysaid. She's hoping that people will open up and create a dialogue about just how traumatic body shaming can be. She started off with a #theysaid story of her own — and couldn't have imagined just how far the hashtag would spread.
Twitter users are sharing their experiences, which range from body shaming for being too heavy and too thin to criticism about nutrition and more. The stories are coming from men and women alike, with commenters saying that the unwelcome criticism was coming from friends, family, and even complete strangers. The different tweets aren't just revealing instances of awful body shaming, Twitter users are showing how the challenges that they've encountered have led to things like an unhealthy relationship with food and eating disorders.
Bergesen started the hashtag with her story, which involved her father criticising her food choices when she was 12 years old.
Some people were simply grateful to have a forum to share their stories and others were in tears reading all the different accounts of body shaming.
Women experienced situations similar to Bergesen's, coming from family and close friends.
Some even shared stories involving doctors and other health professionals.
It wasn't just fat shaming. Other people described criticism for being too skinny or having an athletic build.
Men are sharing their experiences, too, showing that body shaming isn't exclusive to women.
Bergen also shared a link to Aly Raisman's body-shaming story, which involved a TSA agent criticising her for having biceps and a muscular build. It goes to show that nobody is immune to body shamers — gold medal or not.