Whether we're walking down the street, doing our jobs or just generally existing, it seems like women’s bodies are always up for commentary by members of the public.
The most recent case in point – US woman Charli Stevens was recently body-shamed while doing her dang groceries. The mum-of-two shared her experience in a poignant Facebook post that has since gone viral.
“I went to my local Kroger [Ed’s note: their version of Woolies] real quick this morning to buy some gift tags because I’m gonna wrap some presents today. While there, I notice this woman, who was probably in her 50s, kept staring at me. I hate when people stare but didn’t say or do anything.”
“A couple minutes later, she came up to me and said ‘I think your clothes are a little too small on you.’ Completely caught off guard and baffled and also hoping she didn’t say what I thought she said, I said, ‘excuse me?’ And she said, ‘well no offence but you’re just a bit big to wear those type of clothes.’”
Charli said she’s usually one to speak her mind and call out rude people, but in the moment she was instantly reduced to tears. And the stranger’s shockingly hurtful comments didn’t stop there.
“I froze. Froze and cried. She said, ‘I’m not trying to be mean but maybe just reconsider your outfit before leaving your house from now on.’”
Charli left with her young son and sat in her car and cried.
“How are people so rude? It’s no secret that I’ve gained weight throughout life. I’ve birthed two kids so it’s bound to happen. Do I realise I’m overweight? Yes. Do I want to be smaller? Yes. But am I okay with the way I look? Yes!! Why would a complete stranger go out of their way to insult someone? What if I was severely depressed? Or what if I was constantly made fun of for my weight and that one comment from that stranger pushed me over the edge? Luckily, I’m neither of those things.”
Charli said she was also thankful that she had her five-month-old son with her rather than her impressionable four-year-old.
“This lady knew nothing about me. This lady also doesn’t know that I’ve lost nearly 50 pounds [22 kilograms] from my heaviest weight before having Grayson – but apparently that’s not good enough. My clothes were tighter than what I would normally wear but so what?! It shouldn’t matter what people wear.”
She begged others to have more respect for people and consider what they might be going through before you comment.
“I’m not writing this for sympathy but just as a plea to anyone who might read this to just be nice and have respect for people. I fear for my daughter to grow up in this world. We’ve gotta set a good example for our children.”
So once again, for the people up the back who might not have heard it the first time: IT'S NEVER OK TO COMMENT ON ANOTHER PERSON'S BODY.