Right at the heels of Aly Raisman speaking out against body shaming on Twitter, a new hashtag is encouraging people to share the first time they heard something negative about their bodies. Sally Bergesen, founder and CEO of a sportswear company called Oiselle, started the trend by sharing a story of her own using the hashtag #theysaid.
"Keep eating like that and you're going to be a butterball." My Dad when I was 12. Pls RT and share a body shaming comment. #TheySaid
— Sally Bergesen (@oiselle_sally) May 25, 2017
"'Keep eating like that and you're going to be a butterball.' My Dad when I was 12," she said. "Pls RT and share a body shaming comment."
Bergesen was hoping to start a conversation about how traumatizing and humiliating body-shaming can be, but she had no idea how quickly the hashtag would take off.
Twitter users across the country began sharing their own #theysaid stories—opening up about the first time they were criticized for their size, shape, diet, lifestyle, and more.
— Coco Renato (@coco_renato) May 25, 2017
— Anna Casto (@RunPipetRepeat) May 25, 2017
— Jen Hawley Price (@PhilanthropyInk) May 25, 2017
— The Nashvillian (@TheNashvillian) May 25, 2017
Several people were grateful that the hashtag provided a platform to share these kinds of stories—letting them know that they're not alone.
Check out #TheySaid to realize 1)you're not alone; 2)body-shaming comments last forever; 3)why unhealthy food relationships are developed.
— Sarah Overpeck (@smoverpeck) May 25, 2017
— Kate Sheppard (@k8shep) May 25, 2017
— Krysta (@ktaninpdx) May 25, 2017
— Amelia Boone (@ameliaboone) May 25, 2017
Bergesen has since followed up on all the tweets, advising people on how to respond to these body-shaming comments. "What replies can we arm our girls with?" she wrote. "I'll start: 'Actually, all bodies are different and I'm just right for me,'" she tweeted. As an alternative, Bergesen suggested: "'Thanks for objectifying me, a–hole.'"