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People Are Taking to Twitter to Share the First Time They Were Body-Shamed

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," 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.

The tweets proved how body-shaming doesn't discriminate and that one hurtful comment can stick with you for a lifetime. (It's no wonder 30 million Americans suffer from eating disorders.)

Several people were grateful that the hashtag provided a platform to share these kinds of stories—letting them know that they're not alone.

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.'"


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