It started with just one tweet
"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
Sally Bergesen recalled a time when her father called her a butterball. She ended the tweet with the hashtag #TheySaid. And since then, it has gained a lot of traction. It’s filled with women recalling events where they were told to stop eating at a frighteningly young age. They were as old as 8, sometimes as old as 5 when they were told to cut calories.
A five-year-old can barely even make a sandwich, let alone start cut calories.
A classmate: "You look so good now, those salads are working!" I was 13 and throwing away my lunch everyday instead of eating. #TheySaid
— Paola de Varona (@pdvarona) June 2, 2017
— ashley marie (@asholaymarie) June 1, 2017
— Ramanda_Rox (@Ramanda_Rox) June 2, 2017
People have always been unforgiving and cruel. But even to little kids?
#TheySaid "you're really gonna eat all that?" – my other brother, during his own bday party, when I was eating my FIRST slice of cake
— Diamond Murillo (@unhelpfulyoda97) May 31, 2017
Girls in school surrounding me in a circle slapping their legs chanting "fat thighs"#theysaid
— Kathy Coates (@sky5kc) June 2, 2017
The stories they shared are enraging and cruel and heartless.
"You've got a really pretty face. But you're too fat for my taste." – a very honest date in my 20s #TheySaid
— Cecilia H (@ceciliah) June 2, 2017
#TheySaid "You should stop eating", "Being slim is the best body type", "no one likes fat girls"
my mom and my grandma say this a lot ?
— ?Queenwinters? (@iQueenwinters) June 1, 2017
It really does show just how far as a society we have to go
"But he's so good looking, I mean really good looking." As if they could not understand how a chubster caught a fitty #TheySaid
— Lilla Mudblood (@LillaJade) June 2, 2017
— Bonita Bennett (@bonitafernan) June 2, 2017
After all, they were just kids when this happened
"You're going to have to lose weight if you want to do fun things at school and be happy." – Mom, summer before I began jr. high. #TheySaid
— Tara (@runningreading1) May 25, 2017
"I don't know what you're doing, but you look SO MUCH healthier now. Props for losing all that weight" #TheySaid after I developed anorexia
— Ashley Scarlett (@ashleyyscarlett) June 1, 2017
They even congratulated them on developing an eating disorder
"you don't look like the person that could do cheer. your hands would break under your weight" #TheySaid
— kt !! (@ktjsfd) June 2, 2017
"You have such a pretty face. It's a pity you're so fat. No man will ever marry you." My Mother to me circa age 12 #TheySaid
— Elise Hines (@geekspertise) June 1, 2017
The tweets are all difficult to read. But they’re a necessity. Being fat isn’t healthy for you, but that in no way means you have the freedom to belittle and reduce a child. It’s harmful to their growth and they will always feel less than they are. If reading this deters even one person from mocking a fat person, then this article has done its job.