We’ve all been there. You’re happily jogging along feeling all powerful and go-get-’em and then suddenly, you get cat-called. Or even worse – body-shamed.
It’s not pleasant, and it makes our blood boil. Which is why we’re saluting runner Lindsey Swift for writing an open letter to the man who fat-shamed her whilst on a run.
Lindsey was running along a quiet road with her boyfriend when a car slowed down and the driver began to harass her by singing Mika’s Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) out the window.
‘Initially I was annoyed but not too perturbed,’ she told Buzzfeed. ‘However, the more I thought about it that day, the more I realised how incredibly rude it was.’
‘I wondered what in the world would make anyone think that they had the right to comment on the size of my body when they know nothing about me.’
So, Lindsey took to Facebook to write an open letter to the ‘idiot who thought it was ok to heckle me with fat jokes on my run yesterday.’
It began: ‘Your comment was a clear indication of both your incredibly witty repartee and a feat of observational comedy. I am indeed a big girl, and I am indeed beautiful.
‘Thanks for noticing. I’m not sure who you were telling I was fat, you clearly have eyes, and the only other people present were me and my boyfriend.
‘I assure you that despite your concern I do own a mirror, and my boyfriend has seen my fat body as he too has eyes. Don’t tell anyone but I think he might even like it.’
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But Lindsey had a message for her heckler. A strong one. Because fat-shaming can have serious consequences, and it really needs to stop.
She continued: ‘Normally I don’t get militant about these things, idiots are idiots. However, I can see why comments like these might put a person less confident than me off from running, and that is shameful.’
‘Everyone starts somewhere. Let me make one thing very clear, I am not ashamed of my body.’
Swift ended with a powerful closing statement: ‘I feel sorry for you. Your behaviour is not normal, and your manners are well below par. Most importantly though, I forgive you. Here’s hoping that anyone with a goal, fat or thin, isn’t put off by this kind of thing. I know I haven’t been.
‘Engage your brain before opening your mouth.’
Since posting her letter, Lindsey’s been unindated with likes and supportive comments.
She explains: ‘I’ve had messages from people all over the world saying that they have experienced similar things and will think twice before getting upset in future, which is amazing.’
We’re totally fist-pumping this over here at LOOK HQ, because we’ve all been in similar situations ourselves.
‘I basically got curb-crawled by two letches in a van halfway around Clapham Common’, LOOK’s Production Editor Laura Crisp says. ‘The passenger was almost hanging out of the window like a dog by the end of it.
‘I couldn’t get away from them and luckily couldn’t hear what they were saying, but it completely ruined my run and made me angry and sad.’
Let us know how you feel about Lindsey’s letter below…