Women Share Personal Body-Shaming Stories Using Powerful Hashtag

Words can hurt and possibly leave a mark on a person years after they've been inflicted.

Women on Twitter are exemplifying this by sharing their experiences with being body shamed by using a hashtag.

Sally Bergesen, founder and CEO of a line of women's running apparel, first tweeted #TheySaid on May 25, encouraging other women to use it, as well, to share their own body-shaming stories.

Women responded by tweeting memories of their own.

Bergesen suggested another hashtag — #SheReplied — as a way to combat the toxicity of body-shaming.

Though body shaming happens for any gender, it's especially rampant for girls and women.

"Research has shown that having a negative body image early in life can have long-term effects — and I know this to be true from personal experience," Laura Donovan reported for ATTN: in March 2016.

Donovan spoke with Dr. Carla Stokes, "a professional speaker who works specifically with teenage girls and women," who told ATTN: that "in general, I think it's best for people to mind their business and refrain from monitoring or commenting on other people's bodies. Adults in particular should refrain from policing and making unsolicited comments about girls' bodies. Even those with positive motives may unintentionally teach girls that their worth is determined by their physical appearance or cause emotional harm by making insensitive comments."


Dr. Stokes continued: "Many adult women and mothers have shared insensitive comments about their appearance that they heard from adults and family members when they were girls that are still painful to remember decades later."

Which is sadly proven to be true by the #TheySaid tweets. Though body-shaming may endure, by sharing personal experiences and arming girls with confident responses, we may be able to craft a better body image for everyone.