“Fat shaming,” or shaming people for having heavier body types, has been widely debated and discussed in recent news. Kate-Lynn Edwards, a native of Iowa, recently posted an open letter on Facebook to a girl she witnessed being bullied at a fair. The girl struggled to get on a ride as a group of girls watched, openly laughing. The smile on the girl’s face vanished, and Kate-Lynn wrote, “… I wanted to get out of my seat and reprimand [the girls] as I sat there and smiled at you instead, not taking action.”
Since then, the letter has appeared online and has been shared more than 4,000 times, going viral. The post has been widely celebrated as a positive reaction to the issue of body shaming. In her post, Kate-Lynn mentions how she also endured bullying as a child and knows what it’s like: “I NEED you to know - DON'T LISTEN TO THEM. This is only a Facebook post, in which I don't have enough time to tell you about my life. But I have been thinking about last night all day, I need to find you and tell you how beautiful you are, and how much you are worth. Your smile was perfect, and truthfully you are beautiful.”
In an age where there seems to be another advertisement for weight loss around every corner and every TV channel features flawless movie stars, it’s difficult to maintain a healthy body image. Kate-Lynn's post is inspiring to all people struggling with body image issues, and to any person who has experienced bullying due the way they look. It reminds us that we are never alone.
In this digital age we are able to use Facebook and other social media sights to raise awareness of issues like body shaming and bullying. We can reach out to others who have been bullied and share our experiences, supporting one another. Although Edwards hasn’t yet found the girl, with everyone online eager to help, hopefully it will only be a matter of time.