Dear Project Harpoon,
First, what I really want to say is FUCK YOU….but I don’t want to start my letter off with even more hate. You’ve already put enough of that out into the world, so instead, I will say THANK YOU. Thank you for showing me that I have the drive and determination to fight bullies like you. Yes, you used my photo, yes, I read horrible, threatening, comments, yes, you even used my photo as your profile picture without my permission, but my fight isn’t for me. I am a strong, confident, plus model, who is PROUD of her body. It has gotten me through 31 years, of health, sickness, pain, freedom, love and adventure. My body and I have been through a lot together, and I will not let online bullies such as you make me feel bad about loving myself.
The reason I fight you is for the thousands of women out there who aren’t where I am yet. Who don’t love their bodies. Some of the girls you photoshopped weren’t models or celebrities, but just everyday girls. They might not have confidence, but they posted that photo on a day they felt good about themselves, and you BUTCHERED it with your atrocious photoshopping, and made them feel bad. What if she isn’t happy with her body, and had been trying to be healthy and more confident. What if that photo WAS her after she hit her goal weight (no, not everyone’s goal weight is a size 2), and you dragged her through the mud. How DARE you bring someone down, simply because she is not YOUR immature, close minded ideal! It’s ok to have preferences, but it is NOT ok to make people feel bad because they aren’t yours. Guess what, bullies and jerks are NEVER anyone’s preference.
Images of Tess Holiday and Rebel Wilson that were altered.
I suffer from anxiety and depression, and your page did not help me. It put me into a downward spiral from which I struggled to pull myself out. I didn’t do it alone. I did it with the help of my amazing boyfriend, friends, family, followers, and supporters. You did not and you will not get the best of me. Even when I have bad days, I remind myself of the things I love about myself, and my worth and potential does not depend on if I am a size 14 or a size 4. It is what’s inside is what counts. My heart, my laugh, my brain, the way I treat other people, the way I can make any baby laugh, the love I share, the way I will not quit when something is important to me. You did not win, and you will not. Not with me, not with anyone.
I don’t know if I was the first to share your horrible page….I hadn’t heard of it until a follower of mine alerted me to the fact you were using my image. I shared it to get help reporting my photo and your page. The support I received completely outweighed the hate you were spewing at me. However I also got messages from everyday girls who weren’t shared on your page. They had read the comments and were in TEARS over the hurtful things you called people who looked like them and whom they looked up to. You said “no shaming” on your page, but that is exactly what you were doing. You said you were “inspiring” people to lose weight and be healthy, but all you did was bring people down.
I haven’t always been plus size. In high school I was obsessed with my weight. I was a size 8 and thought I was huge. I wouldn’t eat, or when I did I would only eat salad or celery. I was NOT healthy, and I was NOT happy. I thought if I was a size 2 I would be happy…but ya know what, at a size 14, I am WAY happier and WAY healthier than I was at a size 8. I actually laughed out loud when I first saw your version, as I look completely unnatural. It is not YOUR job to “inspire” people to lose weight. ESPECIALLY not through bullying!!! Do you really think ANYTHING gets accomplished through bullying and making people feel bad about themselves? These are unrealistic idealistic forms of beauty you are promoting, and not everyone even WANTS or NEEDS to look like that to be healthy or happy. All you are doing with this is ADDING to the problem. Bottom line, the only person who can tell someone they need to lose weight, is their doctor, it is CERTAINLY not the business of an immature Facebook page of cyber bullies. It is just as wrong for slim girls to be told to "eat a cheeseburger" as it is for plus women to be told to "put down the cheeseburger". Our size, weight, what we eat, the amount we work out, or any other factor, is only the business of ourselves, and a select chosen few.
We are no less valuable at 200 lbs as we are at 120 lbs. We are no less valuable because you told us we weren’t. We have just as much potential as a size 14 as we do as a size 2. How dare you make anyone feel any differently? I may not be your ideal, but I don’t give a shit. I want to be the ideal of the wonderful people who support me, and for myself, not some childish small minded slime. Like one of MY idols, Lucille Ball says, “Not everyone is going to like me, but not everyone matters”, and guess what, you DON’T matter.
I will continue to fight your page. Facebook has shut down one, you shut down another…but I know you thrive off the attention and will continue to make pages. I will report them and have them taken down again. I will be the girl who has the back of all the girls your post, just like so many had my back when you posted my photo. I will not quit.
The world has enough hate in the world. Love ALWAYS wins. Spread love, be kind, save a life by NOT bullying someone or suggesting suicide or self-harm because they don’t fit your small minded ideal. Treat people the way you would want them to treat you, or your mother, or daughter, or girlfriend. Imagine what a wonderful world this would be if we all treated each other with a little bit more love and support every day.
I want to take this moment to reach out to anyone who you have upset. Please, if this page, or anyone, has made you feel bad, don’t do anything rash. We need you in this world. Reach out to someone, a friend, a parent, a councillor, or even me. I am here to help you and talk to you. You are NOT alone. You are loved. You are beautiful just the way you are. I was bullied in elementary and high school. I’ve been there. It hurts. It’s hard. But it gets better. Remind yourself of how many people love you, and all the things you love about yourselves. The people who thrive on making others feel bad are simply taking out their problems on you to make themselves feel better. It has NOTHING to do with you. It gets better. Surround yourself with people you love, and who love you. Let’s turn the negative into a positive. Take that sad, hurt, angry energy and turn it into something helpful. For every time someone has told you something that hurt you, tell someone something to make them feel better. For all the hate in the world, we need to spread just as much, if not MORE, love.
I’m here for you, I have your back, I will fight for you, and I love you.