The internet can be a pretty unforgiving place. It’s a breeding ground for trolls who can’t contain their own vile thoughts, and, as a result, it can deeply affect the lives of those who use it – which is ultimately every person in existence.
We have all been victims when it comes to using social media. Be it a troll who targets you for your appearance, or an anonymous user who sends you a tirade of abuse for no reason, we have all experienced a troll attack at least once.
When subjected to this behavior, most people ignore it and carry on. That’s not to say that the incident isn’t always in the back of their minds. After all, being heckled online is hard to forget. But it’s easier to try and not draw attention to the situation.
However, that wasn’t the case for Sara Petty. The Bowling Green State University student decided that she’d had enough of Twitter users shaming people for their weight so she took matters into her own hands.
Taking to Twitter, the teen uploaded a series of selfies alongside screenshots of cruel tweets which recommended those over “200 pounds” don’t wear certain clothing items.
“Girls: wear whatever the hell you want,” her tweet read, along with several images in which Petty did just that.
In four separate images, Petty rocks a crop top, bikini, shorts, and leggings.
Using tweets typed by strangers, Petty illustrated why she’d felt it was necessary to flaunt her body online.
“Sorry but if you’re over 200 pounds you shouldn’t be trying to fit your fat a*s in a crop top. You CANNOT pull it off,” read one of the hate-filled messages.
Another added, “Attention all girls over 200 pounds: please do yourself and all of us a favor and throw the booty shorts in the garbage. Gross.”
After uploading the post, Petty was shocked to see how much it resonated with other people online. Attracting over 118,000 retweets, it quickly went viral as users from every corner of the globe flooded the comments section of the post to voice their support.
“You look amazing, wear as many bikinis as you can… the world needs to see how beautiful you are,” wrote one supporter.
“Yes! You look gorgeous. Girls, women, love yourselves, love your bodies. Believe in yourselves. Don’t let anyone else’s negativity affect your belief in you,” typed another.
“I’m 205lbs and I’m way more confident and comfortable in my body than I was at 130. Thanks for being so inspiring and showing everyone that beauty comes in every shape and size,” another user added.
Petty’s post inspired thousands of women and men who have felt victimized by narrow-minded body shaming comments.
Hopefully, as a result of Petty’s upfront attack on trolls, those who once felt uncomfortable in certain clothes can now embrace their body and wear what they want with confidence.
If there was ever a post to prove the power of the internet, then it is this one. Of course, there are many trolls who haven’t yet got the memo, but if everyone takes Petty’s approach, it’ll only be a matter of time before body shaming is quashed entirely.