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An Open Letter to a Fat Shamer

Like many, I see obnoxious, annoying, or generally ridiculous things on my Facebook newsfeed everyday.

I normally ignore them, or if it’s consistent, I’ll simply hide that person’s posts, so I don’t have to see it anymore. But one person’s recent post struck a nerve.

I will not call this person out by name, and I don’t know if they will ever even see this, I can only hope they do, and perhaps learn something.

Dear Fat Shamer,

You recently shared a photo you snapped while on the beach of a woman standing in a bikini. She was of relatively average size (not skinny, not obese), her dark hair pulled back, sunglasses on, simply enjoying some time in the sun. You captioned it, ‘Do not wear a bikini if you look like this.’

I am the woman in that photo.

No, I was not on that particular beach with you that day, but I could have been. I, Laurie Cataldo, have committed the apparently heinous sin of being in a bikini without having the figure of a supermodel.

Laurie Cataldo cruise bikini pic
With my friends on vacation in 2012, daring to wear a bikini with an un-toned midsection. (Laurie Cataldo)

My size 14 belly was allowed to see the sun, while my thighs actually touched, and my cellulite proved that the dimples I always wanted finally appeared…just not on my face. The horror!!

And you know what? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me. I think a lot of women have thighs that touch, or sinking boobs, or little bellies…and I think we are all perfectly attractive.

You also posted a photo of one of your family members in a bathing suit, his spare tire out for the world to see, but you never once thought to caption it with the fact that he should put on a shirt, right? So is it just women who need to be physically perfect? And what might that entail, anyway?

Why is a size 2 any better or worse than a 16? Why can’t we all just go out and be comfortable with ourselves without being judged by people like you? Do you realize that some people find that average-sized woman you took a picture of incredibly attractive? A size 0 can be as sexy as a size 22 if you carry yourself the right way.

As a matter of fact, I had my bikini on the other day before I left for the beach, and when Duzzy saw me in it, he said, ‘Daaaamn girl, you look good.’ I ultimately chose not to wear it that day because I felt fat, and photos like yours are the reason why.

I didn’t want to be judged or made fun of because my belly was a little extra puffy that day. God forbid a tummy not be perfectly taut.

Perhaps you wish you had the confidence to wear a bikini. Perhaps someone made fun of your size or appearance one day and the insecurities never left you. Or maybe you’re just a perfect, flawless human being, and we should all be just like you.

Regardless, I hope the next time I feel fat, I still have the stones to wear my bikini, because the most attractive thing a person can be is confident and happy.

I’ll see you on the beach.

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