As the saying goes “no matter how fast you’re running, you’re still lapping everybody on the couch.” I don’t know how fast Lindsey Swift was moving on her morning jog with her boyfriend a few weeks back, but I am positive this woman could run circles around the ignorant man who harassed her with body-shaming comments from the comfort of his car.
The young woman took to Facebook post-jog in order to address the man in an open letter. Swift states that while she refuses to let fat jokes have power over her self-esteem, it does strike a nerve when people find humor in putting down those making an effort to improve themselves.
“Normally I don’t get militant about these things, idiots are idiots. However, I can see why comments like these might put a person less confident than me off from running, and that is shameful. Everyone starts somewhere.”
To reach the final destination, we must all start at our beginning. I remember the first time I skipped the treadmill and took to concrete for my morning run. I am 5’2” and pretty in shape, but I will be the first to admit that running on the street was difficult. I give everyone and anyone credit for getting out there and giving it a go, no matter what their body type.
That being said, the most disappointing aspect of this situation by far is the unfortunate fact that this man failed to acknowledge Swift’s effort to improve her health. Instead, he chose to zero in on her size.
Our world has become unhealthily obsessed with perfecting our bodies to adhere to media-approved protocol. We judge others based on their so-called flaws and never miss the chance to tear someone down when we should be building them up. The only way to fight back is to have the utmost pride in ourselves.
“Let me make one thing very clear, I am not ashamed of my body,” Swift says. “It has never stopped me from doing anything I want. My fat body has done things that you, hanging out of the window of your babe-magnet white van could only ever dream of. My fat body has been swimming in crystal clear Thai seas that you have probably only ever seen on TV. It has lived in countries you wouldn’t dream of visiting and been a part of cultures you are too small minded to appreciate. My fat legs have carried me up mountains on more than one occasion. My fat brain speaks languages you probably don’t see the point of learning, which is why you spend your time hanging out of van windows since you have nothing better to occupy it with.”
Although Swift does not specify what this man said to her specifically, from her description of his “babe-magnet white van,” I can only imagine him sitting comfortably on his high horse. Sir, it is about time you take a step down. No one person is better than another, and size absolutely does not determine a person’s worth.
“Now I have written this, I feel sorry for you,” Swift concludes her letter. “Your behaviour is not normal, and your manners are well below par. Most importantly though, I forgive you. Here’s hoping that anyone with a goal, fat or thin, isn’t put off by this kind of thing. I know I haven’t been.”
This man’s goal may have been to bring down Swift’s self-esteem, but what he instead achieved was diminishing his character. We are all entitled to a healthy body and happy life no matter our size.