A jogger heckled by a van driver wins my award for Sass of the Week* and plenty of others clearly agree. Lindsey Swift’s open letter has been shared thousands of times on Facebook because it’s genius.
Lindsey, 26, was out running with her boyfriend last week when a guy driving a van sang Mika’s “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)” to her — in a sarcastic tone, she says.
The Barnsley lass posted her response to him on her Facebook page on Friday, introducing it as “an open letter to the idiot who thought it was ok to heckle me with fat jokes on my run yesterday.”
“Your comment was a clear indication of both your incredibly witty repartee and a feat of observational comedy,” Lindsey continued. Ooh, the sarcasm — love it.
“I am indeed a big girl, and I am indeed beautiful,” declared Lindsey. “Thanks for noticing. I’m not sure who you were telling I was fat, you clearly have eyes, and the only other people present were me and my boyfriend. I assure you that despite your concern I do own a mirror, and my boyfriend has seen my fat body as he too has eyes. Don’t tell anyone but I think he might even like it.”
Lindsey goes on to point out that someone with less body-confidence than her might find fat-shaming comments from “idiots” difficult to take and this could stop them from running.
Her confidence and lust for life leaps off the page as you read her post and it’s so refreshing.
“Let me make one thing very clear, I am not ashamed of my body,” she stated. “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.”
Lindsey also revealed that she recently decided to get fit, her current goal is to run 10 kilometres and she’s already lost a stone. “It baffles me that anyone would try to discourage that kind of effort,” she writes, adding: “Excuse me if my assumptions about you are wrong, but I only have your actions to go by.”
She concludes her letter with forgiveness, encouragement for anyone else who has a goal (“fat or thin”) and some spot-on advice for the van driver: “Engage your brain before opening your mouth.”
Just brilliant. And this is one of the things I love about social media. It gives us all a platform to say our piece. How many times does something happen to us — whether it’s being catcalled or something else entirely — and we don’t have the time, energy or desire to respond as we’d like to at that precise moment? Who knows if this particular Mika-loving van driver has read Lindsey’s letter or if he ever will. It doesn’t matter because thousands of other people have and hopefully at least some of them will think twice before body-shaming another person.
*Yes, I’ve just come up with this but it could become a thing.