In today's edition of people are terrible, we bring you a story about two women who were fat shamed for—wait for it—managing a gym.
It all started when the managers, Megan Ellis and Taryn Sisco, received some local press for their work at a barre studio in Frederick, Maryland. The article in The Frederick News-Post praised the power of "barre," which is kind of like a ballet class for non-professional ballerinas, and discussed what makes their studio special.
It also featured a picture of Ellis and Sisco in workout clothes.
A few days after the article published, the women received their first ever "hate mail," which they shared on their gym's blog page.
The mail came from a local woman who took issue with the publicity these women received. She was so peeved, in fact, that she cut the article out, wrote hate messages all over it, and mailed it to Ellis and Sisco—seemingly just to make them feel bad.
At the top of the article, she wrote: "Pictures/Articles like this give others a license to be overweight or obese." She then circled the picture of the two women and annotated it with "you are fat," "you are overweight," and "borderline obese."
She also made sure to scribble her own height (5'2"), weight (115 pounds), and body fat percentage (20%) on the article, as if that information gave her some sort of bitch pass.
The sad thing is, this woman's trolling took effort. Forget quickly typing out a hateful comment online. This lady felt so confident in her bullying message that she took the time to cut out the article, mark it up, put it in an envelope, find a stamp, and mail it. That's some serious commitment just to ruin two people's day.
Ellis and Sisco weren't having it. Along with discussing the incident on the gym's blog, on Tuesday, Sisco wrote a powerful post on Facebook that has been shared hundreds of times:
You called me overweight without knowing that I overcame an eating disorder and serious body image issue in my 20s. You called my friend fat not knowing how strong she is or how many inches she has lost since training in barre. You said we give people a license to be fat, overweight and unhealthy without ever meeting either one of us. But what you didn't realize you did was open up an important conversation about overcoming adult bullying, body shaming and unprovoked hate. I'm guessing you had no idea just how strong we are… inside and out.
It's clear that Sisco and Ellis are the winners in this incident. As we saw in the aftermath of comedian Nicole Arbour's now-infamous fat-shaming rant on YouTube last month, attacking people for their weight just makes you look like a jerk.
In their blog post, Ellis and Sisco added, "Judging anyone based on their looks or a picture is just sad and yes it is a form of bullying. It sends the wrong message to women everywhere. Women should lift each other up, not tear each other down. So nice try lady, but mission not accomplished. Barre East welcomes all ages, all levels and ALL BODY TYPES. Always."
Well done, Ellis and Sisco. Mission accomplished.
Taryn Hillin is Fusion's love and sex writer, with a large focus on the science of relationships. She also loves dogs, Bourbon barrel-aged beers and popcorn — not necessarily in that order.