A Letter to a Random Girl on Instagram

Dear Stranger,

I saw what you said.

“u know when all ur friends have there bellys out and your the chunky one in the middle, literally me :(“

If you don’t remember when or where you said this, I’ll help remind you. A few days ago, you posted a comment on a photo that a well-known company shared. The company shared a picture of 15 girls wearing their latest workout clothing line. These girls were ending a weekend of a lifetime, making sure to thank this company for believing in their community and for sponsoring this incredible weekend. These 15 girls were my friends and myself. The chunky one in the middle was literally ME.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend that reading your comment didn’t hurt. I’m not going to act like I didn’t read it over and over again, crying harder each time. I’m not going to lie to you and say that I easily brushed it off. What I will do, though, is use your unnecessarily upsetting comment to shed light on a situation much larger than mine.

I’m hoping that by sharing the comment mentioned earlier, you were trying show that you can relate to the “chunky girl in the middle”, rather than sharing it because you were trying to hurt her (A.K.A. me). Regardless of your intentions, your comment DID hurt me. But fortunately, I’m not the same girl I was years ago. I’m a healthy and strong human and I have an endless supply of love and support coming from the empowering community of women that I’m surrounded by. I was able to walk away from your comment (although it did take some time) feeling stronger and more empowered than ever before. I wish I could say the same thing about every other girl who has been affected by comments like yours.

The crazy thing about the internet is that EVERYONE has access to EVERYTHING. People who you have never met before can see pictures of you and vice versa. What these people choose to do when they see pictures of you is up to them, which is pretty scary when you think about it.

Because everything and everyone is on the internet these days, you don’t know 99% of the people in the pictures you see on a daily basis. You don’t know their names, you don’t know their story, you don’t know their struggles. Whether this person is “insta famous” or a random girl who was standing next to a distant high school friend in a picture, it’s safe to assume that you’ve only seen a tiny glimpse of their lives – and that glimpse is only what they want you to see. You don’t genuinely know these people.

You had no idea who I was, yet you chose to post a comment about my body anyway. What if I was someone who struggled with depression? Or someone who suffered from an eating disorder? Or maybe someone who struggled to appreciate the person I’ve become? A comment from a random girl on the internet could have broken my already broken spirits even more. Thankfully, I’m none of these people. But I can’t say the same about other girls out there who may be struggling to love themselves. There are girls out there who DO suffer from depression, eating disorders and a lack of self-appreciation. You may not realize it when you post things like that, but what you say can and does affect these girls, regardless of whether or not you know who they are.

So next time you think you need to share a comment that may not be kind or empowering, do us all a favor. Keep it to yourself.

Naturally,

Ari.

 

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21 thoughts on “A Letter to a Random Girl on Instagram

  1. You are amazing for taking this experience and transforming it into something for us to learn from. I am sorry that this stranger ever commented that in the first place but you have inspired me to keep striving to be me a better me, no matter what anyone else says. Keep on keeping on ❤ I'll be right by your side! _savannah raza #UICchaarg

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  2. YES! Ari this is breathtaking and I’m so proud that you’re taking a stance on this. You’re beautiful and some people just fail to see that. #UTChaarg

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    1. I feel like it’s my mission to transform my “pain” into awareness for girls who aren’t as fortunate to have so much self-love and support as myself. Every girl deserves to feel loved and empowered. Thank you for your support!!

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  3. Your graciousness is the definition of true strength. I really hope there comes a day when beauty and “fit” aren’t defined by the simple terms that they are now. There is always something that someone has that we lack, and vise versa. There’s always something being compared and scrutinized. And it’s really too bad .. because the most important thing is that we become the best versions of ourselves, not someone else. You do you!!

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  4. I’m so sorry that happened to you, what a mean thing to say! You know when I first looked at the pic I didn’t even notice 2 girls were wearing full length grey shirts. You look great in your outfit and you all look happy.

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  5. Ugh people on the internet can be the absolute worst. Sorry you had to deal with that, but I think it’s awesome to be honest about your feelings in the hope of possibly changing somebody’s actions in the future!

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  6. Aw I’m so sorry you had to experience this sweetie. Realize people that say cruel things only because they aren’t confident in themselves. Nothing to do with you, you are beautiful!

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