• Women are sharing their experiences with body shaming under hashtag #TheySaid. (Kat Chadwick / Getty Images.)Source: Kat Chadwick / Getty Images.
"When I was about 12, my aunt got the flu & lost ~20lbs (~9kg). My grandmother suggested she hug me so I could get it and lose weight."
By
Chloe Sargeant

29 May 2017 - 1:26 PM  UPDATED 29 May 2017 - 1:26 PM

The concept of using a hashtag in order to share lived experiences and open the eyes of others isn't exactly new (you might remember Kelly Oxford's hugely influential #NotOkay hashtag in response to President Donald Trump's "grab her by the pussy" comment), but it certainly is effective.

This time, Sally Bergesen, the founder and CEO of athleticwear company Oiselle, wanted to begin a conversation about the enormous amount of bodyshaming that women regularly endure - regardless of their size, shape, age, or fitness level. 

Bergesen said she hoped that sharing her own story, along with the hashtag #TheySaid, would simply open a dialogue about how traumatic bodyshaming can be. She did this a couple of days ago, and the stories have been streaming through relentlessly ever since. 

Bergesen's initial tweet, detailing her own experience, was about her father critiquing her food choices at only 12 years of age:

Soon after, the responses came flooding in from hundreds of women:

Some used the hashtag purely to emphasise just how confronting, but important, it is to read through the heartbreaking stories:

Bergesen was shocked by not only the volume of tweets she received, but also the variety of people that delivered the harrowing (and often unethical) comments about women's bodies:

The CEO also gave words of advice to the hundreds of women who replied to her original tweet with their stories of bodyshaming:

You can read more stories of the everyday bodyshaming that women all over the world receive, under the hashtag #TheySaid.

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