Dear Fat Shamer,

Lately, I have noticed a trend and frankly, it makes me sick. You seem to think it’s okay to fat shame others because of their size. I’m not sure what gives you the impression that this is okay, but it’s happening every time I turn my head and I am so sick of it. Honestly, I want to kick you in the throat every time you do it.

I’ve heard you crack jokes. I’ve heard you make comments. I’ve even heard you complain about how offended you are when fat girls wear cute outfits and take pictures to post as if being fat is cute. WTF! Are you for real? You really think it’s okay to make someone feel like they need to crawl into a cave and hide because of how much they weigh?

I just can’t! I really just CAN NOT with you!

I was an overweight child. I actually didn’t lose much of that weight until I was 21. And when I lost it, I saw what some people were really about. Folks who never looked at me twice were suddenly paying attention–like I changed on the inside or something. Like losing weight finally made me worthy of their attention. That made me so angry. About as angry as your stupidness makes me. But it also made me sad to see that people could be so damn shallow.

Now, about 17 years after losing that weight, I’ve gained much of it back. Having three kids and keeping up with a busy lifestyle can do that. But I learned a long time ago that my weight doesn’t define me. It’s simply a part of who I am. And if you are fixing your mouth to tell me that having children is no excuse, you can kick rocks. The last time I checked, I pushed those kids out of my body on my own. I earned every damn stretch mark I have from doing so. The last thing I want or need is your opinion about what I should look like now that I’m done.

And let’s be clear about something. I do give a damn about my health and the health of others. I always have. I eat well, I workout, and I want to live a long life. I care so much that I became a certified health coach. That’s right–I actually help people live healthier lifestyles without ever shaming a single person. Amazing, right? I can sit here and school you about managing blood pressure, the benefits of losing weight, and anything else you want to know about creating a healthier lifestyle, and I can do it with love and compassion. I can help people without ever making them feel less than a human being. I wish I could say the same for you.

You see, I am smart enough to know that shaming has never compelled anyone to make lasting changes. Shaming actually makes people feel like sh*t. It’s cruel. So cruel that I gotta wonder what the hell went wrong in your life to make you think you can treat other people that way. Who shamed you? What’s your pain? Because you see, no one just wakes up and decides to be mean for no damn reason. That mess is stemming from something. I know it is.

But despite your unresolved issues and my compassion for you, I won’t give you a pass. I won’t excuse you for your antics. You know better. You have to know better. And if you don’t, let this letter be your reason to get a freakin’ clue.

Fat. Skinny. Tall. Short. White. Brown. We all need to be treated with love and respect. We all have the right to roam this earth in the skin we’re in without ever feeling like we have to justify our current condition to anyone. Especially not to an insensitive moron like you.

The next time you decide to form and express an opinion about someone you think is fat, I want you to take several seats because some random person’s extra weight isn’t the problem. You are. And until you accept that and work on yourself, all you’re doing is adding more pain to the world with each judgment you pass.

I don’t know about you, but this world I’m living in doesn’t need any added pain. Why don’t you try loving folks instead? You never know… they may actually decide to love you back.