"How are you going to "make" people think that overweight=sexy?"
"Fat will always be gross, because it's unhealthy and unattractive."
"All of you fattys need to stop trying to make 'fat' a thing."
These are all comments left on a video Refinery29 recently posted, about the fact that plus size women are still not considered sexy.
The video showed Laura Delarato, a video features writer at Refinery29, as she took on a project to prove how sexy plus-size women can be. Yet, she continues to get body shaming comments like this in the comments section of every body-positive story she writes or video she posts.
So, fed up with the body shamers, Delarato decided to show them exactly who their comments hurt: A real person.
She took the negative comments she gets from trolls on her articles and videos, as well as comments she gets from men on her dating profiles, and pasted them on top of photos of her body.
It's a personal project for Delarato, because the comments strangers make about her body are so personal. And, of course, they hurt.
"The point of comments like these is to make me feel small and uncomfortable and like an object," she said. "That’s how we control women."
It's especially poignant for plus-size women, who hear and see comments like this all the time from anonymous commenters on stories like Delarato's, to people they date, to well-meaning, but still body-shaming comments from family and friends. That's why it's so important to Delarato to call those words out.
"I didn’t want other people to think this is allowed," she said. "What happens when you put that comment on an actual human person who has real feelings?"
The results are striking. Words like "how about going a day without cake?" line Delarato's skin as she poses in a perfect down-dog split, a move most concern trolls (people who comment on someone's weight because they're "worried" about that person's health) would probably think she could never do.
Not every plus size woman can nail that down-dog split, but that's not the point. The point is that we know nothing about a person's health or well-being simply by looking at them, and plus-size women absolutely can be sexy.
"Being body positive and putting that out in the world, you'd be shocked about how much hate I get back," Delarato said. "It's so isolating to sit alone and read that. So I refuse to let this go unnoticed."