11.8.17

Fat Shaming, Online Hate & A Story Of Discontentment

I'm exhausted. I really am. Although I'm generally quite an optimistic and positive person, I'm also a complete realist; I know that we all have good days and bad days, that the internet is full of bitter and lonely people that have nothing better to do than pull others down, and that sometimes drawing a line and moving on is the best way to deal with situations. But in the last couple of weeks I've felt myself falling deeper and deeper into a pit of despair that's just left me mentally drained. And the source of this exhaustion? Continual comments about my appearance and weight.


I'm sick and tired of strangers feeling the need to tell me I need to go on a diet, that I'm going to die prematurely, or questioning why I've ballooned so much. I'm exhausted with the fact every time I go to approve my comments, there's another anonymous hate-filled observation or criticism about why 'fat people always have bruises everywhere' or that 'you better marry him fast, before you peg it'. I'm over the idiots that make it their mission to prove that I'm lying about my dress size, and spend their days leaving horrid essays on every one of my channels. The worrying thing is that this is just the tip of the iceberg: so many other women are on the receiving end of online hate that eats away at them until their confidence is in the gutter. So many gorgeous individuals are being told they look like a beached whale, that they're costing the NHS too much money, or that they should just hurry up and kill themselves so other people's eyes aren't so offended. It's horrific. It's unacceptable. It needs to stop.

To help you understand where my head is at, let me tell you my story...  I've not necessarily 'struggled' with my weight, but I've always had issues with my appearance and food in general. As a child I was always the little one that was cute and pocket-sized, helped by the fact that I used to have at least three dance lessons as week and spent many years performing on stage. When I hit my teenage years I started to fill out in places that made me feel awkward, taking to hiding my changing figure and facing comments from other girls about my boobs every time it was PE class. I remember thinking I was so much bigger than everyone else (I wasn't at all, I just had puppy fat) and would always tie my jumper around my waist to help conceal the fact that I wasn't as super skinny as the other kids. During the next few years I developed pretty horrendous eating habits due to the influence of my parents, who loved biscuits and chocolates like nobody else I've ever experienced; to this day we still joke that my mum was never able to eat just a handful of After Eights at Christmas - before you'd had a chance to take one, she'd devoured the whole box.

Those bad habits rubbed off, paired with a complete lack of food education that lead me to think nibbling on a slab of cheese was actually healthy. (True story, I used to cut off a slice before dance class as I thought it was better than a bowl of Frosties.) But what made it worse was the constant criticism I received during the most fragile years of a young girl's life, which just made me even more insecure about my appearance. Some of my earliest memories include my Year 7 teacher telling me "Hayley, you do know just because you eat three donuts followed by three apples, it doesn't make it healthy?" as a way of explaining how our body works; rather than helping, she just made me want donuts as a way to comfort myself after feeling completely pinpointed and ostracized.

My games teacher throughout secondary school used to deliberately put me in positions I wasn't capable of, just to make me run about a bit (I can vividly remember running up and down the hockey pitch with little purpose and feeling like I was being made a fool of,) rather than allowing me to play to my strengths. My gym teacher made me feel like an idiot because I couldn't do a roly-poly very well, when actually my main priority was trying not to look like a fat lump in my gym pants and t-shirt. (Seriously, who thinks that's a good uniform for growing young girls?) Even my dance teacher used to criticise my weight and make me take my baggy tee off, so I found myself standing in front of a room of other kids wearing nothing other than a glorified swimming costume in order to do shuffle-ball-changes. It was all about control and shaming me into slimming down.

My entire school years I was made to feel less worthy, like less of a human, because I was a bit tubbier than the rest and not at all athletically inclined. Your entire value was placed on the size of your waist and how fast you could run the 100 metres, when all I wanted to do was write an essay or research what happened during Henry VIII's third marriage. (The irony of the fact I was always top of my class and academically 'excellent', but this was of little value if you couldn't take part in the swimming relay.) Unfortunately rather than helping, all these righteous teachers only exacerbated the problem that was there in its infancy; I turned to comfort eating and hiding myself away, unaware of who I really was or why anybody would ever like me. The weight piled on, the bullying started, and before I knew it I was a size 18-20 fifteen year old whose mother was frequenting the head's office to find out what could be done about the fact I was clearly blooming miserable. One of the most embarrassing experiences of my life was being so big I couldn't even fit into our regulation school skirt, instead having to wear a navy pencil skirt from Evans and carry around a note with me in case I was stopped by a teacher who wanted to know why I wasn't in full uniform. Can you imagine?

Just before my sixteenth birthday my parents split up. Maybe that's a story for another day, and one that's had a profound impact on my future relationships and reliance only upon myself, but what that did trigger was the need to change something. My mum decided to lose the weight that had crept up on her over the years (she went from a size 24 to a 16 within a matter of months,) and I followed suit - I went from a size 18-20 to a size 10 over the course of six months and had never felt better. When I went back to school it was like I was re-born; everyone wanted to be my friend, everyone wanted to hang out and everyone wanted to introduce me to the boys at the bus stop after school. I'd gone from being the kid at the party that was called names behind her back, to the one all the boys wanted to talk to at the disco. Unsurprisingly, this change in attitude towards me lead to a really unhealthy association that took the best part of a decade to break: that my value was intrinsically linked to my appearance. Can you blame me? When I was fat I was shamed and picked on and treated like less of a human, but when I was slim I was all of a sudden one of the most popular girls in school. 

Over the next ten years my obsession with controlling my weight and intake of food got dangerously close to an eating disorder. Although I would never have considered myself to have a problem at the time, in retrospect its clear that I had some serious issues. While at Uni I'd happily skip meals and spend my money on alcohol, keeping a lid on any weight gain while filling my diary with fun things - two birds, one stone and all of that. Post Uni I'd frequently go on the Slim Fast diet for weeks at a time and survive on little else other than a couple of shakes a day and possibly a salad; this wasn't helped by a boyfriend who'd subtly criticise everything from the outfits I wore to the size of my backside, which unsurprisingly lead me to start religiously counting every single calorie that was being consumed and burned during a daily basis. This went on and on, until one day I just had enough. I don't know what clicked, but it was a light-bulb moment that left me wondering why I'd spent so much time worrying about my weight when I had far more important things to focus on.

I was finally able to stand up and say, both to myself and others, "I'm far more than the label in my dress." 

Although I finally found my inner as well as outwardly facing confidence, the bloggersphere has definitely opened up old wounds like I never anticipated over the last seven years. It's a funny old place, with so much diversity and so much talent, but most of the time there's very much a certain 'type' of blogger that's most visible and commercial; as long as you're young, pretty and slim, you're in. If you're not, then too bad. I spent such a long time being self-deprecating and hiding behind a flat lay, because when I dared to show my face or be part of a YouTube video I'd get comments along the lines of "I didn't realise you were so fat." No matter how confident you are in yourself and your abilities, it hurts; it stings when someone points out your own insecurities and turns them on you, and no matter how much you tell yourself to ignore it, it's far easier said than done. I've had sleepless nights pondering over comments I've been left or hurtful messages I've received, when I really do know better than to do so - but we're only human and it's easy to take things to heart.

Four years ago I met a guy that instantly felt like my soul mate; he loved me unconditionally for who I was, not just what I looked like, and made me feel like the most beautiful person on earth. Josh has done incredible things for my self confidence (even if I've never really spoken about many of my issues with anyone until now,) and without his support and love I would never have been able to start putting more of myself on this blog. He's given me the inner strength to brush away those criticisms and nasty comments and focus on doing something great: although it was awkward and uncomfortable to start with, now I love creating outfit posts and sharing with you what I'm wearing; I love being able to showcase my new favourites, or the way I'm styling up a pair of shoes. A year ago I really wouldn't have been able to do that, no matter how confident I may have appeared from the outside. However, with putting myself 'out there' comes the inevitable criticism and those online trolls rearing their ugly heads once again. 

I don't see myself as fat. Yes I've got fat bits (hello bingo wings and sticky-out tummy,) but I see myself as a curvy size sixteen woman who'd rather put her efforts into enjoying life than saying no to a slice of cake. I'm healthy and active, I've never taken drugs, I rarely drink more than a glass of wine a week, I don't eat dairy, I don't binge on takeaways and pizzas, I go to the gym two or three times a week and I walk practically everywhere I need to go. My only vice is coffee. Yes my BMI may tell me I'm too large, but my smile and my outlook tell me I'm just right. I love my eyes, I've got a cracking jawline when positioned just right, and my hip-to-waist ration is like something out of a 1950's pin-up mag. Looking back at pictures of me from my teens and twenties, I look worryingly thin and out of proportion; I was meant to have curves and wobbly bits, but most of all I was meant to enjoy my life and the slices of cake that come with it. Our time on this earth is too short to worry and say no to everything that's good, just so our jeans can be a size or two smaller. 

My positivity and happiness right now comes from a place of despair and discontent; after many years of struggling with my own value and self worth, I finally feel like I'm in a place where I can shove two fingers up at those in the world that have ever put me down. So it's typical that it's when I finally feel at ease that I'm on the receiving end of comments that once again criticize my appearance. To give you a few examples of the kind of things left for me...

"Why have you put on so much weight recently?" 
(I haven't, I've actually lost a bit. But not every outfit I wear is going to be super slimming - who cares.) 

"Eugh, are you marrying him quickly before he changes his mind?!"
(We're getting married quickly because we have the money to do so and I'm an organisational master.) 

"Why do fat people always have bruises all over their bodies?"
(Ironically it's because I fell off a machine in the gym while concentrating more on my crime podcast than workout.)

"I'm so glad you stayed under the pool for that shot!"
(I stayed in the pool because I'd been ill for three days and it was the only way I felt better.)

"He wants to marry you for a long life together, which won't be the case if you stay at that size."
(I'm healthy and happy. My lifespan is not being shortened by anything, thank you very much.)

"Size 16?! Haha, more like a 20 at least..."
(Not that I need to justify myself in any way, but I'll happily do a live stream from my wardrobe.) 

"I didn't realise you were this fat. Your profile picture is deceptive." 
(Oh bugger off you bitter and twisted loser.)

It’s exhausting and it’s starting to take its toll. I’m not alone in experiencing this at all, if anything online abuse received by women is so prolific that it’s actually unusual if you’re not on the receiving end, and I’m lucky (if you can call it that) that the comments left for me are ignorant and unnecessary rather than downright abusive or illegal. Recently a fellow blogger and ultimate babe Callie Thorpe received hundreds of comments about her appearance following a groundbreaking appearance in Vogue; she was pictured in her bikini alongside supermodels, and celebrated for her effortless style and general sass. However, rather than allowing her to take this moment in and remember her amazing achievement, those little online balls of hate proceeded to leave some of the most horrific things I’ve ever read online. In response Callie recorded a hugely emotional video (which has now been viewed over 85,000 times) where she quite bravely called those ugly humans out and said something needs to be done. That these comments are not acceptable and those that leave them should be held accountable.

Callie is an inspiration to so many women and proves that you can be happy, healthy and successful whatever your size - and that you can look good in a bikini whether you’re a supermodel or twenty-something girl from Wales. She does so much good and is a positive force for change amongst the constant negativity women online face today. I’m hugely proud of what she’s achieved, and even more so of what she will inevitably achieve in the future, but it shouldn’t take so much hate for the conversation to start. Vogue have been hugely supportive of her during this rollercoaster ride (she wrote a response to the hate here) and should be applauded for their commitment to showing women of all shapes and sizes across their channels and in their pages. (More sooner rather than later please!)

But it’s not just me and it’s not just Callie. On my recent podcast episode with Emily Clarkson of Pretty Normal Me, we discussed the online abuse she received as a vulnerable teenager about her weight and appearance purely because she had the audacity to be born to a famous father. (She's also written about why we need people like Callie to keep fighting for girls everywhere.) Grace Victory has spoken out about the attitude towards women and the obsession with size across her blog and social channels on so many occasions, and Georgina Horne openly shares comments left on her social channels as a way of illustrating its not ok. (Both of these ladies discuss it on my podcast too if you fancy listening to their episodes!) The list goes on and on - it's never ending. Ironically it's been proven that fat shaming doesn't help people to lose weight or become healthier (read this article if you're interested in finding out more,) but does in fact the opposite, so what do these online haters think they're achieving?

Why are we so obsessed with the appearance of other people? Why are so many members of society more offended by fat than they are by racism, homophobia, sexisim or inequality? Why do people feel that it's their right or job to point out what they deem to be 'health issues', but would never dream of criticizing a smoker in the same way? Why do we think pinpointing someone's insecurities will give them the motivation to change them? Why are we so interested in strangers dress sizes or what they're doing with their lives? Why, why, why have we ended up this way?

I'm not really sure what I wanted to achieve with this post, and it's certainly not ended up the way it started, but I just feel like the more we talk about this and the more we say it's not ok, the more likely we are to see change. I've no doubt that those ugly little weasels who love to leave me anonymous comments will rear their heads in anger once they get to the end of this post, but on the positive side every page hit is a hit I'll take - those nasty humans just keep helping this girl on her way to success.

So to every one of you that's ever left a nasty, hateful or unnecessary comment or dared to criticise a woman's appearance... Here's a picture of my fabulous ass. Kiss it. 



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69 comments

  1. Luckily, my issues with weight started when I had a very demanding job, in my mid 20s. So, every time someone was asking if I'm pregnant (after getting married everybody was wondering if we have children) because I'm so fat. I was overweight, but I was unable to find solution to have a proper diet (and not 6-8 mugs of coffee each day). My response was that I'm not and I wasn't bothered, I was mature and I couldn't care less of what they were saying.
    After having health issues (due to being overweight), I started a stupid diet, I lost weight and I put it back. That was the moment I've started reading about nutrition and I started a diet that cut the calories a bit, enough to lose weight, but enough to enjoy pizza, pasta, desserts, just a smaller portion.
    When I was a size 6-8, I started hearing that I'm too thin, so skinny shaming. Marvelous, what can I say? Why do anybody cares what size I am I have no idea. Meanwhile, others were telling me it's not healthy to eat homemade low-sugar desserts each day because I will become addicted to sugar?! Yep, a few years on and I'm not addicted to sugar (only black coffee, but even that is only 2-3 mugs a day and some decaf). Now I put on some weight because I'm not exercising as much as I did, now I'm a 10-12. I would love to loose 4-5 pounds and I'm going to do that by the end of the year, I'm not in a hurry. I just want to be a 10 again, so I can wear everything I have in the wardrobe.
    So, the main thing is that you can't please everybody: I was "too fat", "too skinny", eating too many healthy desserts, exercising too much (6 times a week), eating too much (when I was exercising 6 times a week and I needed the energy). I tried to help friends that asked for my advice, because they know how much I've read on nutrition and working out. But I would never tell anybody anything without being asked. Is not my business how big is their butt.

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    1. We can never win and people are always obsessed with others' appearance. It's about time that stopped and we just celebrated being happy. Thanks for sharing your story Anca.

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  2. Love, love, love this. I'm a size 12-14 - always have been (except when starving myself really) probably always will be. And yet I feel the pressure to diet and look like a gym bunny every. Single. Day. So this was so amazing and somehow empowering to read. It's funny, I always see other girls with curves and think they look so stunning and wish I had that confidence but maybe that's more about confidence than it is about losing weight because of all the horrible trolls. Anyway - I truly enjoyed reading this and you're right - it just needs to stop. XXX

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    1. Thanks Cate. Ironically I'm the happiest when I'm bigger, because I can enjoy my life without caring about what I'm putting in my mouth, but with it comes judgement from others which isn't ok.

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  3. All I can say is wow, what a fabulous and heartfelt post - I honestly have tears in my eyes reading it. I am 52 now and have pretty much always struggled with my weight, I was an overweight teen and because of that I was ridiculed and bullied by girls who I thought were my friends. Why people think that your weight is any of their business is beyond me, even worse are the nasty and spiteful keyboard warriors who sit and hide behind anonymous usernames while they dish out their vile comments. I would love to see just how 'perfect' some of these vile little trolls really are.

    I honestly think you look amazing and I totally love your style. That lace skirt looks great on you and on your fabulous ass!

    Have a great hen weekend.... xx

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    1. I suspect those dishing out horrid comments actually have issues themselves. Thanks for your kind words and support Jane - it means a lot x

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  4. It's so disgusting the way people think they can criticise someone for their weight! Bloggers like you and Callie are so inspirational to me, but it breaks my heart that people can be so cruel. Thank you for your honesty in this post xx

    Rhi | www.rinkydinkyrhi.com

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    1. That's so sweet of you to say Rhi. I'm so glad this has been helping people already x

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  5. That last part - yes kiss it! At the end of the day no one else's view matters... you love you, Josh loves you and I think you are amazing... people will always have an opinion on something, they can't help themselves, but it says a lot more about them than it does you! Getting married quick, well I beat you in that score... 7months from meeting to married and still so after 13 years, so all my doubters have been told to ram pretty much every occasion I get to tell them! Xx

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    1. Haha that's brilliant Rachel! We moved in after 4mths so we're not ones to hang about either ;)

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  6. I love your post. You're absolutely gorgeous with curves in all the right places. The trolls are jealous. They're usually mean spirited nobodies who hide behind anonymity to spew their poison. We need to expose them and put an end to all this negativity.

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    1. Gail you're just too lovely. Thank you xx

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  7. Sobbed my way through this post, you absolute queen. For what it's worth, LBQ has increasingly become one of my must-reads ever since it became less of a beauty blog and more about the woman behind it, and I've made at least one (possibly more? I can't remember) purchase on the back of your fashion posts. It's why I've been making more of an effort to comment too. It doesn't counteract the abuse, nobody is so thick-skinned that that level of vitriol won't have some sort of effect, but just know that there are more of us than there are of them. And yes, keep those page views coming haters!

    Have a glorious hen weekend Hayley, I hope it's everything you dreamed of.

    Lis / last year's girl x

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    1. Thank you so much Lis - and I'm so glad you've been enjoying the content. I've been enjoying blogging much more since I diversified.

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  8. I love this post. Your honesty and positive outlook is inspiring to read. From one curvy size 16 to another, thank you. The online trolls can indeed kiss your (fabulous) ass. It's so awful that in this day and age, people think they can hide behind a screen/keyboard and say the most awful things. Thanks once again for this article, I'm off to find the most curve enhancing thing in my wardrobe and rock it, proudly!

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  9. I'm so sorry that this is happening to you. I had no idea. I really enjoy your blog, but am not much of a commenter. I think people who write hateful things on the internet are the minority, there must be disproportionately more like me, quietly loving your content and not speaking up. Please don't listen to the negative noise. It means nothing. You are fabulous. H x

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  10. Awesome article Hayley. I love your blog and look and feel totally inspired. You are beautiful and you rock.

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  11. It still shocks me that people think it's ok to leave nasty comments on people's personal profiles and blogs, I just don't understand why they do it? So sorry to hear people are doing this to you, and many others, I wish there was abetter way of obstructing these types of comments, they're in no way constructive!

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  12. Perfect post Hayley. I agree with one of your replies to a comment, those who are shaming are probably facing issues themselves. They think their own ass is too fat so to feel better themselves they look and laugh at anyone else's that is bigger. There's no excuse for it at all. Yes ok health is important and I would worry about my own weight for that reason but for looks? Never. And it's not anyone else's business either. Besides, weight isn't always the cause of a health issue. I am at my heaviest at the moment AFTER I got a blood clot a year ago when I was just barely over the 25 BMI mark. Thanks to that clot I can't exercise like I used to and have put weight on (now hover around 28 BMI, oops). I want to lose that weight to avoid further health issues but I bet anyone who looks at my extra weight thinks I just am a fat pig who stuffs her face too much. Well I'm healthier than I was a year ago facing a fatal condition so I too say people like that should look at your fabulous ass shot and kiss it!

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    1. Exactly - your weight doesn't determine health, and it isn't a measure of happiness either. Everyone should focus less on other's appearance and more on their own behaviour.

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  13. You look amazing and write like a dream so it's obvious the negativity comes from a place of sheer jealousy and nothing else. I've had body shaming in the past, with trolls writing about my post-baby body which was awful. We must not let them win. Keep doing your thing and being fabulous xx

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    1. Thank you so much lovely. And you too x

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  14. Oh Hayley, I can totally relate to the school part. I was the biggest in my class and felt like a piece of shit, because of what others would say [friends, teachers, family, etc]: 'you would be so much prettier if you lost weight', 'you need to stop eating so much', etc, etc. I wrote about it all in detail in my eating disorder post. I still battle it to this day. It's horrible. Now when I look back I wasn't eating too much at all, and I wasn't massive either. Just not skinny like others. Sigh.
    My point is, this post is great and it's literally articles like these that truly do help me get through the days sometimes. Yours, Callie's, Grace's, all the awesome people who don't take any of that shit from others.
    Bo x

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    1. Why is school such a horrific place for so many of us?! Things need to change.

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  15. You look amazing. That skirt is gorgeous. It's sad you had to write a post like this. I can imagine it's tiresome. But hey...it's better to be looked over, than overlooked, as said Marilyn. Trolls are overlooked key board warriors that just want a fleeting moment of power in their sad little lives. Don't let them get you down xx

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  16. Such a wonderfully honest post, Hayley. Thank you for being one of those inspirational women who speak out for those who feel unable to. I have struggled with weight, from the opposite end of the spectrum. I was bullied for being too skinny (at a time when Kate Moss was making her first appearance, ironic or what?) It was the way I was built and skinny I stayed until my mid-20s. Then I went the other way and only one of my Down's Syndrome students mistaking my buddha belly for a baby bump opened my eyes. I've spent the last year giving breast cancer its marching orders and though medication has put more weight on than I would like I have decided that life is too short to worry about what I look like. If I am generally happy with my looks then other people can go and do one!

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    1. This is the exact attitude to have Anna! And good luck on your recovery journey. x

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  17. I think your amazing. I love your writing and think your gorgeous. People can be cruel and yes they should be held accountable...why can't people just be nice?! A documentary that you might like is 'Embrace'. I think it has a great message that everyone can learn from. https://bodyimagemovement.com/embrace/

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    1. I'll give it a watch, thank you!

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  18. Troll is so the right word for these people, regardless of what they look like on the outside they are bitter and twisted on the inside! My rule of thumb is that if you wouldn't say it to somebody's face don't say it over social media!
    From what you're saying you sound as though you eat healthily and exercise regularly. New research is showing that people with high bmi's can be more healthy than skinny people, so comments about your health are unfounded. There are many many skinny people who have fat around their internal organs that is way more unhealthy than 'bingo wings' and has the potential to give more serious health issues. There is also mental health to consider, as long as you are fit and active, then it's okay to be the weight you're happiest with. A lot better than being a skinny couch potato who is mean spirited.

    I would never comment on how much (or little) people eat unless they want my opinion. I grew up being skinny through my teens and early twenties, and as time has gone on I'm now a stable size 12. My weight does go up and down a bit, but I suspect most people's does, regardless of what they'd like us to believe. My sister has always yoyo-ed up and down weight wise, and while I've never criticised her weight she feels the need to snipe at mine (one holiday in Greece comes to mind, when I was accused of being anorexic because the heat always diminishes my appetite). We all have something we're not totally happy with about our bodies, that's normal- but we need to focus on what we like and stay positive.
    You are so lucky having a partner who loves and supports you no matter what, that is something that is worth it's weight in gold! I think these people are jealous of your success, and happiness and chose to see the negative things in life, they are the ones who need help if they are going to prevent themselves being even more bitter and twisted.

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    1. Thank you so much for your great comment and support - it means a lot.

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  19. Bravo. Great post. It is incomprehensible to me that people feel the need to do these things. Where does this hate come from? It's utterly baffling, not to mention cowardly. And you're absolutely right, the discussion needs to go on and grow louder. This is not OK. This needs to stop.
    You're beautiful, and I laughed out loud at the (gorgeous) arse shot/comment.

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  20. purplegreeting12.8.17

    Hi, I have enjoyed reading your blog and appreciate your comments regarding your weight issues etc (I have personally struggled with an eating disorder for many years and was even hospitalised during my University years but found happiness after meeting my dear husband and things improved and yes, I was also bullied at school for being overweight at one point). Sadly I was hurt and surprised about your comments about your Gym teacher making you feel like a 'special needs kid'. My little boy is starting school this year and we, as parents, are worried sick as he is the 'special needs kid'. Born with a serious heart condition and hemiplegia on one side of his body (i.e. can't move arm and leg like the other kids...). He will be bullied as he gets older...but we can't change the situation. However if he was overweight then yes, we could help him lose weight..Sadly he will also need further surgery. Please think carefully before you write--do you really know what it feels like to be a 'special needs kid'? Sorry, but your comment hit a very raw nerve. Good luck with your forthcoming nuptials. Hope you will both be very happy.

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    1. I'm sorry I offended and upset with that comment, it wasn't my intention - and in all honesty I didn't think it through. So thank you for bringing it to my attention; I'll amend the post.

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  21. Anonymous12.8.17

    Hi Hayley,

    It must be hard swimming through that toxic swamp and to stay positive. Please don't listen to the trolls: they're not right in the heart of they think it's acceptable to make those comments.

    As others have said, your appearance is your business. So long as you're cool with your look, hell, ain't that all that matters? :-)

    I think most of us have something about our bodies we don't like, and the better people out there don't shame us for missing that mythical perfection.

    On a massive tangent, there's a YouTube video with a tearful Dustin Hoffman. He talks about his time in the film Tootsie, and how he realised he'd been so wrong to blank women based on how they looked.

    Stay strong!
    Lynn
    x

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  22. Thank you for writing such an honest post. There are so many people in this world who are just out to destroy others. It's heartbreaking to read what you have been through for most of your life. I was also mocked and bullied during my school years and even now thinking about what was said to me has an effect on me. If I looked even half as beautiful as you do then I would be happy. You always come across as such a lovely person, so please don't let these horrible people ruin your life anymore. You have found that special person in your life so just go and live the life you want and be happy. And definitely keep posting your outfit posts.

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  23. Two words for the haters, the second one being off, just keep on doing you, NOTHING on the internet matters, only real relationships are important, and you have what many would love !

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  24. Katharina13.8.17

    I am surprised that there aren't more comments - I think EVERYBODY should feel obliged to give you a thumbs up on this post. I think you are doing a great job, you are an inspiration and a great role model for girls and women alike. Thank you!

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    1. I've been away for 3 days on my hen do so I wasn't able to publish them all... But they're here now! :)

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  25. Over the years I have gained weight, lost weight and now I am finally happy. All I can say about it FUCK what everybody else thinks, I know it can be easier said than done, but as long as you are happy and confident in your own skin then nothing else should matter!

    Danielle xx
    http://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

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  26. Laura Laffan13.8.17

    Fab post Hayley! I've always been the bigger girl at school and now. Luckily I have never been bullied for my size although I have had comments and insults shouted at me on the streets in recent years. I've currently lost 4 stone and still have a long way to go until I feel more comfortable and confident but I'm doing it for me and no one else. We live in the same town and have seen you on a few nights out. Last time I think was around Christmas and I thought how wonderful you looked!

    I'm not going to say ignore the haters as it's really hard but keep your head held high. People are obviously jealous of your success and happiness!

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    1. Awwwww Laura!! You should come say hi and let me by you a drink if you see me out and about!!

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    2. Laura Laffan17.8.17

      Might just do that. We actually went to Ascot together many moons ago!

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  27. Fantastic read, and I'm sorry that people are so cruel. Your happiness is the most important thing, and as someone who had comments on the opposite end of the scale when I was a t school (bulimic/anorexic taunts) I can appreciate how much words can hurt. You look fantastic and I am actually envious of your curves x

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    1. Thanks so much Jenny. I can imagine the other side of the spectrum is just as hurtful - my best friend is tiny and she's spoken to me about the cruel comments she received too.

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  28. Anonymous13.8.17

    I don't think I have ever written a comment on a blog post before for anyone but this really resonated with me. What a wonderful and honest post and as a fellow size 16ish'er who has been every size from a 12-22 I applaud you for speaking out and all those haters should indeed kiss your fabulous ass!

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    1. Thank you so much for your support!

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  29. I'm sorry that this has happened to you. Your body is no one else's business. It's awful that people think that they can comment. However, I'm afraid that you lost me at 'my gym teacher made me feel like a special needs Kid'. There is nothing wrong with being a 'special needs kid' and I say that as a parent of one.

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    1. You're right, there's not at all - my sister is one. I honestly didn't think it through, and as I said above I appreciate you bringing it to my attention and I've amended the post.

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  30. That ending, LOVE it! Thanks for sharing more about your story. I think you look absolutely fabulous, and you're going to make a beautiful bride. I too had weight issues during my teen years and recently I've lost a lot of it. I'm my happiest when I'm smaller but everyone is different and if you're happy and healthy, that is all that matters! You do you Hayley and let the haters be haters...
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

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  31. Good for you Hayles. Some people are sad lonely losers who for the most part, don't even realise that the way they talk to others is a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves.
    Sad bastards. X

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  32. You've responded to the hateful comments so well, it's inspiring to see somebody overcome bullying in such a respectful way, you're beautiful both inside and out

    Jess x
    http://acornlifefitness.com

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  33. Absolutely loved this post Hayley. I honestly can't get the mentality of people who feel it "their duty" to criticise others; too fat, too thin, too tall, too blonde. If you don't like it, just move on and let everyone get on with their lives!! xx

    Golly Miss Holly

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  34. Shaming people is NEVER NEVER ok and I really commend you for for feeling able to call people out on this, I'm sure there'll be a backlash to it, but directly challenging people's prejudice is one of the only way to deal with them it seems. On a slightly lighter note, I had to laugh at your response re: falling off the gym equipment because you were listening to a podcast because I almost ran into someone this weekend whilst listening to my audiobook and completely not looking where I was going!

    Shaming is not ok. Bullying is not ok. Calling this out- more than ok!

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    1. It just got to the stage where I couldn't just put up with it - I needed to say something, to let people know it happens and it's ok to be affected by it. And OMG falling off the leg machine coz I was too engrossed in a murder is by far my greatest achievement ;)

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  35. I cannot believe people have said these horrendous things to you!! Parts of this post made me so sad!! But I'm glad you have such a kick ass attitude towards these t*ats! Your responses had me actually laughing out loud. I bet not one of those vile commenters are married or engaged and if they are then I pity their partners!

    I've been through very similar weight issues. My dance teacher called me 'the chubby one' once when I was just going through the puppy fat phase. I was a slim teenager then children happened and I've yo-yo'd between a size 8- a 14 ever since. I'm going through a larger phase at the minute and I can't say that I'm totally comfortable with myself but I definitely won't be losing sleep and it wont stop me eating the coconut chocolate cake I've got waiting for me in the kitchen as I type this!! ☺️ I didn't intend to write an essay when I started typing! Keep that fabulous attitude and fabulous ass as they are and hopefully the trolls will crawl back where they came from! xxx

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    1. Enjoy that cake - we all work hard enough in this life to enjoy the good things! xx

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  36. Wonderful article Hayley I always think how beautiful you are inside and out

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  37. You look completely gorgeous! I hate that people have made so many negative comments about your appearance. I was a size 8 in university but everyone used to make comments and my weight and me being fat etc. It ended up with me having an eating disorder.

    http://ohduckydarling.com

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  38. Oh that's a great one! YOU! YOU DON'T WORRY ABOUT HOW YOU LOOK LIKE, hear me? You are so beautiful, well educated, you dress like a queen and have a really nice butt! Don't you ever feel less than everybody else in XS shorts. I truly understand your words and exactly how you feel. Firstly I'm a psychologist myself, secondly I also gained weight about 20 kilos due to my anxiety medications. You wouldn't want to hear what I did about my body transformation (I know I would loose those pounds soon, but now I am happy, because I am HEALTHY!!!!). A guy told me yesterday I had to admit I looked DAMN good years back when I was skinnier. Are you kidding me. I blocked him right away. You (me, anybody) don't need those people in your life.

    If you would like to talk more about this, please just send me a message.

    Mikela from www.doraward.com

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  39. Thank you so, so much for sharing this. Your experiences at school completely mirror mine, and I admit, I still have battles with my weight and food to this day. You are beautiful and brave for being so frank about your experiences and how this has made you feel.

    Perhaps I am naive, but I honestly cannot believe that people would be so cruel and hurtful, and post such awful things on your blog posts. Seriously, have they never heard of 'If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all'???

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  40. What in the absolute hell, I cannot believe that people would say things like that to another human being- what on earth is going through their minds?!

    Awesome post though and I love your positivity and positive outlook, it'll go a long way I think to inspire other people to be more confident in themselves as well and not just place all their value on their appearance.

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

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  41. Having met you I instantly felt like you were the most confident lady ever, and with good reason for me to think that .., in my eyes and most others you are a strong last successful happy life lover and naturally pretty with a sparkle in your eye a no nonsense approach to life ... unfortunately being subjected to online hate and trolling like many other successful people.... and hurt of course it will we / you are only human .... the image of a successful person in the media is portrayed as a slim young pretty person with timotei hair and of course the perfect highlight.... but people need not be so shallow and get a grip ..., a lot of this is jealousy and they are trying to bash you down for that ..... 💗💗💗💗 easy said but they will never do well as theyvdont have any substance or shred of decency x

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  42. This is such a brilliant post. So well-written and so many things that needed to be said.

    I'm honestly shocked by the comments that you've receive. People are awful and vicious. Why take the time to comment something so negative? What do they hope to achieve by it?

    Honestly, fear of those kind of comments and judgement are part of the reason I don't post pictures of myself on my blog or social media.

    Thanks for calling out the haters. They're clearly blind anyway - you a stunning! xx

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  43. A great read and thank you for sharing your thoughts. I experienced much of what you have written during my school years. Conversely nobody tells me I am fat ( sure this would be different if I were on social media) but I physically hate my body and it consumes all of my energy. I self sabotage by telling everyone I am on a diet and then secret eating. My relationship with food is horrific. So I promise myself to take a leaf out of your book and stop worrying. Stop fighting and just be me. X

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  44. I thought this post was absolutely brilliant and good for you for taking and stand and talking about it xx

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