Plus-size blogger Callie Thorpe felt proud when British Vogue included her in a swimsuit fashion spread alongside models like Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner. The story came out in April, and Vogue UK tweeted about it again in July. Thorpe was so thrilled she decided to share it with her Twitter followers, writing “To all the people who called me fat, ugly, and treated me like trash because of my weight growing up, catch me on Vogue with your WCW.” (The timeline is a little unclear, but it seems like Thorpe posted the tweet in July after Vogue shared the piece again, deleted her tweet, and then posted an Instagram about the article.) Thorpe’s excitement soon turned sour, as social media users began responding to her tweet with hateful, body-shaming comments.
“I was really proud of [the story]. And I still am really proud of it,” Thorpe said in a YouTube video she posted about the experience. “But [then] I scrolled onto some really nasty comments about me that—they were just so awful that I couldn’t even get them out of my mind after I read them.” According to Thorpe, there were 900 comments, and the vast majority of them were vile.
Thorpe has been blogging for five years, so this wasn’t her first encounter with online hate. It was, however, the most severe. “[Body-shaming] absolutely happens to everybody, but if you want to see some real vile sh*t, take a look at how fat women are treated online—especially fat women of color,” she said in her video. “Some of the stuff these people write is…just violent, nasty sh*t no one should ever see.”
Thorpe encouraged her followers to be open-minded and understanding when interacting with people online, rather than judging them or jumping to conclusions. “I will not let myself be silenced by these people,” Thorpe said at the end of her video. “I want to continue to encourage women to feel happy in their skin, no matter what journey they’re on in their lives.”
Watch Thorpe’s video in full and see some of her Instagram posts below.