After the arguably comedic but personal coverage of Sara Sampaio’s Victoria’s Secret video message about body diversity among models, she responded with a letter to the Jezebel writer about being criticized for being skinny. Her message, powerful and still timely, was about the generous advice people love to pile on women they don’t know and the solidarity women crave.
At the Daily Front Row Third Annual Awards ceremony last night, we asked her about why she was moved to write that letter.
“I was so angry when I read that,” she told Styleite. “My friend told me to wait a few hours and see if I was still angry before writing back, and I did and I was still so upset about it, because I don’t hate myself and I don’t want girls to hate themselves. I want them to feel good. And so when I did it, I wrote my response, I did it in a polite way. I don’t like to see women assuming things about women based on their looks. People don’t understand that skinny shaming is real. People have always told me to ‘eat a burger,’ and they have no idea what I ate that day. Maybe I ate more than them, so it does hurt a lot of women.”
And on the response she received about exposing the hypocrisy of shaming models for talking about the way we police women’s bodies:
“I didn’t expect it to get picked up like that! I got so many responses from women who said that it happens to them all the time. Some people even wrote, ‘you have no idea how many times someone has told me to eat a burger.’ For some people, it doesn’t matter what they eat, sometimes that’s just their body. Women always get criticized by people who know nothing about them. People always feel they have the right to say they know all about women when they don’t. People were saying it was nice to hear someone speaking up about this.”
Women of all sizes, both sample and non-sample, can appreciate the way she refuses to feed into girl hate, especially of herself.