The viral hashtag #TheySaid is here to show you that body shaming comes in many forms

The viral hashtag #TheySaid is here to show you that body shaming comes in many forms
A woman measuring herself Pressmaster/Shutterstock
A woman measuring herself Pressmaster/Shutterstock

Body shaming doesn't discriminate. You can be too fat according to someone, or too thin. You can have too much hair, or too little. Your nose could be too big, your lips could be too big or maybe your feet could be too small. Any little thing could make someone feel like they should try to shame you for your appearance.

It's a brutal thing, and it's also a universal thing, as exhibited by a highly popular new hashtag #TheySaid.

In this case, "they" is the body shamer, and in each tweet posted, Twitter users are sharing what "they" said to the users about their bodies.

The original poster of this hashtag was Sally Bergesen, the founder and CEO of the fashion brand Oiselle, which specializes in running wear. She first used the hashtag in late May.

In a matter of weeks, the hashtag has gone viral, eliciting hundreds of responses and creating a community of women who are sharing their own individual experiences with body shaming.

Sometimes, they're similar to Bergesen's, with someone shaming them over their weight.

Other times, it's something like being too muscular or hairy or skinny or tall.

Given how widespread and varied this experience is, it's clearly a problem. To combat it, Bergesen is asking for people to share rebuttals they can use for the next time someone tries to body shame them.

Just a sampling: "Actually, all bodies are different and I'm just right for me."

"To be honest, those types of comments have been shown to be really harmful to me and others."

"This body is so much more than the machine you're objectifying."

"What my body can do for me is more important [than] how it looks to others."

In the end, not only does sharing these experiences create a community of women who are supportive of one another, but also a place where women can come heal, and learn how to defend themselves in the future.