He shamed her for running in a sports bra
Internet shaming has become a favorite past time for some vile people — and women get the brunt of it. But you’d think the one female you would not want to come for is the one that could outrun your ass.
Meet Kelly Roberts, a badass runner and voice behind the popular blog Run, Selfie, Repeat. She is a force in the body positive movement and describes herself as the “Former President of the ‘I F*cking Hate Running Club.’ She is also the founder of the #SportsBraSquad which aims to empower women of all body types to shed their shirts, along with their insecurities, and run confidently (and comfortably) in a sports bra.
Who do you look to when you're feeling insecure? That's the question that made me fall apart last week during the #SportsBraSquad run @Oiselle hosted while I was in Seattle last week. I lost it because the truth is, when I'm feeling insecure about my weight or my body, I read the comments you leave whenever I talk about the #SportsBraSquad. It fills me with so much hope to know that together, we're changing the way we see our bodies. That instead of "fat" or "skinny", we're seeing driven, healthy, and strong as hell. But it breaks my f*cking heart to know that so many of us look in the mirror and fail to see our bodies for what they're capable of. I don't care how many times I have to say strength doesn't look a certain way, it feels a certain way. We have to do something about the fact that 70% of women don't like their bodies. Running isn't something you should do to lose weight. It's a way to remind yourself just how strong you really are. It sucks. It's hard. It's soul crushing. And it's painful. But the days when it's great, they're unparalleled. It makes every single painful step worth it. Believe in yourself. I don't care how much you weigh or what size you are. You know what it means to put your healthiest and strongest foot forward. Do that, and everything else will take care of itself. You are strong. You are beautiful. You are a badass. June 24th. Global #SportsBraSquad Day. A day for women and men to show the world what strength looks like. You in? #RunSelfieRepeat #Oiselle #badassladygang
Roberts encourages her followers on social media (currently 49K) to embrace the strength of their bodies and work out in their sports bras, no matter their size.
“Despite the fact that I ran a marathon in three hours and 41 minutes as a 160 pound US size 10 female, I never saw women who looked like me being portrayed as strong,” Roberts tells POPSUGAR. “I know I’m strong as hell because I worked my ass off to get to that finish line.”
Damn straight. As refreshingly honest and motivating as she is, there’s always that one guy, yes guy specifically, that misses the fucking point.
“Every week, I field comments and emails from men (always men) shaming me or policing my weight,” she said. “If you could see my inbox and some of the emails I get, you’d want to light things on fire.”
She recently posted one such heinous email from a total twerp to her Instagram page. Bona fide proof that policing of women’s bodies and mansplaining is still very much alive and well.
Dear man who found it appropriate to send me this email, Once upon a time, your words would have cut me like valyrian steel. Today? They remind me how important it is to change the way we see strength. Because what you call fat, I know can run a marathon in 3 hours in 41 minutes. I hope one day you can obtain the strength I've worked tirelessly for. Until then, know that I will spend the rest of my life empowering the women you hope to shame. You will lose. You already are. The #SportsBraSquad is strong as hell. See you at the finish line. I'll be the one giving you a high five when you get there. #RunSelfieRepeat
“I’m curious why you don’t simply have the discipline to go on a diet and lose the excess fat you have?” the cruel stranger writes.
He then goes a step further to invalidate and minimize the grief she felt in dealing with the unexpected loss of her brother.
“Instead, you rather literally run away from your problems and act like losing a family member is the harshest thing on earth and thereby grants you the right to pontificate to the rest of us about strength?”
Roberts is very open about the death of her brother. According to the Facebook page for Run, Selfie, Repeat, she gained 75 pounds when he died as a result of her grief. One day, while dealing with the crippling void of his absence, she decided to go for a run. And that’s how her journey started.
Roberts immediately shut the stranger down and delivered the perfect response.
“Dear man who found it appropriate to send me this email,
“Once upon a time, your words would have cut me like valyrian steel. Today? They remind me how important it is to change the way we see strength. Because what you call fat, I know can run a marathon in 3 hours in 41 minutes. I hope one day you can obtain the strength I’ve worked tirelessly for. Until then, know that I will spend the rest of my life empowering the women you hope to shame.”
She then serves up a respectful mic drop line that this guy doesn’t deserve, but she’s a way nicer person than me.
“See you at the finish line. I’ll be the one giving you a high five when you get there.”
🌑I met you in the dark, Because I was there too. When I see you in the light, I still recognized you. Alone. Ashamed. Unsure. Trying to be anyone but who you are. No one told me that I already was who I wanted to be. That in order for things to get better, I had to lean into the darkness. Our stories. Our truths. Our mistakes. Our glory. They all belong in the light. Come as you are. Full of darkness and light. The best is yet to come. 🌕 I am an eclipse. #OiselleEclipse 🌙#OiselleAmbassador #SportsBraSquad Created with @theladybearica 🌓
Even though Roberts handled her response so gracefully, we asked her what it honestly feels like to receive messages like this constantly.
“Before I knew what it felt like to work and to be the strongest version of myself both mentally and physically, I would have fallen apart,” she tells Scary Mommy. “It always hurts when someone says something hurtful to you. But it makes me feel so sad that these people who email me have such a negative view of strength. I can’t help but think about the horrible things they probably say to themselves.”
And she’s right, you always have to remember that people who shame and say awful things are often saying much more about themselves than those they seek to tear down.
“I don’t look like a fitness model but neither do most of the strongest women I know. It’s about showing up and being seen,” Roberts tells us. “If we want to change the way we think strength looks, we have to show up. Sports bra or t-shirt, all I ask is that we start building ourselves and the women around us up.”