15 Best-Ever Comebacks to Body Shaming
Get inspired to stand up against body shamers with these bold and brilliant comebacks from empowering celebs and everyday women.
Love yourself and you’re set
Lady Gaga’s elaborate and exhilarating halftime performance at the 2017 Super Bowl left millions—117.5 million to be exact!—in absolute awe of her incredible talent. Unfortunately, it also left a small percentage of people with the need to throw shame her way for her appearance. The “Million Reasons” singer responded with grace and positivity. In an Instagram post shortly after, she wrote: “I heard my body is a topic of conversation so I wanted to say, I’m proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too. No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don’t need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you. That’s the stuff of champions. Thank you so much, everyone, for supporting me. I love you guys. Xoxo, gaga.” Don’t miss these 30 tricks for instantly boosting your self-confidence.
Find your strength
After Kelly Roberts’ brother died from acute alcohol poisoning when she was 16 years old, she started to put on weight. She took to running to help her shed the extra pounds. To track her journey and motivate others, she started the blog Run, Selfie, Repeat (now called She Can & She Did), as well as several movements, one of which was the #SportsBraSquad, which involved her wearing just a sports bra as a top during her runs. This helped her feel more confident in her body, and Roberts truly thought that was all that mattered, until one hater decided to share his particularly cruel opinion. In an e-mail, he wrote, “Fatness is (when not genetic) a symptom of the excesses of modernized, industrialized society and not something to flaunt.” Her response shut him up for good: “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 and 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.” For a little empowerment of your own, try these science-backed tricks to boosting your self-confidence.
Healthy is the new skinny
Everyone knows Ashley Graham—both for her plus-size supermodel title and her outspoken commitment to standing up against body shaming. So there was no chance she wouldn’t snap back at a negative comment she received on a post of her working out at the gym. In a separate Instagram post, Graham addressed the haters, saying, “Every time I post a workout video I get comments like, ‘You’ll never be skinny, so stop trying,’ ‘Don’t workout too hard, you’ll get skinny,’ ‘You still need to be fat to be a model,’ and ‘Why would you want to lose what made you famous?’ Just for the record, I work out to: stay healthy, feel good, get rid of jet lag, clear my head, show big girls we can move like the rest of ’em, stay flexible and strong, have more energy…I don’t work out to lose weight or my curves, [because] I love the skin I’m in…” Check out these body confidence tricks from plus-size models.
Keep your comments to yourself
After Charli Stevens, a mom of two from Ohio, was body-shamed by a stranger in the least likely of all places, her local grocery store, she took to Facebook to share her thoughts and utter shock. While she was perusing the aisles, she noticed a woman staring at her. Like most, she hates when people stare—it’s rude—but she let it go, only to have the woman come up to her a few minutes later to say, “I think your clothes are a little too small on you.” Stevens was caught off guard and didn’t know how to respond. All she got out was: “Excuse me?” The woman continued, “Well, no offense but you’re just a bit big to wear those type of clothes.” Stevens fled the store and ended up crying in her car. Once she got home, however, she took to Facebook to talk about her experience and added her own thoughts on the matter. In the post, which has since gone viral, she wrote, “How are people so rude? It’s no secret that I’ve gained weight throughout life. I’ve birthed two kids so it’s bound to happen. Do I realize I’m overweight? Yes. Do I want to be smaller? Yes. But am I okay with the way I look? Yes!!”
#TheySaid campaigners shed light
Anyone who’s ever dealt with a hint of body shaming knows that it always starts because someone chooses to open their mouth and say something—something hurtful, something obscene, something beyond unnecessary. Whatever was said is often left ringing in the ears of the person objectified by the statement. That’s why—and how—the #TheySaid campaign was started on Twitter. Using this hashtag, women (and men alike) shared the words, phrases, or statements that have been said to them about how their body isn’t good enough or should change. “‘If you’re chubby all the boys are going to run away.’ An uncle told me that when I was 11 years of age. #TheySaid,” one woman posted.
Even supermodels have self-doubt
It’s hard to believe that a supermodel could be the victim of cruel body shaming, but such was the case when trolls attacked Gigi Hadid during New York Fashion Week in 2018. In a long and detailed post on Twitter in response to those who called her fat, Hadid explained that she has a condition called Hashimoto’s disease, which can lead to an underactive thyroid, a slow metabolism, and inflammation. “Judgment on social media comes from people who, 99% of the time, have no idea what they’re talking about, but I’m human, and I’m not going to lie, I did let the negativity get to me a little,” she wrote. “No, I don’t have the same body type as the other models in the shows. No, I don’t think I’m the best at any given show. Yes, I want to have a unique walk, but I also know I have to improve. No, I’m not the first or the last model of my type in this industry.”
Your body is your canvas—no one else’s
Inspiring Instagrammer Nicole Hicks shed an incredible 200 pounds and has shared her weight-loss journey candidly with her 181,000+ followers. She’s honest, real, and beautiful in her own skin—that’s what so many people love about her. So when she started seeing a lot of negative comments in response to the impressive transformation photos she posted to show her results, she was fired up and ready to respond. “So when I was 430+ pounds you were making fun of me and now that I lost over 200 pounds and building my body the way I want to you still got issues?” she wrote. She went on to give advice to her thousands of followers whom she didn’t want to be dismayed by the negativity she was receiving. “This one is for my sisters and brothers that are just starting out their journey! Don’t you EVER let someone tell you how your body should look!! I’m going to continue growing this body… so stay tuned. How about we support everyone! No matter what their goals are?? Now that’s an idea!” This 30-minute workout can help to boost your body image.
“Natural” means original
Actress and model Karrueche Tran wasn’t afraid to call out the haters, even if that meant clapping back at a famous rapper. After she posted a mirror selfie on Instagram showing off her toned body in a bathing suit, rapper Ralo took to the comments to say: “U looks better wit clothes on.” Tran wasn’t about to let this go; she quipped back and made an impactful point about the entire rap industry along with it. “Y’all shame natural bodies but praise fake ones,” she wrote. She then went on to post about how constant judging is what makes self-love so difficult.
“I don’t like you”
The 24-year-old South African plus-size model, body-positive activist, and photographer Lesego Legobane wasn’t about to let a meme creator get away with insulting her body in a side-by-side comparison to another model. Legobane’s friend texted her to let her know that Twitter user ThickLeeYonce, creator of the meme titled “Girls I like vs Girls that like me” had featured her in his latest post. He compared a photo of a very skinny model under the words “girls I like” and featured Legobane under the words “girls that like me.” Legobane’s response? A simple tweet saying, “I don’t like you.” Bam! Read these myths about fat that are keeping you from losing weight.
No one gets to make comments about your body
When model and doula Imogen Ker was invited to a friend’s housewarming party, the last topic of conversation she expected to be on the table was her actual body. She was totally shell-shocked to hear one man, who didn’t even know her, tell the host, “Imogen would be perfect if it wasn’t for her body.” “It was almost like in his head he was complimenting me, but the insinuation was…because I was physically unappealing to him, I wasn’t good enough as a person,” she told Shape. What happened next, Ker regrets—she let it go—but it bothered her so much that days later, she got his number from her friend and texted him to let him know exactly how his objectifying comments made her feel. “I’m a confident girl. And I understand how that could make you think that I would be able to hear something like that,” she wrote. “But you don’t get to make comments about my body. Nobody does.”
Clarkson’s clap-back bravery
When first-ever American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson gracefully tweeted a “thank you” to the men and women in the armed forces on Independence Day, who would have thought that anyone would have anything but positive things to say in response? But trolls took the opportunity to target her weight—one even quipping, “You’re fat.” Kelly responded with an epic “…and still f****** awesome.” It’s certainly one way to shut up the shamers and put their criticism in perspective! Check out these health benefits of being nicer to yourself.
Power in numbers
When Dallas reporter Demetria Obilor was trolled all over social media for her physical appearance, specifically her choice of outfit and hairstyle, during her Channel 8 on-air performance, she wasn’t afraid to fight back. And she wasn’t alone in doing so. Hundreds of supporters took to the Web to support her and drown out the negativity with positive comments about how beautiful she looked—and is. In a video she posted on Twitter, she let the “haters” know they had no power over her—and that their words don’t affect her. “You know when you look a little different, people think it’s OK to talk to you a little different and I am on TV you know, I can’t clap back, so I am forever grateful to the people who come to my defense, people I don’t even know who stand with me and say, ‘You know, Demetria, you don’t have to put up with this,’ and I love you for that.”
Stop hiding behind computer screens
Chloë Grace Moretz is known for several things, namely her roles in several hit movies, such as the 2013 remake of Carrie and 2016’s If I Stay. But she’s also becoming well-known for her unabashed ability to clap back at haters who attack her on social media. “When will people hiding behind computer screens get tired of calling someone ‘fat’ or ‘masculine,'” she posted in a series of posts on Twitter. “Does it make you feel good typing your hateful comments? Does it fulfill you in some dark way?” She continued: “Sit back before you fire away commenting ignorant things and imagine the real HUMAN BEING you are commenting about. He or she is a PERSON, with feelings and thoughts and a life that you are affecting so negatively.”
Celebrities wear revealing clothes all the time—and, like any other normal person, they should be able to wear whatever clothing they feel comfortable wearing. That’s why Modern Family‘s Ariel Winter clapped back when she was attacked by online trolls on Instagram after she posted a photo of herself in a body-con dress that showed off some cleavage. She took to Twitter to say: “Dear sorry body-shamers, I looked HOT in that dress. And if you hate it, don’t buy it. But please get a hobby. XOXO Ariel #EmbraceYourBody,” she wrote, before adding, “Embrace all that you are. Don’t let those outside voices become your inner voice #mychoice #loveyourcurves.” Try these 10 ways to be nicer to yourself.
Schumer shut down
Comedy maven Amy Schumer is known for being outspoken about her physical appearance; it’s often part of her comedy routine. But she made it crystal clear that haters are not welcome to partake in speaking about her body in any element—or anyone else’s, for that matter. In an Instagram post of her on the beach, she wrote: “I meant to write ‘good morning trolls!’ I hope you find some joy in your lives today in a human interaction and not just in writing unkind things to a stranger you’ve never met who triggers something in you that makes you feel powerless and alone. This is how I look. I feel happy. I think I look strong and healthy and also like miss trunchbull from Matilda. Kisses!”
Protecting the parents
Celebrities get tons of backlash from online trolls—they’re practically used to it. But one thing they’re not used to is having to stick up for their parents who are being attacked by the same trolls. Model Zendaya Coleman experienced this firsthand when Twitter folks started criticizing her parents’ appearance, insinuating that they are too ugly to have created such a beautiful human being. Here’s her badass response: “While you’re so concerned about what my parents look like, please know that these are two of the most selfless people in the world,” Zendaya wrote next to a photo of herself and her parents smiling together. “They have chosen to spend their entire life not worried about trivial things such as looks and insulting people’s parents on Twitter, but instead became educators who have dedicated their lives to teaching, cultivating, and filling young shallow minds.” These are things confident people would never do—and you shouldn’t either.
- Instagram: @ladygaga, February 7, 2017
- Kelly Roberts, blogger at She Can & She Did (formerly known as Run, Selfie, Repeat)
- Instagram: @ashleygraham, October 8, 2017
- Facebook: Charli Stevens, a mom of two from Ohio, December 2, 2017
- Twitter: @AllyAshton, #TheySaid campaign, May 31, 2017
- Twitter: @GiGiHadid, September 28, 2015
- Cleveland Clinic: Hashimoto's Disease
- Instagram: Nicole Hicks, @1_fit_chick_in_progress
- Complex: "Karrueche Claps Back at Body Shamers After Posting Bikini Photos on IG"
- Twitter: Lesego Legobane, @ThickLeeyonce, September 19, 2017
- Shape: "A Male Friend Told This Woman She'd Be 'Perfect' If It Wasn't for Her Body"
- Twitter: @kellyclarkson, July 4, 2017
- Twitter: @DemetriaObilor, November 3, 2017
- The Wrap: "Chloe Grace Moretz Shames Online Trolls for Hurling ‘Fat,’ ‘Masculine’ Insults"
- Instagram: @arielwinter, June 20, 2016
- Twitter: @arielwinter1, June 22, 2016
- Instagram: @amyschumer, May 24, 2016
- Twitter: @Zendaya, August 22, 2015