The sad reality of death threats is nothing new in the plus positive community, nor is trolling. Hence, one of our new columns in Large Women From the Internet will be focused on dealing with body shamers. Activists deal with constant haters, concern trolls, and threats of violence. But after a particularly terrifying threat was sent to Tess Holliday, Natalie Hage, and Whitney Way Thore, the three decided to let the world in on a microcosm of the hate they receive every day. Thore and Hage had to deal with this just before embarking on there…. you guessed it.. NO BODY SHAMING cruise (which our dear friend Sarah Sapora is on, right now!)
As Yahoo reports, the same hateful message was allegedly sent to Natalie Hage of @nataliemeansnice, and called out both Tess Holliday and Whitney Way Thore. Among other insults and threats, the sender referred to the activists as “gluttonous sows” who “will not make it to 50.” Ugh!
All three shared the photo on Instagram (as did we and our CEO) and decided to keep the sender’s name and handle private (kudos, we wouldn’t have). They did claim that he’s a white male and a nurse, with a young daughter. In her caption, Holliday explains that she receives death threats daily (take a minute and let that sink in.) Usually, she writes, she “block[s] the person and go[es] about [her] day.” She’s become “numb” to the threats and hateful words, she says. But this time, they decided to go to the police, as well as reaching out to the reported offender’s former employer and family members.
Holliday drew a line from this type of hate speech to the U.S. climate of violence, especially mass shootings. “These men, who shoot up our schools, places of worship, coffee shops, homes, etc must be stopped. America needs to wake the fuck up,” Holliday wrote.
“I don’t feel comfortable sharing his name because I don’t know what he’s capable of,” Hage explained to Yahoo Lifestyle. “I was able to easily find him online, see that he’s been arrested multiple times, and knowing he has a history of issues makes me not want to share because I’m afraid he could find me too.” (Yuck…. okay fair enough Natalie! We got you)
Fans in the comment section are imploring Holliday, Hage and Thore to stay safe as well as affirming their decision to go to the police. As one commenter wrote, “Who has time for all that hate in their day? It’s pathetic and wasteful.”