Previously posted on Nov. 12, 2018: https://www.boldzine.com/2018/11/12/tess-holliday-other-body-positive-activists-report-receiving-death-threats-from-fat-shaming-troll/
Tess Holliday and two other curvy influencers recently received a death threat. And while that’s nothing new for them, this one was particularly brutal.
Natalie Hage, a body-positive activist, received a cruel and aggressive message on Facebook and shared it with her followers on Nov. 9. The message came from a man who lives in Michigan and had a bone to pick with Hage’s body. And he didn’t stop there; he tore down Holliday and fellow curvy queen Whitney Way Thore too.
Holliday and Thore also shared the message on Instagram, but all three women chose to conceal the sender’s name (even though Holliday wanted to reveal it).
“I don’t feel comfortable sharing his name because I don’t know what he’s capable of,” Hage tells 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.”
The message opens with a death threat; the sender says he wishes he had three hollow-point bullets for these three women. He calls them “big f***ing pigs” and “a disgrace to women kind and humanity.” He is so bothered by their existence, he says, that he takes comfort in “knowing” they won’t live past 50 because of their “morbid obesity.” He claims that he, on the other hand, is “extremely … healthy.”
He goes on to say that he will laugh when he hears that Hage, Thore, and Holliday have all died, “eating yourself to a slow and painful death.”
Finally, he reminds them of how much he hates them, one last time.
While his icon and name are hidden, Holliday identified him as white male who has a young daughter. Thore noted in her post that he is also a nurse.
While his words are shocking, it’s unfortunately nothing new for these wonderful and powerful women. In her caption, Holliday noted that she gets death threats daily and that she’s become numb to it. While Thore also revealed that she sees “more of these kinds of messages than I’m sure you can imagine,” this one really got to her.
Hage, who works with Holliday on her campaign Eff Your Beauty Standards, also said that she isn’t “new to this kind of vitriol” but notes that it isn’t usually this bad. This isn’t the first time this particular troll has contacted her. “He had evidently messaged me two other times this summer that I had not seen because he went to my ‘other folder’ on Facebook,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
Given the extremely violent nature of this particular message, they contacted the local law authorities and the man’s former employer, as well as his family members, according to Holliday’s post.
Everyone in the man’s life that they’ve spoken to seemed “alarmed” by this behavior. “His family has said they don’t have much contact with him and that he’s had a history of mental illness, but that they don’t condone his behavior at all,” Hage shares. “They encouraged me to reach out to the authorities because they grasped the severity of this.”
They also reported him on Facebook. “At this point, Facebook has not responded,” Hage says.
“My local police department has turned this over to a detective/investigator,” she says, “and the man’s local department in Michigan says that they cannot do anything about it until my local department reaches out to them.”
She hopes “something will be done about it,” but until then, she wants to “use this situation as an example of what fat women go through online.”
And while his message has shaken her, it won’t silence her. “I am afraid, yes,” says Hage. “But I am not afraid enough not to stand up for myself and others.”
To the average joe, this may seem like another day in the life of a celebrity but that doesn’t make it any less terrifying. Celebrities do get to live a more luxurious life with many commodities, however, this lifestyle often comes with its own problems. Regardless of how one views a celebrity, none of them deserve to have their personal lives threatened. These people have loved ones that they want to keep safe just like any other human being, so they deserve just as much humane respect as we do. As a whole, we as humans need to do better if we want to bring change to this world. We come in all shapes, colors, sizes, but we’re all still part of a big family and we must learn to treat each other like it.