What would you do if someone tried to body-shame you in the most hateful, cowardly way possible? Would you be brave enough to go public with it into order to turn the act of bullying into an incredible message? That's what Florida mom Kelley Markland did.
About a month ago, the 36-year-old substitute teacher came home from her daughter's birthday dinner to find a letter in her mailbox—perhaps an early holiday card? But when she ripped open the envelope, she found a handwritten note inside that read: "Women who weigh 300 pounds should not wear yoga pants!"
Hold up. Could someone really be that nasty? Even more vile: The sender—who didn't have the guts to sign his or her name or even write a return address—also included a meme of Ron Burgundy with the quote, "Your pants say yoga but your butt says McDonald's."
"Apparently, I weigh 300 pounds and I shouldn't wear leggings anymore," Markland wrote on Facebook, where she shared a post about the hateful experience. "I am a sensitive woman and I despise cruelty towards others. At 36 years old, I am STILL being made fun of. Whoever sent this, be an adult and tell me who you are. JUST TELL ME!!! I have never pretended to be pretty or look good in clothing, I have never tried to be flashy or show off. Wearing my "fun" leggings gave me a tad bit of confidence in not looking sloppy all the time. I'm sorry that some of you may not like it, but I'm not dressing for you."
Amen, Sister! Others quickly began to rally behind Markland on social media by posting their own leggings pics as a show of solidairty. Nevertheless, Markland admitted to the Today show that she felt nervous about putting on a pair of legging for work the following Monday.
"I had to remember, if I walked around defeated and scared, then whoever sent that letter wins," she said. "And I wasn't going to let that person win."
Neither was the awesome troupe of leggings-clad ladies who greeting her when she walked into school:
"All the teachers were coming up and hugging me and showing me their leggings," Markland recalled. "I knew at that point, it's not about me anymore, it's about all women."
"Bullying is a global problem that knows no age," Markland wrote in a follow-up post. "Receiving mail like this almost broke my spirit, but my children hopefully have seen how I handle this and learn from it! It is who we become after things like this that define who we are."
Courage wins, Kelley. Wear all the leggings!