Footage of a North Carolina teen being “body shamed” by another woman in a church bathroom went viral on social media over the weekend.
Jenna, 19, complained that the unnamed woman, a fellow member Swansboro United Methodist Church, followed her into the restroom and told her she was too fat to wear jean shorts.
“This women followed me into the bathroom and attacked me calling me fat and that I couldn’t wear jean shorts because I was too fat,” Jenna said in a caption that accompanied video footage apparently of the encounter.
The clip went viral, garnering well over 5 million views after Jenna shared it to Twitter on Sunday.
The woman seems to have confronted Jenna because she deemed her clothing inappropriate for church.
“She’s a chubby girl,” the woman says.
“So you’re sitting here calling me fat?” Jenna asks.
“Oh, you don’t think you are?” the woman answers.
“No, because I fucking love who I am,” Jenna replies, getting emotional.
She then breaks down crying and tells the woman to “get the fuck out of my face.”
“I’m 19-years-old and I can do whatever I want!” she screams.
Jenna eventually informs the woman that she’s been “recording the whole thing” and plans to show it to her parents and “never come back to this church.”
At the end of the clip, she follows the woman out of the restroom, where at least three men have congregated.
“She called me fat!” Jenna wails repeatedly.
The debate over body shaming
In followup tweets, Jenna revealed that she suffered from depression and urged followers, “Be kind just love.”
She also shared photos of herself in the outfit she says she was wearing during the encounter.
Here is the outfit I was wearing that she attacked me… also please read my shirt because what she did was not agapé love pic.twitter.com/6d5sNeMQrI
— Jenna 🦊 (@roo_jenna) June 30, 2019
Social media users, including celebrities like Jameela Jamil, expressed their support for Jenna and decried the “harassment” she’d faced.
I wear shorts like yours all the time. You and I shall rock the world with our beautiful bodies and badass shorts💕 pic.twitter.com/ZfE3afaVQM
— we are giants🏳️🌈💕 (@fujiokathemocha) July 2, 2019
“This is the daily harassment people receive over their size,” Jamil tweeted Tuesday in response to the video. “Even at the hands of people old enough to know better. Even in sacred places. Even in their own doctor’s practices. Our hypernormalization of policing and ridiculing fat bodies is what leads to this brazen bullying.”
On Tuesday, Swansboro United Methodist Church’s pastor, G. Kevin Baker, issued a statement denouncing the incident.
“A faithful and very gifted young lady and worship leader was body shamed for her appearance,” Baker said. “We are shocked and saddened by this act. The Church is supposed to be a place of safety, love and acceptance.”
He added: “We are currently working to assure that nothing like this will happen again and will update the church on specific next steps we are taking soon.”
The body positivity movement condemns “body shamers” as cruel and bigoted instruments of a patriarchal system that imposes oppressive standards on women and others who don’t meet its ordained norms.
However, critics of woke culture continue to defend traditional standards of beauty, along with other allegedly sexist values like modesty. Some also complain that political correctness too often prevents people from being exposed to difficult truths.
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