Lucy Hale caught some flack on social media yesterday (June 19) for saying she looked “fat” in a throwback photo she posted over the weekend. Fans and critics alike agreed that Hale calling herself “fat” enforced warped body-image expectations and continued the “fat is bad” narrative. (She led her comment with “ugh,” which implied she views being “fat” as an undesirable thing—when in fact it’s just another body type.) Fans flooded the photo’s comment section with messages urging Hale to reconsider her choice of words.
And she did. The Pretty Little Liars star took to Twitter Tuesday night and apologized for her comment. “Sometimes I forget that people are watching everything I do and I say things I don’t mean,” Hale wrote. “I’m extremely sorry if my comment about my weight offended anyone. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. I know people look up to me and I should be way more aware of what I say sometimes. Thanks for all the love and support. Hope y’all can forgive me.”
See Hale’s tweets, in full, below:
It’s clear Hale didn’t write her comment with malicious intent. She’s a human being, just like all of us, and it’s admirable that she listened to the criticism and owned up to her mistake.
But she’s not the only one guilty of doing this. Our culture almost exclusively idolizes thin beauty (and vilifies overweight people), so it’s not surprising some people still perceive the word “fat” negatively. The body positivity movement is slowly eradicating this, but we have a long way to go. As a plus-size person who was frequently called “fat” by bullies growing up, I still have a difficult relationship with the word—but I’m working on it. And so is Hale. Untangling these kinds of beliefs doesn’t happen overnight. As long as you’re moving forward, though, that’s all that matters.
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