“I’ve always wanted to buy one but couldn’t find it in my size so I’m excited to get a t-shirt this year,” Meagan says. “Often when you want to support a cause you can only do that up to a certain size, so it’s great that there is the option there for us to show our support.”
It was Pink Shirt Day in 2017 that first inspired Meagan to blog about being bullied as an adult, as she feels many people are under the impression that it’s something only experienced in the schoolyard.
“Being bullied at any age is a terrible experience - it is isolating and has such a negative effect on your confidence. I wanted to share my experience about being bullied as an adult to let others know they were not alone."
Speaking out online
Meagan feels that ‘fat phobia’ is still an accepted attitude in New Zealand and that as a whole, this bias is ingrained in society. She points out that it’s rare to see people of a larger size represented without the narrative being about their weight, or if they are cast in a positive light commentary around their size derails the messaging.
“Most people just want to live their lives without their bodies constantly being the centre of attention. Online, people say some awful things.” Meagan says. “In comment threads I am starting to see more people standing up to bullies and speaking out against the hateful comments. I can understand not wanting to attract a backlash, but we need to step outside our comfort zone and stand up against bullying and harassment.”
For those who have experienced some kind of bullying Meagan believes it’s the support of others that helps get you through and it’s important to tell someone about your experience.
“Holding it in and not sharing your experience can be scary and lonely – please tell someone. If someone does come to you then be an upstander - tell them that you believe their story and that you’re there to support them. Of course, wearing a Pink t-shirt is another way of showing your support too!”