The story of a Montreal woman who was body-shamed by her concert neighbour at Céline Dion’s Bell Centre show last Friday has gone viral on Facebook.
After her unpleasant experience Friday night, Charlotte Bélanger thought it was important to speak out in the hopes of spreading a message of tolerance and diversity. Her post, shared to Facebook moments after the end of the show, has been shared over 54,000 times since being written.
Ms. Bélanger has graciously agreed to have her post translated from its original French and shared here by us, in the hopes that her positive message will reach as many people as possible.
To my left-hand neighbour, during my date with Céline Dion tonight…
You who, just a minute after my arrival, texted your friend Louise to tell her that “the girl next to you is fairly corpulent”.
You who, just thirty seconds later, texted another friend to tell her “you hoped the two next to you wouldn’t start dancing, because you would be squished”.
You who, a minute later, texted a third friend to tell her “that two fatties just sat down next to you”.
I saw you, I read you. Partly because your screen was in my line of sight, but also, because someone who texts incessantly during a concert is annoying.
After the first two messages, I pretended I hadn’t read anything. But after the third, I couldn’t. Couldn’t restrain myself from giving you a taste of your own mean-spirited medicine, couldn’t let it slide.
Then, I leaned towards you and said, “Madam, what you are writing about me is very mean.”
You did a double take, you fibbed that you were just joking, you became offended that I had read over your shoulder.
I looked at you and repeated, “That is very mean and when people talk about me, I catch on pretty quickly.”
I hope that you don’t have a daughter, or a granddaughter. In fact, I hope that there is no one in your life to whom you can pass on your ill-will and your enormous lack of civic-mindedness.
A few years ago, the Charlotte who was uncomfortable in her body, out of shape, uneasy with her image, would probably have cried after reading your hurtful words. You’re lucky, when it comes down to it, that I held my head high. You’re lucky that I didn’t go home crying all of my tears out.
In case you’re wondering, I had a wonderful time tonight, with my mother.
You didn’t smile much, you stayed in your little seat without moving too much. I imaging this will be my vengeance. I hope you and Louise will have a nice weekend (or not).
Céline sang it so well: “S’il suffisait d’aimer”.
Oh, and by the way, I will ask for a maximum number of people to share. It would be very sweet for me if this text made it to you!
Good evening madam,
From your fat neighbour who is comfortable with herself and who is healthier than ever!
P.S. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I give my students a cyber-citizenship class, so that they don’t become like you. You’re invited, if you want.