This Man Was Cruelly Body-Shamed… But The Internet Delivered PERFECT Justice.
Due to rigid societal structures that have been in place for centuries, living in a fat body means that you are constantly subjecting yourself to the judgements of others. Stereotypes dictate that if you're fat, it automatically means you are lazy, poor, unhealthy, or just a terrible subhuman that doesn't deserve respect or kindness from other people. Too often, bodies are seen as a physical representation of moral code, one where thin equals "good" and fat equals "bad."
In no place is this as evident as the Internet, where there are entire forums dedicated to body-shaming and health-condemnation, oftentimes written by anonymous trolls who have nothing better to do than brutally cut down other people from behind the protective shield of their computer screens. One particularly abhorrent instance of this was brought to life by 4chan, where a user posted this picture, along with an incredibly cruel caption.
You can't help but see the shame and disappointment in this man's eyes, and it's heartbreaking to think that this moment came in the wake of him simply trying to enjoy himself.
The photo was seen and shared by thousands of people, but thankfully, not all of them were committed to shaming this man even further. Cassandra Fairbanks, an activist and writer from Los Angeles, was so disgusted by Internet's treatment of this dancing stranger that she decided to take matters into her own hands - along with the hands of 2,000 of her closest friends.
Anyone know this man or who posted this? There's a huge group of ladies in LA who would like to do something special pic.twitter.com/DGbu3AXOrB— Cassandra (@CassandraRules) March 5, 2015
We would like to fly him to LA for a VIP dance party with the coolest and most awesome ladies in la, please help. https://t.co/f1GtMd3Exv— Cassandra (@CassandraRules) March 5, 2015
After organizing this enormous dance party, all that was left to do was find the man in question. Using the hashtag #FindDancingMan, Cassandra sent the Internet to work, and soon, the photo and her tweet were being shared more times than she could have ever imagined.
This dude has no idea what we have in store if we find him. Thank you internet for restoring faith in humanity ❤️❤️— Cassandra (@CassandraRules) March 6, 2015
The social media campaign led to one Twitter user tracking Dancing Man down in London. After sharing this picture with Cassandra, Dancing Man's identity was confirmed. His name is Sean, and he was about to get the surprise of a lifetime.
When news finally reached him, Sean sent this message to Cassandra, acknowledging that he was totally down for the dance party of the century.
Sean is ready for the party, and will be coordinating with Cassandra in the coming weeks to make it happen. He's even prepping for the big day with a little help from a dance coach.
This story is incredibly moving, and not only because it involves an enormous amount of unsolicited kindness from strangers. It's also a reminder that as a collective society, we should always strive to be more understanding of other people, no matter what our preconceived notions about them may be.
Dancing Man's story proves that the people who make a difference in the world aren't the pathetic rabble-rousers who hide behind a cloak of anonymity, passing judgment on others. It's the people who stand up for what is right that are responsible for change and progression - and they're the ones who make us want to get out of our chairs and start dancing.