The response she received from a man she was chatting with was unexpectedly uplifting and comforting for her.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on July 19, 2023. It has since been updated.
Dating nowadays feels like a monumental task. Although dating apps make it easier to connect with different people, "connecting" on a deeper level is a lot harder. People may feel insecure about being judged based on just a few pictures and words on their dating profiles. Felicia Naoum is an advocate of body positivity, but when she was chatting with a new guy on an online dating platform, she decided to give him a heads-up that she's "a bigger girl."
In a Facebook post, she detailed the story behind the incident saying, "I felt the need, like I usually do, to inform him that I was a bigger girl. Let's remember: I'm the girl who writes about body positivity. I'm the girl who tells you not to feel ashamed of your size. Yet, I'm not always the girl who is there herself. I have moments where I'm not in alignment with my own written words. I'm human." Naoum was caught in a vulnerable moment and prepared for any response, but she did not expect him to say this. "His response was, 'A girl is a girl.'"
"There you have it: A girl is a girl," she wrote, adding, "Yes. Yes. and Yes. This man, from internet land, just stripped away stigma with his phrase. He stripped away insecurity with his phrase. He stripped away doubt with his phrase. And he did all of that while telling me, and now you, to not lessen your own credibility in just five words. That's what makes this so profound for me. I don't know if we'll ever become anything more than just two strangers who exchanged words the 21st-century way. But I do know one thing: I will never forget him."
We never know what someone is going through, so this is just a reminder to be kind, especially on the internet. It is very easy to sit in front of a screen and say cruel things to people behind a veil of anonymity. However, words do make a difference. As a writer herself, Naoum knows the power words can have, no matter how simple. She thanked the internet stranger for "telling me something I've forgotten."
His short sentence had a deeply profound impact on her. She continued, "In just one text, you taught me, again, that a girl isn't her size. A girl isn't her shortcomings. A girl isn't her doubts. A girl isn't what they say she is. A girl isn't defined by societal standards. A girl isn't here to remind you of who she is not — not a thin girl, but a big girl. Not a thick girl, but a skinny girl. And that a girl isn't supposed to carry the loads from the insecure voices who once dumped their loads onto her. A girl is a girl. Period."