Dancing Man Gets Celebrity Dance Party In Spite Of Fat-Shaming Crowd

We live in a nation where obesity rates are on the rise and few are immune to a culture obsessed with fitness and diets. As a result, fat shaming has taken root in our society. “Dancing Man” Sean from London was recently the target of fat shaming online, but everything turned around when one woman stepped up to stop cyberbullying in its tracks.

Writer Cassandra Fairbanks discovered a screenshot of an overweight man being fat shamed on an online message board, and it was tagged with hateful comments. Appalled by what she saw, Fairbanks took the lead to locate the man. She and her team of supporters from online group Coconut Oil Friendship Club went on a virtual hunt to #FindDancingMan via Twitter and extended an invitation to throw him his very own dance party.

Act of Kindness Goes Viral

One simple act of kindness triggered a chain reaction: In just 24 hours, strangers had donated $33,000 to stage the event in Los Angeles. Celebrities including Pharrell Williams, Moby, and Ellie Goulding agreed to participate. The LA Coliseum offered to host the event, and the LA Tourism & Convention Board offered to cover Dancing Man’s travel expenses.

Sean created a Twitter account (@Dancingmanfound) to respond to Cassandra and attracted thousands of followers almost immediately. One of his tweets read: “Today is a day I never imagined would happen.”

Powerful Lessons From #DancingMan

Sean’s online appearance has put the spotlight on cyberbullying and reveals how damaging, hurtful comments — often from complete strangers — can be. People are often targets of body and weight shaming, both online and offline, and the events surrounding #DancingMan help raise awareness about body-shaming issues.

People such as Fairbanks who go the extra mile to negate the effects of online bullying may be few and far between, but we can all exercise some compassion in our lives.

Consider these ways to counteract the problem of body shaming in our society:

  • Sincerely compliment someone. A kind word can brighten a person’s day.
  • Steer clear of online gossip. Sharing photos and making comments about people you don’t know can escalate into a heated debate and quickly spiral out of control. Refrain from participating in online gossip that puts others down.
  • Stand up for someone. Fairbanks took the courageous step to support a complete stranger because she felt there was something inherently wrong. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what’s right and make your voice heard!
  • Take good care of yourself. Be a role model for others by taking care of your body and appreciating yourself just as you are. Embracing kindness and compassion for yourself will have a ripple effect on those around you.

Image source: Flickr