Rachel Farnsworth has developed a pretty thick skin over the years. As the blogger behind The Stay at Home Chef, she's used to seeing hateful and disrespectful comments, not just about her cooking, but about her appearance as well.
"I’ve been called 'hideously disgusting looking' and accused of talking funny," the 31-year-old told Us Weekly. "People write just to say I should stop cooking because I don’t know what I’m doing."
Recently, Farnsworth read a particularly nasty comment that read: "You look like you are 70 with your gray hairs. You really should consider dying them for TV so you don’t look like such an old hag."
The mom of two decided to try a new response to online trolls, and she posted a video response on her Facebook page that has since amassed more than 4 million views.
In the video, Farnsworth explains that what some people don't know is that she has a rare autoimmune disease that means she most likely won't live to be 70 years old.
"Every sign of aging that I have is a sign that I’m still alive," she says. "A lot of people don’t get the privilege to ever live to be old. And I probably won’t either. Which means I don’t have time to waste criticizing myself, and I don’t have time to waste criticizing other people."
"My husband actually feels very strongly that I shouldn’t dye my hair and his reasoning is that he wants us to grow old together. How cute is that?"
Through tears, Farnsworth shared her positive and encouraging message, saying that she struggled for over a decade to accept herself.
"I have a crooked nose with a hook in it. I’ve got freckles and bags under my eyes. I’ve got a yellow tint to my skin. I have hairs that grow in places I don’t want them to. I fluctuate in weight and carry more pounds than I’d like to sometimes. I’ve got wrinkles and stretch marks and sun spots and scars all over my body," she says. "I also have gray hair and I love all of it."
"The world needs more people who will build each other up instead of tearing each other down," she says. "The world needs more women who are willing to rock their bodies exactly the way that God made them. Be that person."
The response to Farnsworth's message is huge. "The response is humbling," she wrote on her blog. "I get comments, messages, and emails of support every few seconds."
"People have created a hashtag (#bethatperson) and the message of self love is spreading. BBC has written an article about the video, and people are campaigning to reach The Ellen DeGeneres Show. I don’t even know what to say. I am at a loss for words. How do you respond to accidentally creating a movement like that? I surely don’t know! What I do know is that I am deeply touched and forever changed by this experience. Thank you. That is all I know how to say."