Kelly Markland says she can't remember a time in her life when she was never bullied for her weight. "When I was growing up the kids called me 'Kelley Jelly Belly,'" the mother of two said. "As an adult, I have been mooed at while exercising or out walking."
And in November, she received a piece of hate mail. "Women who weigh 300 pounds should not wear yoga pants!" read the handwritten letter. Along with the letter was an Anchorman meme that said "Your pants say yoga but your butt says McDonalds."
Markland says she cried in the bathroom for over an hour, then sat down at her computer to compose a Facebook message.
"At 36 years old, I am STILL being made fun of. Whoever sent this, be an adult and tell me who you are," she wrote. "I have never pretended to be pretty or look good in clothing, I have never tried to be flashy or show off."
(WARNING: The Facebook post above contains profane or potentially offensive language.)
She continued: "Wearing my 'fun' leggings gave me a tad bit of confidence in not looking sloppy all the time. I'm sorry that some of you may not like it, but I'm not dressing for you."
"All the hate in this world, and you have to pick on me for this?! Thank you for making me feel like absolute, complete s--t."
Nearly three weeks later, however, Markland is feeling better. "Several teachers from my kids’ school wore leggings to show their support," she told Us Weekly. "I was blown away."
The hashtag #LeggingsWin has been circulating social media from women posting their own body-positive stories.
"The letter killed me inside and I still get upset by it," Markland said, "but at the same time I have gained immense strength."