Still, I get why Leslie initially shut it down and walked away.
I am fat. I have been fat for much of my life (I was on my first diet at 5), give or take a few years in college and 2013 when I lost more than 50 pounds by white knuckling it through a low-carb, high deprivation diet (I gained that weight back).
Needless to say, neither I nor Leslie fit the mainstream beauty ideal: thin body, fair skin, long, straight, blonde hair. And that's OK.
But it's one thing to not fit the beauty ideal — because, hey, work what your mama gave you and all that — and it's something else to have a constant stream of vitriol coming at you attacking how you look. That's enough to shake someone with even the highest self-esteem. I know if I opened my Twitter account and saw my mentions filled with that kind of hate, it would hurt (and writing this I am likely opening myself up to it. Sigh).
Once Leslie rang the alarm, many people tweeted their support, including Vanessa De Luca, editor-in-chief of the African-American fashion, lifestyle and beauty magazine Essence, actor Kerry Washington, and Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr.