This article contains sexually explicit language.
A pleasant night out turned irreparably sour when a man decided to criticize his female companion’s body the next day. But she got the last word.
Michelle Thomas is a 30-year-old cafe manager in London. She also runs a blog where she transcribes recordings of people “telling their story” after she has paid them £1 to do so. The most recent story in the blog, however, is her own.
After a Tinder date with a man named Simon went moderately well—drinks, dinner, a walk, and a kiss—Thomas received a scathing message from him about her body, criticizing it at length.
The rude stranger opens his missive with: “I fucking adore you Michelle and I think you’re the prettiest looking girl I’ve ever met,” only to follow it with, “But my mind gets turned on by someone slimmer.”
Simon is sure of what he wants because he is “a man … with all the red hot lusts of a man and all the failings of a man and I’m sure of my own body and its needs.” He tells Thomas he would “marry [her] like a shot if [she] were a slip of a girl.”
Perhaps the strangest paragraph from his belittling, surreal message:
So whilst I am hugely turned on by your mind, your face, your personality (and God…I really, really am), I can’t say the same about your figure. So I can sit there and flirt and have the most incredibly fun evening, but I have this awful feeling that when we got undressed my body would let me down. I don’t want that to happen baby. I don’t want to be lying there next to you, and you asking me why I’m not hard.
Thomas responded with grace to his “uncalled-for” message that was “nothing short of sadistic.”
“You don’t have to fancy me,” she writes to Simon. “We all have a good friend who we look at ruefully and think ‘You’re lovely, but you just don’t tickle my pickle.’ We wish we were attracted to them, but our bodies and our brains don’t work like that. And that’s fine.” She gets right to the root of things, saying that Simon’s only possible motivation for writing such a message is “to wound me.”
Her closing thought is masterful, respectfully invoking Simon’s young daughter.
What truly concerns me, the real reason I’m responding so publicly, is the fact that you have a 13 year old daughter. A talented illustrator, who collects Manga comics and wants to visit Japan as soon as possible.
I want you to encourage your daughter to love, enjoy, and care for her body. It belongs to her and only her. Praise her intellect, and her creativity. Push her to push herself and to be fearless. Give her the tools to develop a bomb-proof sense of self-esteem so that if (I’ll be kind. I’ll say “if”.) the time comes that a small, unhappy man attempts to corrode it, she can respond as I do now.
It happens that Thomas recently celebrated her 30th birthday with a photo shoot, holding a sign for a hashtag promoting body image positivity.
The best revenge, it seems, is not looking good, but feeling good.