Recently, a 19-year-old young woman named Jenna was given a hard time at a church in North Carolina for wearing jean shorts. She wasn’t hurting anyone or doing anything against the guidelines of the church.
Jenna went to the church’s bathroom during a choir rehearsal to check her phone because a family member was in the hospital. And she was confronted by Bonnie Sue Bihary, who told her she was too fat for her outfit.
Jenna described what exactly happened in the church bathroom, on her Twitter page:
Jenna then wrote in a later post:
“I’m honestly shocked and upset that this happened at church. I should feel accepted and loved and now I don’t want to go back to that church.”
Just wanted to add this pic.twitter.com/SWwiMSWL2T— Jenna 🦊 (@roo_jenna) June 30, 2019
Jenna also tweeted:
“I just want to say that I know I am not perfect!!! But I would never attack someone and tear someone down like what she did to me.”
To give more of a visual on what Jenna was wearing the day of the incident, she posted pictures of her outfit.
Here is the outfit I was wearing that she attacked me… also please read my shirt because what she did was not agapé love pic.twitter.com/6d5sNeMQrI— Jenna 🦊 (@roo_jenna) June 30, 2019
After sharing the video she was able to record on her phone of the women criticizing her for her weight, Jenna has received a lot of Twitter support, from her friends and community, throughout the incident.
Pastor G. Kevin Baker, one of the lead pastors of Swansboro United Methodist Church sent out a letter to the community after the video of the incident had gone viral. The letter stated that the women’s inappropriate act of judgment saddened the church and that there would be actions taken to ensure that such treatment would not occur in the future.
Disciplinary actions have been made against the woman, by no longer allowing her to represent the church at conferences. As stated in a tweet posted by Jenna, she wrote, “My pastor said that she will never be able to be on any sort of committee/any leadership role in our church ever again.”
This situation and many others, is teaching people that body shaming can have negative repercussions on both parties. In light of body positivity, it is always better to respect and celebrate one another for our beliefs and individual styles, rather than put each other to shame for being ourselves.
It was out of line for the woman to criticize Jenna for her choice of outfit based on her weight. There is no reason for doing such a thing, especially at a place of community. Unfortunately, the adverse treatment Jenna received is just one case in many and has not yet been apologized for.