When it comes to fashion, every woman has to find their style. For Kelley Markland, she says the clothes she wears make her feel more confident—which is why she’s been wearing leggings from a popular brand called LuLaRoe for about a year now. Kelley said leggings only recently became her go-to item after spending years of trying to hide her curves behind black and dark gray clothing.
She recently learned in a hateful note that someone has a problem with her fashion choices.
On November 18, Kelley received a letter in the mail that said, “Women who weigh 300 pounds should not wear yoga pants!” Along with the message was also a cruel meme referencing the Florida mom’s leggings.
This seems like something that petty high school girls would do. Aren’t moms supposed to be lifting each other up?
After a long bath and cry, the 36-year-old mother of two shared the note and meme on Facebook:
“So, I came home from celebrating a fun birthday dinner for Mia and we were all so happy! I open my mail to find this envelope with a silly picture (not me in that picture BTW) and a note. Apparently, I weigh 300 pounds and I shouldn’t wear leggings anymore.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I care deeper and stronger than many. I am a sensitive woman and I despise cruelty towards others. At 36 years old, I am STILL being made fun of. Whoever sent this, be an adult and tell me who you are. JUST TELL ME!!!
I have never pretended to be pretty or look good in clothing, I have never tried to be flashy or show off.
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 shit. A wonderful night with my family had to end like this…..so unbelievably disappointed in people anymore.”
Kelley says she doesn’t know how the sender found her mailing address, and just wishes to know why someone would do something so hateful.
Surprisingly though, Kelley also said she’d like to thank the sender.
“This one incident has really helped me find strength that I didn’t know I had,” she said. “This incident gave me a voice and a message to share with all women.”
Kelley says the response to her post has been overwhelming. Women have posted photos in their leggings as a move of solidarity.
Liz Grimes of Love and Limes Photography also reached out to do a photoshoot with Kelley. With the help of one of her friends who works with LuLaRoe, the photographer also organized some of the company’s consultants to style Kelley for the shoot.
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In addition to building a community of women who have been through similar things, and finding her own strength to be confident, Kelley was able to use the letter as a powerful teaching tool with her kids. She said that bullying has been a topic of discussion before, but with this letter, her kids were able to see firsthand just how harmful words can be.
“They get to see how I felt, how I responded and my actions,” Kelley said. “I just want them to remember these moments so they can learn.”
Kelley’s courage is inspiring, and it’s a lesson to all about how to turn hate into strength.