Cassie Young, 31, is a digital director at the nationally syndicated radio show “The Bert Show,” where she regularly shares her past struggles with body acceptance. Last week, after getting engaged to her boyfriend of nine years, Young received a message from a personal trainer (whose identity she doesn’t reveal), offering to help her “shape up” for the big day. When Young politely declined his offer, things got… weird.
On Thursday, Young posted screenshots of the exchange to her Facebook page. “Congratulations on your engagement,” wrote the man. “Hire me to help you get in shape for your wedding.”
Young replied, “I am in shape! Thank you so much for the offer, though.”
You might think the conversation ended there — but wait.
“I know you want to look your best on your wedding day,” the man pressed. “If you don’t hire me, hire someone. Those pictures last centuries. Your children’s children’s children will still have those pictures.”
Young wrote in part, “I know it’s probably hard for you to understand this, but it’s taken me a long time to love my body. I’m constantly shamed or reminded that I’m heavy and I should be embarrassed — or people are embarrassed for me — or just straight up rude, calling me ‘disgusting.’ I’ve battled past all that and like myself and how I look.”
The man countered, “You can accept how you look but you can’t be happy with the way you look. You can’t lie to yourself… I just wish the whole big body acceptance people would accept the fact that they are not happy with their bodies.”
Young replied, “I’m sad for you that your self-worth is wrapped up in your appearance. You clearly place a lot of stock in looks but fail to understand that not everyone wants to be chained to that insecurity.” She also added: “You are perpetuating the problem and I refuse to play that game. I reject your notion of operating on superficiality and looks, and I embrace my inner health goals.”
Still, the man would not let up. Read the entire exchange here.
“I saw his messages while lying in bed at 9:30 p.m. and initially I wasn’t offended because he was just offering his services,” Young tells Yahoo Beauty. “Then I started to think about his position of power and any women he may be exploiting by preying on their insecurities.”
Young would know — after a fifth-grade classmate embarrassed her for wearing size 5 jeans, she spent years counting calories and embarking on yo-yo diets. “I would sit in my closet and cry because I wore sweatpants to work every day for two weeks because no other pair fit,” she tells Yahoo Beauty. “But last year I decided to invest in clothes that fit and have modeling photos taken — I’m tired of telling myself I’m not pretty because I have fat rolls.”
She added, “This guy tried to undo the work I’ve done and plant a seed of doubt in my head during my engagement.”
Despite the trainer’s comments, Young refuses to publicly name him. “I want this to be a learning opportunity,” she tells Yahoo Beauty, adding that putting him on blast would deter that from happening. “No one should be vilified because they’re ignorant.”
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