In a lesson on how to handle internet trolls with style and grace, 18-year-old Madison Haulter has effortlessly taken on those who felt the need to comment negatively on her prom pictures.
The teen, in a pink sequinned gown, posed up a storm with her boyfriend, 19-year-old Tre Booker, who had donned a matching pink bow-tie for the event. Haulter posted the pictures on Twitter before heading to the dance.
Speaking to Seventeen, Haulter explained that when she checked her phone at the end of the night she was excited to see a flurry of activity on her account – until she noticed that somebody had left an unsavoury response.
A stranger had commented underneath the shots, saying: “Wow he loves you even tho you're fat :( mbn [must be nice].”
But instead of letting the nasty comment ruin her night, Haulter decided to take the high road and responded simply by saying “don't see how people can be rude to people they don't even know”.
The troll's tweet soon started to garner attention and while Haulter's friends wanted to retaliate, she remained dignified and asked them not to, telling Seventeen that she “didn't want all of the hate to go to her, even though she said something hateful to me.”
“I was appalled that someone could be so rude without even knowing who I was,” Haulter explained to Teen Vogue. “I don’t know how she even found my pictures since they weren’t viral at the time.”
Once the teen’s tweet started going viral, Booker chimed in saying his girlfriend was not “fat” but “perfect”.
In an effort to make it clear that he was not implying that being fat and beautiful are mutually exclusive, Booker then tweeted “everyone is beautiful. God made us in his image he makes no mistake!!”
Haulter also told Teen Vogue that “a person’s beauty isn’t all about their appearance. My boyfriend’s tweet was not saying fat women can’t be beautiful.
“I’m sure he wants to make it clear that any shape and size can be beautiful and he never meant it to be taken in that way.”
The couple have since received an overwhelmingly positive response on their Twitter feeds, with many praising Haulter’s kindness in “the face of cruelty” and calling her an inspiration.
I loved both your reply and Tre's. You are amazing human beings to see beyond what other people cannot. Go change the world! You are blessed— Michele Kay (@Definingyou) May 4, 2017
And Haulter’s pleased to hear that her experience has had a positive outcome, telling Seventeen "that's the best part of this — people saying that I inspire them or that my confidence gives them confidence. It's not about us anymore, it's about the impact."
In a statement on her Twitter feed, Haulter also said:
“Thank you so much to all of you showing me so much love on here. Only a few negative tweets compared to the hundreds of loving ones. I’m glad I could be an outlet for the ‘bigger girls’ by not wearing stereotypical dress for my size. So happy to know I’m inspiring many of you beautiful women to be more confident in yourselves. No matter what you do, someone will always hate on you. Use negativity positive energy. Spread love not hate.”
Well said, Madison.