Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Friday, June 21
The Indiana Daily Student


You do you, and dance

The Internet and I have a love/hate relationship. I love having access to endless amounts of information with the click of a mouse; it makes those research papers I put off so much easier.

But on the downside, the Internet is accessible to everyone, and there is a veil that appears, separating people from each other with anonymous ?usernames. The veil of anonymity makes it possible for people to attack each other with words and images ?without much consequence.

Though much of this personal attacking is illegal, the unveiling process that is finding an anonymous user’s real name can be quite the to-do, and oftentimes nothing is done about these attacks.

Recently, a 4chan user posted two photos of a man to the anonymous message board. One photo showed a man dancing and having a good time.

The next photo showed the man looking dejected and downtrodden. The message attached to the photos said, “Spotted this specimen trying to dance the other week. He stopped when he saw us laughing.”

I’ve never seen something more heartbreaking. I found myself crying because I felt so much pain that this man should be shamed in such a way and made to feel bad about ?himself.

The man in the photos is overweight and the individual who posted the photo is ?body-shaming him.

Nothing about that is okay. It is not any person’s place to make commentary about another person’s body, ?especially a complete stranger.

It’s impossible to know what that person has gone through and what has brought him to this point in his life, and it is not anyone’s job to make him feel bad about his body.

The person who posted those pictures not only robbed the man of an enjoyable experience making him feel ashamed, but they broadcast it on the Internet where everyone and their mother can see it. They made the shaming experience public and took away the man’s privacy.

But one woman, Cassandra Fairbanks, came across the photos and, being a decent human being, started a Twitter movement to find the man in the photos using the hashtag #finddancingman.

The search picked up supporters and gained force. People everywhere joined in the search and sent the man love and support and invited him to the best dance party ever.

Thousands of people got behind the #finddancingman movement to find the man and give him the experience of a lifetime, just to show him love and support and to not be afraid to have fun and dance it out because of his body.

Fairbanks’ search paid off — she found the dancing man, and the giant dance party is happening. And celebrities such as Pharrell Williams, Moby and Andrew WK have all said that they want to ?perform at the party.

When I first heard this story, I was sickened and heartbroken. But after seeing how much outpouring love and support that has been directed toward the dancing man, I have hope.

I have hope that things are changing and people are learning to love ?themselves and others.

With each other’s the support, we can all learn body image is not nearly as important as busting a move and filling every single breath with as much life as possible.

Get stories like this in your inbox