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Health & Wellness

Strangers rally around woman who was fat-shamed at Dairy Queen

Strangers are rallying around a woman who posted a video message about how she was fat-shamed outside of a Dairy Queen in Illinois.

In a viral Facebook video, Shauna Arocho explained that she and her husband went to the Dairy Queen in Springfield on Monday for “Free Cone Day.” Arocho said she follows a strict diet and exercise routine and has lost 40 pounds since January, but that day, she wanted to treat herself.

“I decided to sit outside because it was really warm out today even though it’s not very sunny, and as I’m sitting out there enjoying my ice cream cone, a car full of men stopped in the middle of a busy road just so they can roll down their window and say, ‘Eat that ice cream, you fat B-I-T-C-H,’” Arocho said in the video.

“And I just don’t understand what people get out of tearing other people down,” she continued. “You know nothing about my life or circumstances.”

Arocho, 27, told TODAY that she’s often the target of cruel remarks about her weight, but this one was particularly hurtful.

RELATED: Fat-shamed while pregnant? This woman fought back against bullies

“I was so shaken up,” she said. “I kept my head down. I was afraid to look up because I thought other people would make fun of me.”

“My husband was still inside,” she added. “He came out and I just started crying. I ran to the car and probably cried for 20 minutes.”

Courtesy of Shauna Arocho
Shauna Arocho, who spoke out after she was fat-shamed outside of a Dairy Queen in Springfield, Illinois.

Since she posted the video on Monday, it's been viewed nearly 11 million times.

Now Arocho is being bombarded with messages of a different kind: from well-wishers thanking her for her honesty and her grace in a cruel situation.

"Thank you for being strong enough to share," one woman wrote. "Stay the course. It is hard, but you have inspired me."

RELATED: I was fat-shamed on Facebook, but now I'm getting the last laugh

"Hold your head high, girl," another said. "As you can see there are a ton of kind and decent people in the world who support you! Don't let those insecure men bring you down. They are the ones who need our pity, not you."

Arocho called all the responses "overwhelming."

"I can’t believe how much support there is," she said.

She shared her story in hopes that it would reach other people who have gone through similar situations, and also to let her bullies know that what they did was wrong.

In the video, she questioned why the men yelled at her in the first place. “What do you get out of it?” she asked. “What fun is it for you to make fun of somebody else?”

“I hold no grudges toward them,” she told TODAY. “I pray for them, and I hope they see (the video) and see what kind of damage they can do with their words.”

Arocho is now sharing healthy recipes and weight loss updates so her new friends can follow along on her journey. She's thrilled for all the support. "I can't even express how much all of your words have meant to me," she said on Facebook.

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