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When people heard that strangers were passing out cruel, fat-shaming cards on the London Tube, some took it upon themselves to create their own cards in response, turning the message into a positive one.
It started with Navabi, a German plus-sized fashion company, which printed up cards saying "You look great!" to hand out to people. Bethany Rutter, a fashion blogger who also works for Navabi in London, first heard about the fat-shamers through social media. A group calling themselves "Overweight Haters Ltd." was distributing cards to strangers on the train that said, among other things, "You are a fat, ugly human."
Rutter tweeted about wishing she had positive cards to pass out in response, and her company offered to pay to print some, without including any branding.
"We used a printer that could turn them around in an hour, and I went to pick them up and then handed them out in one of the busiest areas of London," Rutter told TODAY.com, adding that the reactions she got were "universally positive."
"Only a couple of people asked what it was about, and they were shocked by Overweight Haters and really receptive towards my more positive idea," she said. "But most people just took them and said thank you with a happy, bemused look on their faces."
Her idea caught on, and now, more people are spreading a different kind of message with their own cards (plus, free hugs!):
Rutter said she's glad people are fighting to spread a positive message.
"I'm really happy that I'm not alone in doing this and more people are making positive cards," she said. "London is known as being such a difficult, hostile city, but so many people who live here are happy, positive people. And this goes some way to breaking the ice between Londoners."
Navabi, where Rutter has only worked for a week, even went a step further and bought the group's domain name, so OverweightHaters.com is now a site that explains the story behind the cards.
Police are investigating reports about the fat-shaming cards, according to The Guardian.