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'Berea wears leggings' supports councilwoman shamed for her outfit

Instead of discussing her work as a councilwoman, Facebook users wrote comments criticizing her size and her clothing choices.
/ Source: TODAY

A Kentucky councilwoman is fighting back against online criticism she has received for her choice of clothing.

On April 10, Emily LaDouceur, a councilwoman from Berea, Kentucky, decided to wear a pair of black leggings while giving elementary students a tour of the town’s city hall.

Photos of the tour were later shared on the City of Berea, KY Government Facebook page, but instead of discussing her work as a councilwoman, Facebook users wrote comments criticizing her size and her clothing choices.

“It’s not a good feeling, walking into a space where you’ve earned your seat at the table and what people are thinking about is what you’re wearing and not what’s in your heart and mind and what you have to put on the table,” LaDouceur told NBC News affiliate WLEX in an interview.

LaDouceur initially responded to the criticism with a post on her Facebook page saying, “There seems to be quite a bit of interest in the leggings I wear, so I figured I’d share the brand and where I buy them in case anyone else would like to add some to their professional wardrobe!”

Her constituents refused to stand by while a member of their community was being attacked online.

“You can’t let the wrongdoings keep happening, if you stand in the face of adversity and you stand down because it’s too hard, you’re letting the bad things happen, and here in Berea, we don’t let bad things happen to our neighbors,” Berea resident Sierra Marling told NBC affiliate WLEX.

The community quickly came up with a movement to show solidarity with LaDouceur, using the hashtag #BereaWearsLeggings.

Women posted photos wearing leggings on social media, with captions explaining their support for their neighbor.

Julie Howe wrote on Instagram, “Gloomy day? Put on your most obnoxious leggings.”

Another woman captioned her Instagram post, “Joining the bandwagon because leggings are an essential part of my wardrobe.”

Businesses were quick to jump on the trend as well. Berea shop PeaceCraft offered 20% off all leggings to celebrate the movement.

LaDouceur thanked the community for its support, posting a collage on her Facebook page showing people wearing leggings.

In an interview with NBC affiliate WLEX, LaDouceur reflected on the support generated by the #BereaWearsLeggings movement.

“Whenever somebody gets knocked down, we turn it around and make it positive,” LaDouceur said.