Lucy Hale called herself 'fat' on Instagram, and people are not pleased


Lucy Hale posted a very touching throwback photo of herself and her father in honor of Father's Day on Sunday (June 18). Most of her caption was sweet and sentimental—"You taught me to have soul. I love you daddy"—but something she wrote in the comments hit a sour note with fans. "Ugh, I was so fat," Hale wrote under her pic. Yikes.

You taught me to have soul. I love you daddy.

A post shared by Lucy Hale (@lucyhale) on

That's a problematic thing to say for many reasons. For one, Hale isn't overweight, so referring to herself as "fat" reinforces a troubling, warped message about body image, which is especially worrying for a star who has so many young fans. Also, writing "ugh" in the comment indicates that Hale believes being "fat" is undesirable, even derogatory. But not everyone feels that way—some people use the word to describe themselves matter-of-factly, some people view the term as describing a body type, and some people (presumably Hale) use the word to refer to their bodies when they're unhappy with how they look. That part of society—which places such a strong emphasis on thin beauty and shaming of celebrities who gain weight—is what turned "fat" into an insult.

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Lucy Hale through the years
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Lucy Hale through the years
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 15: Actress Lucy Hale hosts the Blowpro launch at Lord & Taylor on January 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Lord & Taylor)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 18: Actress Lucy Hale attends her launch of BlowPro at Hudson's Bay on January 18, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0401 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actress Lucy Hale during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on January 15, 2016 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 12: Lucy Hale seen at the ABC Studio on January 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 12: Actress Lucy Hale arrived at the 'View' on January 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 11: Actress Lucy Hale is seen walking in Soho on January 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 09: Actress Lucy Hale arrives at the 2016 Winter TCA Tour - Disney/ABC at Langham Hotel on January 9, 2016 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 11: Lucy Hale visits the SiriusXM Studios on January 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Actress Lucy Hale arrives at People's Choice Awards 2016 at Microsoft Theater on January 6, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 09: Actress Lucy Hale arrives at the 2016 Winter TCA Tour - Disney/ABC at Langham Hotel on January 9, 2016 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Actress Lucy Hale arrives at People's Choice Awards 2016 at Microsoft Theater on January 6, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 11: Actress Lucy Hale attends PaleyFest New York 2015 for 'Pretty Little Liars' at The Paley Center for Media on October 11, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Lucy Hale attends New York Comic-Con 2015 - Day 2 at The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on October 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured: Lucy Hale -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 07: Actress Lucy Hale attends ABC's '25 Days Of Christmas' Celebration at Cucina at Rockerfellar Center on December 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Mack/FilmMagic)
STUDIO CITY, CA - NOVEMBER 16: Lucy Hale attends the T.J. Martell Foundation family day at CBS Studios on November 16, 2014 in Studio City, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 24: Actress Lucy Hale arrives at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
CENTURY CITY, CA - AUGUST 9: Lucy Hale appears at The Hollister store at the Westfield mall to launch her first collection on August 9, 2014 in Century City, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
SHERMAN OAKS, CA - JUNE 14: Lucy Hale joins American Rag for All Access Performance at Macy's on June 14, 2014 in Sherman Oaks, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 18: Actress Lucy Hale arrives at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 18, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 16: Lucy Hale attends the 2014 PaleyFest 'Pretty Little Liars' held at Dolby Theatre on March 16, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 08: Lucy Hale arrives at the The 40th Annual People's Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre LA Live on January 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 06: Actress Lucy Hale attends the 47th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 6, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - AUGUST 11: Actress Lucy Hale arrives at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards at Gibson Amphitheatre on August 11, 2013 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 02: Actress Lucy Hale attends ABC Family's '25 Days Of Christmas' Winter Wonderland Event at Rockefeller Center on December 2, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by J. Countess/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18: Actress Lucy Hale attends the 40th American Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/AMA2012/Getty Images for AMA)
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - Lucy Hale stars as Aria Montgomery on ABC Family's 'Pretty Little Liars.' (Photo by Andrew Eccles/ABC Family via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Actress Lucy Hale attends the NYLON And Sony X Headphones September TV Issue Party at Mr. C Beverly Hills on September 15, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 29: Actress Lucy Hale arrives for the grand opening of Henri Bendel at the Fashion Show mall on August 29, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: Actress Lucy Hale attends the 2012 ABC Family Upfront at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on March 19, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 11: Actress Lucy Hale arrives at the People's Choice Awards 2012 at Nokia Theatre LA Live on January 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: Actress Lucy Hale attends the 3rd Annual Kisses for the Troops at Military Island, Times Square on November 11, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'Blond Leading the Blind' - Love is a powerful motivator for Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer, especially if it means keeping their loved ones safe in 'Blond Leading the Blind,' an all new episode of ABC Family's hit original series 'Pretty Little Liars,' airing Monday, January 23rd (8:00 - 9:00 PM ET/PT). (Photo by Eric McCandless/ABC Family via Getty Images) LUCY HALE
Actress Lucy Hale arrives at the 2011 Teen Choice Awards held at Gibson Amphitheatre on August 7, 2011 in Universal City, California.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 24: Actress Lucy Hale arrives at the 36th Annual Gracie Awards Gala at The Beverly Hilton hotel on May 24, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/WireImage)
(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (EXCLUSIVE) Actress Lucy Hale poses at P3R Publicity Offices on April 28, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 28: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (EXCLUSIVE) Actress Lucy Hale poses at P3R Publicity Offices on April 28, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tiffany Rose/WireImage)
Actress Lucy Hale attends Disney ABC Television Group's 'Winter Press Tour' at The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa on January 10, 2011 in Pasadena, California.
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: Actress Lucy Hale attends ABC Family's Winter Wonderland at The Rock Center Cafe at Rockefeller Center on December 5, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'Pretty Little Liars' author Sara Shepard and the cast of the upcoming series were at Barnes & Noble to celebrate the 8th and final PLL book, Wanted. Sara read a short passage from the book and signed books with the cast for fans. (Photo by Rick Rowell/ABC Family via Getty Images) LUCY HALE
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 03: Actress Lucy Kate Hale attends the Dior Beauty Starlet Brunch at Tavern LA on November 3, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Donato Sardella/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD - JULY 18: Actress Lucy Hale attends the CW/CBS/Showtime/CBS Television TCA party at Boulevard3 on July 18, 2008 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - AUGUST 25, 2007: Actress Lucy Hale attends the Los Angeles premiere of Rogue Pictures' 'Balls Of Fury' at The Egyptian Theater on August 25, 2007 in Hollywood, California . (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/WireImage) *** Local Caption ***
BIONIC WOMAN -- Season 1 -- Pictured: Lucy Kate Hale as Becca Sommers (Photo by Mitchell Haaseth/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Lucy Hale (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
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Slowly (but surely!), we're correcting that. The body-positivity movement has opened up many people's minds to what is beautiful. Plus-size bodies are represented more in our culture than ever before, and many media outlets don't have the same fat-shaming mentalities they once did.

But comments like Hale's prove the "fat is bad" narrative is still very much a thing. Hale's followers enforced this more by writing responses like, "You don't look fat, you look beautiful," which suggest those two words are mutually exclusive. News flash: They're not.

A few of her fans knew the time, though. "I know you've got the right to say that, but just imagine what it's like for your fans who are a little bit bigger or struggling with their body to hear that from their idol who's obviously never been fat," one commenter said. "Probably not a great thing to say that this weight was 'fat,' considering how many young girls are going to read that and get upset about their bodies," wrote another.

Of course, Lucy Hale is human, and we can't discredit her insecurities—we all have them. In 2012, the actress opened up about struggling with an eating disorder and body image issues, so she's still on her journey to self-acceptance (like all of us). It's just disappointing that "fat" is still viewed negatively by so many, especially if you're in recovery. "Fat" is not a bad word.

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Pretty Little Liars
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Pretty Little Liars
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'Never Letting Go' - The Liars are taken by surprise when Alison's mother returns to Rosewood, in 'Never Letting Go,' an all new episode of ABC Family's hit original series, 'Pretty Little Liars,' premiering Tuesday, July 19th (8:00 - 9:00 PM ET/PT). (Photo by Bruce Birmelin/ABC Family Channel via Getty Images)BRANT DAUGHERTY
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - Weve All Got Baggage - Love is in the air in Rosewood in Weve All Got Baggage, an all-new episode of the hit original series Pretty Little Liars, airing TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23 (8:00 9:00 p.m. EST) on Freeform, the new name for ABC Family. (Photo by Eric McCandless/Freeform via Getty Images) CHAD LOWE, LUCY HALE, HOLLY MARIE COMBS
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - Did You Miss Me? - Infuriated by the continual harassment, the Liars build a plan of attack in Did You Miss Me?, an all-new episode of the hit original series Pretty Little Liars, airing TUESDAY, MARCH 8 (8:009:00 p.m. EST) on Freeform, the new name for ABC Family. (Photo by Eric McCandless/Freeform via Getty Images) HUW COLLINS
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - Did You Miss Me? - Infuriated by the continual harassment, the Liars build a plan of attack in Did You Miss Me?, an all-new episode of the hit original series Pretty Little Liars, airing TUESDAY, MARCH 8 (8:009:00 p.m. EST) on Freeform, the new name for ABC Family. (Photo by Eric McCandless/Freeform via Getty Images) SASHA PIETERSE, ASHLEY BENSON
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - Did You Miss Me? - Infuriated by the continual harassment, the Liars build a plan of attack in Did You Miss Me?, an all-new episode of the hit original series Pretty Little Liars, airing TUESDAY, MARCH 8 (8:009:00 p.m. EST) on Freeform, the new name for ABC Family. (Photo by Eric McCandless/Freeform via Getty Images) ANDREA PARKER, SASHA PIETERSE
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'Hush, Hush Sweet Liars' - In a desperate attempt to discover Uber Bads true identity, the Liars riskily offer up Hanna as bait in Hush, Hush, Sweet Liars, the winter finale of the hit original series Pretty Little Liars, airing TUESDAY, MARCH 15 (8:009:00 p.m. EDT) on Freeform, the new name for ABC Family. Fans can catch up on all things PLL with Superfan Suite interstitials and an all-day marathon of season six starting at 11:00 a.m. EDT and running up to the one-hour winter finale at 8:00 p.m. EDT. (Photo by Eric McCandless/Freeform via via Getty Images) KEEGAN ALLEN, TROIAN BELLISARIO, IAN HARDING, LUCY HALE, TYLER BLACKBURN, JANEL PARRISH
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'Hush, Hush Sweet Liars' - In a desperate attempt to discover Uber Bads true identity, the Liars riskily offer up Hanna as bait in Hush, Hush, Sweet Liars, the winter finale of the hit original series Pretty Little Liars, airing TUESDAY, MARCH 15 (8:009:00 p.m. EDT) on Freeform, the new name for ABC Family. Fans can catch up on all things PLL with Superfan Suite interstitials and an all-day marathon of season six starting at 11:00 a.m. EDT and running up to the one-hour winter finale at 8:00 p.m. EDT. (Photo by Eric McCandless/Freeform via via Getty Images) ASHLEY BENSON, TYLER BLACKBURN
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'Burn This' - TThe games are over as threats become reality in Burn This, an all-new episode of the hit original series Pretty Little Liars, airing TUESDAY, MARCH 1 (8:00 9:00 p.m. EST) on Freeform, the new name for ABC Family. (Photo by Ron Tom/Freeform via Getty Images) IAN HARDING, LUCY HALE
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'Hush, Hush Sweet Liars' - In a desperate attempt to discover Uber Bads true identity, the Liars riskily offer up Hanna as bait in Hush, Hush, Sweet Liars, the winter finale of the hit original series Pretty Little Liars, airing TUESDAY, MARCH 15 (8:009:00 p.m. EDT) on Freeform, the new name for ABC Family. Fans can catch up on all things PLL with Superfan Suite interstitials and an all-day marathon of season six starting at 11:00 a.m. EDT and running up to the one-hour winter finale at 8:00 p.m. EDT. (Photo by Eric McCandless/Freeform via via Getty Images) TYLER BLACKBURN, ASHLEY BENSON
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'Hush, Hush Sweet Liars' - In a desperate attempt to discover Uber Bads true identity, the Liars riskily offer up Hanna as bait in Hush, Hush, Sweet Liars, the winter finale of the hit original series Pretty Little Liars, airing TUESDAY, MARCH 15 (8:009:00 p.m. EDT) on Freeform, the new name for ABC Family. Fans can catch up on all things PLL with Superfan Suite interstitials and an all-day marathon of season six starting at 11:00 a.m. EDT and running up to the one-hour winter finale at 8:00 p.m. EDT. (Photo by Eric McCandless/Freeform via via Getty Images) IAN HARDING, LUCY HALE, TYLER BLACKBURN
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'Hush, Hush Sweet Liars' - In a desperate attempt to discover Uber Bads true identity, the Liars riskily offer up Hanna as bait in Hush, Hush, Sweet Liars, the winter finale of the hit original series Pretty Little Liars, airing TUESDAY, MARCH 15 (8:009:00 p.m. EDT) on Freeform, the new name for ABC Family. Fans can catch up on all things PLL with Superfan Suite interstitials and an all-day marathon of season six starting at 11:00 a.m. EDT and running up to the one-hour winter finale at 8:00 p.m. EDT. (Photo by Eric McCandless/Freeform via via Getty Images) LESLEY FERA, NOLAN NORTH, TROIAN BELLISARIO
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'Hush, Hush Sweet Liars' - In a desperate attempt to discover Uber Bads true identity, the Liars riskily offer up Hanna as bait in Hush, Hush, Sweet Liars, the winter finale of the hit original series Pretty Little Liars, airing TUESDAY, MARCH 15 (8:009:00 p.m. EDT) on Freeform, the new name for ABC Family. Fans can catch up on all things PLL with Superfan Suite interstitials and an all-day marathon of season six starting at 11:00 a.m. EDT and running up to the one-hour winter finale at 8:00 p.m. EDT. (Photo by Ron Tom/Freeform via via Getty Images) KEEGAN ALLEN, TROIAN BELLISARIO
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - Weve All Got Baggage - Love is in the air in Rosewood in Weve All Got Baggage, an all-new episode of the hit original series Pretty Little Liars, airing TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23 (8:00 9:00 p.m. EST) on Freeform, the new name for ABC Family. (Photo by Adam Taylor/Freeform via Getty Images) HOLLY MARIE COMBS, CHAD LOWE
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - Weve All Got Baggage - Love is in the air in Rosewood in Weve All Got Baggage, an all-new episode of the hit original series Pretty Little Liars, airing TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23 (8:00 9:00 p.m. EST) on Freeform, the new name for ABC Family. (Photo by Adam Taylor/Freeform via Getty Images) SHAY MITCHELL, BLAKE BERRIS
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'Where Somebody Waits For Me' - The Liars secrets quickly begin to unravel in Where Somebody Waits for Me, an all-new episode of the hit original series Pretty Little Liars, airing TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16 (8:00 - 9:00 p.m. EST) on Freeform, the new name for ABC Family. - (Photo by Eric McCandless/Freeform via Getty Images) LUCY HALE
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'Where Somebody Waits For Me' - The Liars secrets quickly begin to unravel in Where Somebody Waits for Me, an all-new episode of the hit original series Pretty Little Liars, airing TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16 (8:00 - 9:00 p.m. EST) on Freeform, the new name for ABC Family. - (Photo by Eric McCandless/Freeform via Getty Images) SHAY MITCHELL
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