Is Pierre Garcon a body shamer and a bully? He posted this photo on his Instagram account with the message, “With my WOES.” The context of his message wasn’t clear to me, or other social media users. Before being deleted the post in question had several people concerned that he was body shaming two gentlemen in this photo. (I’ve blurred out their faces to prevent further shame to them, his photo wasn’t blurred.)
Several users, myself included asked Pierre to clarify the intent of his message. It was ambiguous at best but offensive to many who viewed it. Instead of clarifying his position or offering an apology he decided to swiftly delete the photo. He removed it from Facebook and Instagram while the original tweet remains intact, as of today.
It bothers me that Pierre Garcon would use his platform to post a message like this one. What I see when I look at this photo is Pierre Garcon saying these two men are going to die because of their weight. He appears to be mockingly calling them his “WOES” as the context of the picture doesn’t indicate they knew he took the photo or that they were part of a squad he runs with everyday. It looks like he was bored at an airport (?) and decided that making fun of people on social media was a valuable use of his time.
As a victim of bullying myself this photo and Pierre Garcon’s message bothered me. I imagine myself in the shoes of the two gentlemen he decided to mock on social media; I doubt they would consent to this treatment by a celebrity. It also reminds me of the Dancing Man photo that went viral. Surely Pierre heard about that story and could have easily learned how body shaming people causes real harm.
Cyber Bullying is new weapon at the hands of bullies. It has pushed living, breathing, people to suicide. If Pierre Garcon’s taught one of his followers that this message was funny, or that a few LOLs, like’s, retweets, and follows on social media means more than another person’s dignity than I’d say “yes, Pierre Garcon is a both a body shamer and bully.” Pierre Garcon has the platform to reach young impressionable teens, to teach them that this behavior isn’t okay. That hurting people isn’t funny.
I hope Pierre Garcon decides to use his reach and his platform to address cyber bullying and that he stops shaming people for laughs or attention. If his intent has been misinterpreted by myself and others I hope he sees how his ambiguous message still perpetuated the idea the bullying and body shaming is okay. Many of his followers chimed in to further body shame these men; laughing at their expense. All because Pierre Garcon decided to post a distasteful picture on the internet.
I suppose not all is lost, I can use this as a good teaching example for my children. “How not to act on the internet”, is a topic of much discussion as my eldest daughter enters her pre-teens. If you are a victim of bullying please don’t feel alone. I know from experience that it’s an isolating situation to be in, if you are feeling suicidal reach out to someone and if you feel like you have no one please call the Bullying & Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) .