RosieMercadoIt’s hard to imagine that someone would actually hate you for succeeding at something but Rosie Mercado is learning that lesson the hard way. Mercado gained fame when, at 410lbs, she launched a modelling career. During that time, she gained loyal followers who felt inspired by her message until, sadly, she chose to lose weight.

Despite her success, Mercado chose to undergo a gastric sleeve procedure, in addition to committing to healthier eating and a more active lifestyle. She also had her excess skin removed. Now, 250lbs lighter, she seems really happy with her body but was shocked when a long-time fan had some unimaginably hurtful things to say about it.

Mercado told People: “I recently lost 250 lbs. and have received an overwhelming response of love, support and kind words from around the world and I am grateful for that, but with the positive comes a little bit of negative, and I want to take the time to acknowledge a message that really stood out and made me think.”

What was the message?

In response to Mercado’s weight loss, the former fan said: “This message was, ‘Go find a bridge, jump off and kill yourself.’”

Why would this person say such a horrible thing?

“She used to support my work when I was heavier, and her message was that I betrayed her,” Mercado explains. “She related to me because I was the only model modeling at a really big size. When I lost all the weight she said I was a shame to the fat community, that she wouldn’t believe I would let all my fans down and that I sold out, that I should have stayed at my obese weight and represent everybody who’s not being represented.”

That is so incredibly sad on so many levels. First of all, it’s terrible for Mercado to have had to read something so mean and, potentially, dangerous. We never know what people are going through and saying something like that could have catastrophic consequences.

More importantly, though, it’s sad because this “fan” did not want Mercado to pursue a healthier life and, instead, wanted her to remain a certain way in order to make a group of people feel more comfortable about themselves. Rather than see her as a positive example, she was labelled a traitor, of sorts, and that’s just unfathomable.

Refusing to let the situation get her down, Mercado said: “I wanted to take the time to invite you to come join me at a beautiful bridge, and I want to invite you to come see it from my perspective, because the view from here is beautiful and amazing. If you choose to stay down there and expect a splash, just know that the only thing you’ll see is a shadow of me jumping and taking flight because the only way I am going is up.”

That’s a great attitude. Hopefully, others who have been targeted by online bullies can learn from her example!