Over the years, food blogger Rachel Farnsworth has developed a thick skin. “I’ve been called ‘hideously disgusting looking’ and accused of talking funny,” the 31-year-old tells Us Weekly. “People write just to say I should stop cooking because I don’t know what I’m doing.”
But last month, Farnsworth, known to her followers as The Stay at Home Chef, received a comment on her YouTube channel that broke her. “You look like you are 70 with your gray hairs,” wrote one woman, below a recipe for beef chili. “You really should consider dying them for TV so you don’t look like such an old hag.”
Though Farnsworth usually responds privately to trolls, this time the mom of Dexter, 8, and Adele, 5, tried something new: She posted a video about self-love to her Facebook page. The clip, which she shared Wednesday, November 23, has since been viewed more than 4 million times.
“My husband actually feels very strongly that I shouldn’t dye my hair and his reasoning is that he wants us to grow old together. How cute is that?” the Salt Lake City–based author of The Idiot’s Guide to Slow Cooker Cooking, says in the video.
Through tears, Farnsworth goes on to explain that she has a rare autoimmune disease that means she will most likely never live to be 70 years old. “Every sign of aging that I have is a sign that I’m still alive,” she says. “A lot of people don’t get the privilege to ever live to be old. And I probably won’t either. Which means I don’t have time to waste criticizing myself, and I don’t have time to waste criticizing other people.”
Farnsworth then reveals that she struggled for more than a decade to accept herself. “I have a crooked nose with a hook in it. I’ve got freckles and bags under my eyes. I’ve got a yellow tint to my skin. I have hairs that grow in places I don’t want them to. I fluctuate in weight and carry more pounds than I’d like to sometimes. I’ve got wrinkles and stretch marks and sun spots and scars all over my body,” she says. “I also have gray hair and I love all of it.”
Farnsworth ends her video by asking everyone to be kinder to each other. “The world needs more people who will build each other up instead of tearing each other down,” she says. “The world needs more women who are willing to rock their bodies exactly the way that God made them. Be that person.”
Her message resonated with people everywhere. “I’m receiving hundreds of of private messages and emails,” Farnsworth tells Us. “I didn’t realize that me speaking out would influence so many others.”
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