"I just wanted men and women to know that they're not alone in struggling with their self-image," she tells PEOPLE of why she wrote her now-viral Facebook post
Rachel Taylor decided to not let body bullies ruin a recent shopping trip and instead turned her experience into a way to empower others.
Taylor, 25, was shopping at Old Navy on July 3 when she overheard a teenage girl and her mother joke that a plus-size tank top was big enough to fit both the girl and her friend.
“I couldn’t help it; I started crying,” Taylor posted on Facebook. “I guess the girl and her mom walked away. I have no idea. My husband walked me out of the store to the car. I sat in the car crying for a long time but eventually went back inside to finish my shopping.”
“I ended up buying that tank top because, it turns out, I look fierce in it!” she wrote. Her post also shows a photo of her wearing the patriotic tank. “Be kind. Think about others before you speak. And if someone hurts you, you have to move on.”
The post – which Taylor originally posted on her personal page but also shared on Old Navy’s account – now has over 87,000 likes on Old Navy’s page alone.
“I just wanted men and women to know that they’re not alone in struggling with their self-image, that they’re not alone in getting stressed out over shopping for clothes, and that even being a little sensitive is okay,” Taylor tells PEOPLE. “You’re not the only one who gets their feelings hurt over things other people say, whether they mean them maliciously or not. It still hurts.”
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The Haughton, Louisiana, resident says although she has received a mixture of positive and negative comments, she doesn’t regret writing about her experience.
“I don’t want to take it down because I have received so many messages from other men and women who’ve said they’ve had similar experiences, and they’re so glad that I shared my story,” she says. “I’ve had lots of people saying that they’ve struggled with their self-image, and it’s hard to admit that. A lot of people have said that they felt validated that they weren’t the only ones feeling that way and thinking those same things.”