Note left on car: 'Fat and ugly doesn't count as disabled'

Sarah Metcalfe said she wants to raise awareness of "invisible disabilities" to prevent others from receiving similar treatment.

Ben Hooper

Dear shopper in Clifton Moor Tescos York car park at approx 6pm today the 30th of April 2015 who decided to leave this...

Posted by Sarah Metcalfe on Thursday, April 30, 2015

YORK, England, May 8 (UPI) -- A British woman with the "invisible disability" fibromyalgia found a note on her car reading, "Being fat and ugly doesn't count as disabled (park elsewhere)."

Sarah Metcalfe, 35, of Holgate, England, said she was parked in an accessible space in the Tesco Extra parking lot April 30 in York when she and her 13-year-old son, Jack, returned to the vehicle and discovered a rude note on stationery featuring a picture of high-heeled shoes.


"Being fat and ugly doesn't count as disabled (park elsewhere)," the note reads.

Metcalfe said she has an "invisible disability," the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, along with chronic fatigue syndrome.

"I know I may not look ill, in fact I choose to smile rather than cry, but I do suffer from a long-term condition that causes pain and fatigue all over my body," Metcalfe said in a Facebook post.

Metcalfe said she understands that appearances can be deceiving and she encouraged the anonymous author of the note to choose kindness in the future.

"I fear one day you may say the same to someone and it could really push them over the edge... Quite frankly, you never know what kind of day a person is having and what the consequences of your actions will be," she said.

She said the writer's words haven't negatively affected her self-image.

"I know I'm beautiful inside and out. I'd rather be fat than stick thin but then I'd never judge anyone for being thin," she said.

Metcalfe said her vehicle was not displaying a blue badge that entitles her to accessible parking, but the badges are not required in privately owned lots unless a sign is posted saying otherwise.

A spokesman for Tesco said the company does not own the parking lot, but is interested in working with Metcalfe.

"We ask that customers display a blue badge if they are parking in a disabled bay to prevent abuse of these essential spaces, but appreciate our Clifton Moor customer's concerns and would welcome her to talk to our colleagues in store. We will also report this incident to the car park owners," the spokesman told York newspaper The Press.

Metcalfe said she is hoping the author of the note will come forward so she can educate him or her about invisible disabilities.

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