Anorexia survivor slams cafe after finding a note on the toilet seat telling diners ‘smile, you’re losing weight’

AN ANOREXIA survivor has slammed a cafe after finding a note on the toilet seat sickeningly telling diners: “Smile, you’re losing weight.”

The vile message was daubed on a loo in the ladies bathroom in the Vintage Rooms Cafe in East London.


The shocking message was daubed on the toilet seat in the ladies room
Sian Bradley spotted the disturbing message in the Vintage Rooms Cafe in East London


Sian Bradley spotted the disturbing message in the Vintage Rooms Cafe in East LondonCredit: Google Street View

Horrified Sian Bradley, who previously bravely battled an eating disorder, spotted the shocking scribble when she visited the cafe on Thursday.

According to news site My London, the offensive message was left by a member of staff.

Sian explained: “I was working from Vintage Rooms Café in Brick Lane yesterday. I went to use the toilet and was greeted with this.

“If I had found this while I was purging because anorexia recovery scared me, it would have tipped me over the edge. I’m disgusted.”

She shared an image of the scandalous scrawl on social media, where online users echoed her outraged.

One commented: “This is horrendous! So sorry that you had to see this & that it exists in the first place.”

“Ugh no, this is so wrong,” another wrote.

A third added: “Whaaaaat. That’s disgraceful.”

The white walls in the ladies bathroom are also covered in inkings – but with a much more positive tone.

One of the colourful messages read: “You only get a place on this earth once. Make it yours!”

It was reported that the appalling artwork on the toilet seat was still there the next day – suggesting it was a deliberate defacement, rather than being the work of a random customer.


The cafe, which promises to deliver a “cosy atmosphere”, later apologised for the tone-deaf note on the toilet lid.

In a statement, the Vintage Rooms said: “We have been made aware of this and have taken appropriate actions to remove the writing from the toilet seat, though we would like to put forward the toilet have numerous positive messages that have not been shown.

“We did not intend to cause any harm to any of our customers in fact the whole café is full with positive quotes, we do apologise for any harm this may have caused, it was never intentional.

“We fully support anyone suffering from anorexia and would not want to exacerbate the situation in any way shape or form.

“All writing in the cafe is was written with the intention of pure humour and not to cause any discomfort to anyone.

“We have taken measures to educate our staff on this issue going forward.”

The cafe claimed the message was 'written with the intention of pure humour'


The cafe claimed the message was ‘written with the intention of pure humour’


The NHS has tips for how to help your child through an eating disorder. 

Some of these include:

  1. Always listen to their feelings

Talking to your child is needed for their recovery, so it’s important to keep trying even if they appear withdrawn.

It helps if you stay calm and prepare what you’re going to say to them – do not blame or judge them, just focus on how they’re feeling

Try to use sentences starting with “I”, like, “I’m worried because you do not seem happy”, rather than sentences beginning with “you”.

  1. Avoid talking about weight or food

Avoid discussing people’s diets or weight problems, especially to comment on your child’s appearance – even if you have something nice to say.

Agree with the family that none of you will talk about portion sizes, calories or anything else about food when around your affected child.

  1. Give them distractions around mealtimes

Try to keep things light-hearted and positive throughout meal times, even if you do not feel that way on the inside.

If your child tries to get too involved in cooking the meal as a way of controlling it, gently ask them to set the table or wash up instead.

A family activity after the meal, such as a game or watching TV, can help distract them from wanting to purge or overexercise after eating.

  1. Support their treatment

If your child is being treated for an eating disorder, their treatment team will play a big part in their recovery.

But the support of relatives and friends is important, and you can help by learning as much as possible about their eating disorder.

It’s important to make them feel they can be honest about what they are going through – so tell them they are loved and you will always be there for them.

  1. Be a good role model

Eat a balanced diet and do a healthy amount of exercise so your child is not influenced by yours – or anyone else’s’ – habits that could fuel their eating disorder more.

For example, don’t buy “diet” or “low-calorie” foods for the house, eat them in front of them or talk about your own weight.


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