Welp, the other shoe dropped. It was only a matter of time. Someone said something mean on a photo of me (insert eye-rolling emoji). This wasn’t the first time, and it certainly won’t be the last, but I want to take a moment to discuss. This isn’t a looking-for-sympathy kind of post, but rather, it’s an I am Woman, HEAR ME ROAR (and get out of my way) kind of thing.
I wanted to break down what happened for you to shed some light on the armpit that is internet trolling, and what you can glean from my experience.
Let me set the scene for you. It was Sunday afternoon when a photo of me got reposted by a popular account that I’m affiliated with that has 3 MILLION followers. I was SO EXCITED and had a “Mama, I made it” moment! The love and encouragement came immediately from friends and family, both in real life and virtually! I responded to every comment and engaged with the amazing outpouring of support – it could probably go without saying, but, I was on CLOUD NINE! It wasn’t about the likes and followers I received from this post, it was the feeling of accomplishment. Sometimes, as a curvy gal on a public platform, you can feel overlooked. Change is a’happening though, and it’s been awesome to bear witness and participate in the growing inclusivity among brands and the influencer circuit.
Cut to Tuesday and on the post, one comment stood out among the rest. A conversation between two friends. One said, “still think you’re fat?”, to which the other responded with the laughing emojis and something to the effect of, “you’re right”. Ouch. I mean, great you’re lifting your friend up, but at what expense? Shaming another. Later on, comments popped up telling the girls to buzz off the enormously positive post, and the original commenter posted again and called me “unhealthy” and that we should read about cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. Ugh. How easy it is to cast judgement based on an appearance, isn’t it? Nevermind the cute denim dress I had on, or the big smile I was wearing. All she saw was size.
At the end of the day, she doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know that I’m on thyroid medication trying to find the right dosage, she doesn’t know I get steroid shots every couple of months for a back injury, she doesn’t know the hell I went through 18 months ago and crawled my way out of, she doesn’t know the grief, anxiety, and stress my heart and head endured coming across the deceased body of someone close to my family. Again, she doesn’t know me. I do not list these things out as reasons for my weight, but explaining that even through these struggles, I work at happiness and for the most part, I find it. If I can put on a good face each and every day and influence others to do the same, who honestly gives a shit what the size on my dress says? I have thick thighs and I don’t have a flat stomach. Does that somehow make me less than?
I don’t have to explain myself, my size, or a damn thing really to her or anyone else out there, but she should know this, stranger or not: I am a good person with a big heart who loves to celebrate in others’ joy, who is just trying to live my best life one day (and one fabulous outfit) at a time, just like the rest of us. And I know what kindness costs. NOTHING, it’s FREE. The good thing about this? It’s easy for me (and relatively decent people) to be kind. And I know what I stand for. I stand for finding happiness, staying positive, and leaving a lasting mark of care, humor, and support on the people I encounter regularly. I also stand for embracing ourselves at every stage and every size. And if someone can’t get behind that message, then that’s just too damn bad. I wish them something far more interesting to do in their lives than putting others down with a few keystrokes.
I hope you know I’m not sad about the comment or feeling bad about myself. I’m as confident as always. I want you, reader – whoever you are, if you’ve experienced this too, know that you’re strong. Ugly words from a stranger? Bear them no mind. When we breathe nothing into them, they die pretty quickly.
This experience provided me an opportunity to use my voice to bring awareness to the fact that this happens every. single. day. around the world. Too skinny, too big, too dark, too light. You know you’ve seen it. If we’d just stop tearing each other down, women would honestly run the world. What a powerful thought.
And now, so I’m not a total downer on this reflective post, here’s a new look you haven’t seen yet. Scroll to the bottom to shop.
If one person benefited from reading this today, it will have done its job. Thanks for stopping by!