Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On a soapbox

I don't know why this article:

upset me so much but it hit a nerve. For one thing, I really like the show she is ridiculing. Besides the fact that I think the show itself relies too much on the character's obesity for laughs, I think it is a sweet, romatic comedy and I think Melissa McCarthy is beautiful and so funny.
It also made me think of my girls, and the messages they are going to be getting from everywhere once they are at an age where they are influenced more by magazines and television and the internet. The messages that being overweight makes you less of a person, that it is okay to ridicule or be disgusted by someone because of the way they look.
And I also thought of myself.  How I sometimes think I'm not as attractive or valuable because I weigh more than I did 5 years ago. I try not to pass that along to my children, I am learning to say "Thank You" when they tell my I'm pretty instead of laughing and rolling my eyes as if to say "Oh, I wish!"  But then I read an article like this and think, do people really look at me and think that?  Do they see me kiss Andy, (who still fits into his high school jeans, by the way) and wonder what he is doing with me? It plunges me back into the insecurity that I am working so hard to fight. That is why I took the time to leave this comment. I don't know if it will ever be read and I toned it down a little from my original comment. Then I reconsidered printing it because it seemed a little of an overreaction. But I left it up because I believe what I wrote, no one should be made to feel less than because of the way they look.
Oh, and I won't be buying Marie Claire again (not that that makes a big statement since I can't remember ever buying it before).
Here's my comment:
"I am the mother of 3 young girls. As hard as I work to teach them to respect others, it makes me sad that they can pick up a magazine and learn it is okay to tell people they are disgusting because of the way the look. That they can tell people they shouldn't be seen kissing because it is offensive to others. It's all free speech, right? We have the right to bully people in print because it is our opinion and we should use our right to free speech to tell people how disgusted we are when we have to watch them cross a room. Should we be applauding Maura Kelly for her honesty? Does it really take courage to be honest about how much we hate an entire group of people just because they don't look the way we think they should?
No, I don't think I'll applaud that. I think I will continue to teach my girls compassion, kindness, acceptance, and courage. It is courageous to hold your head up high no matter how you look. If you waddle a little because you are overweight, if you aren't as thin or as rich as the other people in the room, if you walk with canes because you were born different. Everyone has the right to walk through a room without being ridiculed or humiliated and to kiss the people they love without fear and shame. And if someone looks at them and feels disgust and then chooses to write an article to shame and bully that person, SHE is the one who lacks courage. Hate is easy, feeling superior to others is easy, writing some lame apology when you don't get the reaction you expected doesn't take courage, and it certainly doesn't deserve any applause."

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