Bullies, Bikinis, and Maya Angelou

What the hell is wrong with people these days? I mean we all know this digital era has given us all the permission to act like rabid hyenas preying upon the carcass of a decaying elephant. Entering the ass hole of the unfortunate being and literally tearing it a new one. Oh what a visual. What? You haven’t seen that one. Oh, please watch it, and then come back to finish this. Wait, I’m too insecure that you might leave and forget to return. Let’s watch it together:

Yes my friend, is exactly what the autonomy of twitter, facebook and blogs has done to us. Except we humans have no need to do this, that poor hyena was just trying to survive. Or win a bet.

But we like to hide behind our keyboard and sling accusations, derogatory insinuations, and vicious commentary at others.

Maybe we disagree with someone’s life style, parenting choices (not the things that can cause harm, just the things that are not what we’d do), or they just piss us the heck off.

So we attack, to make ourselves feel better, to feel superior, or push them down.

Guess what?

That’s being petty.

Or by another name, it’s Bullying.

Or lets take it a step further and call it what it really is, VERBAL FUCKING ABUSE.

I’m not talking about politely disagreeing, we all need to be disagreed with, I wouldn’t ever want everyone to agree with me all the time, I’m not sure anyone would. But that looks a little more like “Hey Melissa, you know that um, ugly cute, shrunken from too much washing little, out of shape from too much washing baggy, faded from way too much washing lightly striped top that you wear way too much sometimes? It’s not the best shirt on you, I mean totally cool for slumming on the couch, but it just hides your cute hour-glass shape and you should totally rock that body out with something more figure flattering.”

Not, “Hey Fat Bitch, that shirt is FUGLY! It’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen, but I guess in your case that’s good because no one can tell how fat or thin you might be when you wear it and it totally distracts from that giant herpes sore on your face. Oh that’s a zit you say? Sure yeah, your fat so you must have face herpes. Oh and no one likes you, you should just die. KK, just helping you out!”

How often do we see that last type of comment though? I see it on youtube video comments, in responses to twitter comments, I used to see it on facebook before I unplugged from there. I see it on blogs all the time.

So why am I so riled up right now?

Because just last week a really awesome woman with the mission to change the face of beauty in this country and give women back self confidence no matter their size, posted photos of herself in her bikini. She’s a plus sized woman who is proud of her curves. She’s not unhealthy and she not promoting people gain/loose weight to be just like her. She’s just putting herself out there to show that there is beauty outside what the media presents us with.

And guess how she was repaid. Oh there were those of us who look up to Brittney Gibbons’ bravery and are inspired by her openness and willingness to take the bullet for the rest of us non-model body types. But then there was this:

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And I’m sure there were more on her moderated blog that were never posted,  Huffington Post and I didn’t try to check on Facebook or all the other media that has picked up her story.

Why does our culture think this is ok? Bullying at any age is just what it is. We fight for our kids to not have to face this and guess where they learn it? From ADULTS who still engage in the behavior!

Tomorrow Brittney Gibbons will appear on Good Morning America in the 8:00am -9:00am block to talk about the media storm surrounding her posting her beautiful plus sized self in bikini’s. I know it is because she has been so out there about body image and changing it, that she has such an amazing opportunity. I have, like, all my body parts crossed that her story will get a fair shake, her words won’t be twisted, and maybe, just maybe the haters with keyboards will keep their mouths shut, so that girls of all sizes can rise up, put on their bikini’s and feel beautiful.

Because look at me. In the eyes. Lean in closely. You. Are. Beautiful. I hope you hear that often, but if not, know that I have said it and you must now say it to yourself every time you look in the mirror. You are who you are, and it’s a lot more than looks. And when it is about looks, beauty comes in all shapes, and size, skin tones. But that better than thou are look (even if it’s figurative through a keyboard) of the person who tires to make you feel less than, that’s never going to be attractive. Plus, you are always more beautiful when you believe you are. Don’t be a bully to yourself, we have to fight enough against the feelings the words of others who choose to be bully well up inside us. Instead be someone who knows your phenomenal, and tell yourself you are.

I leave you with the wise words of an incredible woman, Maya Angelou:

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

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