I woke up this morning to this comment on this post:
Phew. Good thing you changed that pic.
Really, Jordan? Is this what you’ve been living off? This would make sense. We’d like to see you succeed, but we can pretty much guarantee that you’re going to drop like a dead fly at any given moment, given your sickly, bobble-head silhouette.
Have a sandwich. Eat some protein. Enjoy some good ‘ol fashioned FAT. Cause God knows you need it. Girl cannot survive on garlic flakes alone. Seriously, it’s really unflattering when your head is 3 times the width of your hips. No joke. It’s kinda painful to watch.”
And here’s what I wrote back:
OK. I’ve gotten a whole bunch of emails this morning about this comment, and honestly, I wasn’t even going to respond, because it simply doesn’t bother me. Attacks on my values, my family…those things bother me, but attacks on my eating habits and body – both of which I think are just dandy – don’t. But then I thought better of it, because lots of young women read here, and I want to let them know that this is not OK. This kind of viciousness about a woman’s shape – any woman’s shape – is incredibly damaging, and has consequences that I suspect the writer of this comment never thought about.
I welcome discussion and criticism, but this kind of negativity has no place on this website. Going forward, comments like this one will be deleted.”
I wasn’t going to talk about this…but it’s just too important of an issue to ignore. Why say such a thing to another human being? Why tell someone, even under the shroud of anonymity provided by the Internet, that they’re going to “drop like a dead fly” and that they have a “sickly, bobble-head silhouette”? What is the goal? I’ll tell you: to make someone else question who they are and how they feel about themselves. And that is NOT OKAY.
Something about the Internet makes some people feel free to launch vicious attacks on those who “put themselves out there,” and I get that…but this kind of attack makes me furious. Because even if I am able to take it for what it is – scrutiny from someone who has no right to tell me what I should or should not look like – and understand that the only thing that listening to it can do is clutter up my mind, tarnish my confidence, and obscure my search for what I really feel is important to me…it’s not just about me. Comments like this one make me furious for the women who read here and count “bobble-headed” as just one more thing they have to file away in their brain under “must not look like” (must not be too fat/skinny/flat-chested/big-chested/short/tall/whatever). They make me furious because they just perpetuate the idea that people should feel free to pass judgment on others’ choices in life. When it comes down to it, one person’s petty notions about appearance should have nothing at all to do with how you feel about your body, the same way your friend’s belief that it’s of the utmost importance to marry an investment banker should have nothing to do with who you decide to start a family with.
In many ways, this ties into the point I was making in “Love and Living Rooms“: there’s just so much judgment out there about everything from style to love to wallpaper to weight that it sometimes becomes almost impossible to figure out what matters to you. When you think about what you like (or don’t like) about the way that you look…to what extent is it a byproduct of what you’ve heard from others? When there’s so much shouting in your ear, it’s hard to tell. It’s like The Price is Right, when a contestant is choosing a price and the audience is all screaming at them, and by the time they say a number, they aren’t sure whether they made the decision or just did what the audience members with the loudest voices told them to do. The more you listen to other people’s finger-wagging about any aspect of your life, the less you’re going to be able to live honestly, in a way that makes sense to you…and that applies to how you feel about the size of your breasts just as much as it applies to how you choose your life partner.
So shut out all that chatter, and listen to what you know is true about your own body. The noise is just that: noise, and it means nothing. Not in your life. You’re better than that.