Have y’all seen the recent video on Up Worthy of the reporter that outs her bully on live TV that sent her a nasty email about her weight. She stood up. She said it was not ok. It reminded me of this post and how every single word of it still rings true.
My mom was the disciplinarian from the time I was born until, well, until now still sometimes. She was the one in charge. If there was a punishment to be handed down it was coming from her. I can remember a conglomeration of times I was punished by her all melded together, but not really one specific incident.
But my dad, well he never really got onto us. I guess he just didn’t have too. But because his punishments weren’t meted out all that often I remember two incidents very specifically. One more than the other.
We were at home when the phone rang. It was an old, green rotary dial phone with an extra long cord that hung on the wall in the kitchen next to the stove. My dad answered and had a one sided conversation with the person on the other end. Mostly he just listened. When he was done he called me into the kitchen and started asking me about something that had happened at school that day.
I don’t remember specifically what I did, but basically I had mistreated someone at school. I had made this person feel inferior and hurt her feelings. I was mean. And for that I got the worst spanking of my whole life.
Recently some things have been going on that has reminded me of this lesson. Being mean to other people is not ok. Making other people feel inferior, hurting their feelings, acting like I’m better because I fit some type of norm that they don’t, making jokes at another persons expense? All of that is wrong.
I’m always thinking to myself that I want things to be better for my kids. I want them to live in a world without racism or discrimination or hate. I keep thinking that “one day” things will be better. But why can’t things be better today? Why can’t we start working today to make things better?
I want to start a movement. I want ALL of us to start a movement together. I want us to stand up as a group and say, “It is not ok.” I want us to have the bravery of a six year old, the bravery to wade into the fray and stand up for ourselves and for the people around us.
Please don’t get me wrong. I do not want us to bully the bullies. I just want us to stand up for what we think is right. I want us to be empowered. I want us to be able to say, “It is not ok to treat me or anyone else badly. It just isn’t.”
Today I’m standing up for myself. My issue is weight. Your issue may be something different, but today is the day to stop feeling ashamed for being different. Today is the day to stop making fun of other people, to stop being rude, to think about how what we say and do affects the people around us. Today is the day to say, It is not ok.
My name is Jennifer.
I am compassionate, passionate, loyal, loving, funny and kind.
I have a big heart, a great laugh, and a low tolerance for bullshit.
I am also morbidly obese.
That does not give you, or anyone else,
the right to laugh at me, make jokes about me, call me names,
discount me, look down to me, bully me, overlook me or abuse me.
I will not sit down, overlook, go with the flow,
grow a tougher skin, accept, ignore or just be quite.
I will not be shamed. Not anymore.
It is not funny.
It is not sarcastic.
It is not snarky.
It is just mean.
And it makes YOU the bad person. Not me.
Today I am standing up, speaking out, and letting you know
Join the movement. Spread the word.