Last year in the middle of a “career” search after being laid off from not my first, but my second dream job, I ended up at a private daycare in the more expensive part of town. They mainly had me doing office work, and I would occasionally go into the infant rooms and do lunch breaks and get to rock babies. It wasn’t a bad gig and it was helpful because I had foster kids in and out of my life and I was able to take them to a top notch daycare that I would never be able to afford (we are talking $400-$500 a WEEK).
I just never felt quite right there. One of the office assistants told me that if I wanted to become the office manager (a position they were thinking of making available) that I should make sure I was dressing super professional, cover up my tattoos, and maybe do something different with my hair (which is usually just all black and tied up in a top knot). Apparently the director who ran the school had made comments to her.
I actually let these women get to me. I chopped off my hair (that I had been growing out for years) in attempt to force myself to wear it down and straight. I bought a few new shirts that were colorful (*spoiler alert* that have remained in the trunk of my car since I quit) and I contemplated taking out my gauges and piercings (I don’t have any crazy face piercings, just a few in my ears and a tiny stud in my ear). Until I realized, that I love me, and I love the way I dress and my tattoos. They tell a story, and it’s who I am.
After I got my current job (something I can’t really talk about) where all the girls in the office are so much more my style, I have only kept in touch with one person that I worked with there. She was the office assistant that told me about my appearance (because “she liked me and really wanted me to stay” so she says). Over the past few days she has been on vacation. She has only posted a few pictures of her pedicured toes next to a pool or the resort she is at. Then, she started posting pictures that she was taking of another person at the resort. He was an older male with grey hair and tanned skin, wearing a thong and flip flops sun bathing. Now, while I understand that it’s not something I particularly want to see. He is on vacation, he wasn’t harming anyone, and it wasn’t something that was against the rules at the resort he was at.
She proceeded to sneak pictures of him over a couple days and kept posting them to Facebook asking people for captions and poking fun at his choices of attire (or lack there of). Usually I would just hide it from my feed and move on but I don’t know if it’s the birth control making me crazy (it is totally screwing with me), or just the fact that I had enough, I finally commented.
The picture she posted was him standing there in a black man thong, and a hat on, walking past her. She posted the picture with a caption that read something like “Oh this just gets better – best captions wins a prize”. So now she is not only posting these pictures she is inviting her Facebook friends to join in on the mockery. So I posted this…
My only comment is that you shouldn’t be posting pictures of a stranger on your Facebook, making fun of someone you don’t know, and instead should be enjoying your vacation.” Something like this. I don’t remember exactly what was said and now I can’t see it, because apparently she didn’t like that. The comment was quickly deleted, and I was deleted and blocked from her Facebook. I had her cell number so I texted her and told her I was disappointed in her and that I thought she should do some self reflection on why she was spending her vacation posting pictures of a half naked stranger. Was that a bit much? Maybe. We’ll blame the hormones but I just couldn’t keep it to myself.
Honestly, it reminds me the story of the “Dancing Man“. If you haven’t read the story you should. It’s a good lesson for anyone. Basically this man was dancing at a party, enjoying himself, when some girls started taking pictures and video of him and he was so ashamed he stopped dancing. They then posted these pictures online. Well because the internet can be amazing, some girls arranged a party for him in LA where over 1,000 people were in attendance. I watched some footage on “My Big Fat Fabulous Life“, where Whitney goes to LA for this party, and they show footage of them talking and he is just the sweetest soul. It was so sad to think that he stopped dancing, stopped enjoying himself because people were taking pictures of this harmless man, who was just trying to have fun, and made him stop.
Now this has turned into a much longer blog than I intended but I just don’t understand. I don’t understand why the “Mean Girls” of the world have to try and shame someone for being themselves. There are so many other things in the world we could be concerned with, and that is a whole other blog post for another day, but why do we waste our time worried about people who are just simply being them.
My news feed anymore is filled with people sharing jokes about Caitlyn Jenner, gay marriage, or worse. And I’m not Laughing! It’s not funny. It’s mean, and it’s hurtful, and it isn’t productive. We have children killing themselves over cyber bullying, we have the Flint water crisis, each year, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized and poverty and homelessness right here in the U.S. and we are wasting our time posting pictures and jokes of people we simply do not know. We don’t know their life, we don’t know their struggle, and yet somehow we think it’s our place to judge them. It’s our place to plaster them all over the internet in the name of a laugh, like, or share.
I encourage you, yes you, reading this. To post something nice today. Post something uplifting to your blog, to your Facebook, twitter or instagram. Tell a stranger you love their smile. Tell a friend or family member thank you today. Do something productive. Post something productive. You never know who might need it. You never know how much hurt they have in their heart and how a few uplifting words could help them.