On Friday, I finally launched a Facebook page for my blog. I’ve been told a thousand times by other (bigger) bloggers that having a FB page is important for exposure and readership, I just kept putting it off, until finally I just did it.
I don’t even have much up there yet — really just a profile photo, cover photo, and a couple of posts.
And wouldn’t you know it, after a year of having this blog with no real negative, hurtful comments, I get one on my FB page within a few hours of sharing the page. The comment was regarding the fact that this fine gentleman apparently thinks I need to slim down a little. Yes, it was a fairly mild comment (as far as internet cruelty goes), followed by an “lol”. Does that mean it was a joke?
And if it was just a joke, does that make it ok?
Is it ok to make an insulting “joke” at the expense of someone whom you’ve never met, whom you have no idea of their back story? Someone who may or may not have a history of disordered eating, or who may be struggling with body image at this very moment? Does the fact that you don’t find that person appealing give you the right to tear them down in a public forum?
Not to my knowledge. Even if it is a joke.
Maybe I’m more sensitive to it because I’m newer to the blogging world. I don’t post a ton of pictures of myself on the blog, mostly because I don’t have them. Trust me, one of my goals for this year is getting some lifting pictures to put up here, so it’s not like I’m trying to hide anything. I’m confident in my health, strength, and physical appearance, so why is it that a silly little comment from some internet troll has the ability to bring tears to my eyes? Maybe because I wasn’t always so confident, and that girl that has always felt a little “big” is still hiding in here somewhere.
I’m not going to draw this out because we’ve all heard it before. In fact, Tara published this post on Friday just after I got that comment — talk about perfect timing! But it’s been on my mind so I just have to put it out there:
We, as people, are better than that. We are better than negative comments over the internet that serve no purpose other than hurting someone else. I know I should just brush it off, and you all have every right to tell me just that. And I am, but the sting is going to last for a few days. It was my first instinct to delete the comment, and then had to fight off an urge to make a nasty comment back. But what good would that do? That just puts me at his level, however low that is. What I will say is this: I am not, and never will be a small, thin girl. I have strong, muscular legs that I have grown to love. Although there was a time when this wasn’t the case, I’m proud to be carrying around a big ol’ booty, because I’ve worked hard for it.
I would like to think that none of my readers are the kind of people who would post such comments, but just in case you ever get the urge, just stop and think for a minute. If I wasn’t in such a good place right now, that could have sent me spiraling. If I were still in the grips of the disordered thoughts that consumed me years ago, this one small comment could have ruined me. Just remember that you don’t know what else someone else has going on, and that your comment could very well be the one that sends them over the edge into a place that no person should be pushed into. Especially by some stranger on the internet.
Don’t be that person. Be Better.