Tag Archives: judgement

Mirror, Mirror

Crooked Tooth.

Double Chin.

Messy Hair.

Freckles.

Huge Feet.

Too Fat.

These are the things that I see when I look in the mirror. These are the things that the world sees when they look at me. These are the things that I hate about myself, and sometimes they’re all that I see. But these things are not Me. Or are they?

My crooked tooth has been there my entire life. It is the one tooth that messes up my perfectly straight teeth. It has driven me crazy. FOREVER. But maybe it’s what gives me my super amazing singing voice, and helps me to bellow like an angel. Totally grasping here, obviously.

My Double Chin. Well, that seems to come and go. But it’s most definitely been there more often than it hasn’t. And now as I’m seeing less and less of it every day, it’s freaking me out a bit. That extra chin has always been a part of me and now it’s leaving. Who knew that a big chunk of skin would be a security blanket of sorts? I am so weird.

My messy hair. If you know me at all, you know that I’m not exactly a “doer of the hair”. More often than not I leave the house without even brushing my hair. I have NEVER curled my hair, and my only requirements when I go for my yearly haircut is that I don’t have to do anything with it when they’re done. My hair does exactly what it wants … sometimes good, sometimes bad. A beauty queen, I am not but I don’t spend more than $80/year on my “upkeep”, which helps me afford a housekeeper. I call that a win.

Freckles. Or age spots. Or dots. Or whatever the heck they are, I am covered in them. Face, arms, legs, feet, etc. What is that about? When I was a teen, I had the perfect Cindy Crawford beauty mark, but then it moved near my ear, and 10,000 of it’s friends showed up. I’m now a speckly dot-to-dot, which I’m hoping will keep my mind active as I age. I’ll be my own “activity” at the seniors home.

Huge Feet. I can’t remember my feet ever being smaller than a size 9. Never. Now they’re a size 11/12. I have skis at the ends of my legs but they’ve served me well. I’ve managed to pretty much stand upright without any issues my whole life. My big honking feet have been what’s supported this big girl all these years.

Too Fat. Well, I cannot even come up with a good excuse for that one. I ate too much of the wrong things and now I’m fat. Period. But all of that “extra” has protected me when I fell, it’s kept me alive when we were broke, it keeps me warm year round, so we can keep the heat turned down low. It is my superpower suit, fluffy and fabulous but super nonetheless.

All of the imperfect things that stare at me everyday in the mirror are actually the things that make me the person that I am. I wouldn’t be the person that I am today without these flaws, and for that I’m thankful. My flaws have made me stronger, more loving, more kind, and more understanding. They’ve helped me see the world through the eyes of someone who lives under constant judgement and ridicule.

As I sit and ponder my life, I now recognize that the things I’ve never really liked about myself are the very things that set me free. I’m fat, but I’m beautiful. I’ve got crooked teeth but a great smile. I’ve got whacked out hair, but it’s super thick and easy to leave alone. My feet are huge but they’re cute. My freckles make my face interesting, and not like anyone else. My double chin … well, I’m not sure that there’s anything good about that.

Point is, instead of focusing on what makes me unhappy about myself, I’m focusing on how those things make me amazing.

What do you see in the mirror? Look past that first glance, and look deeper. Imagine that you’re looking into the eyes of your child … what do you see there? Do you see any imperfections or do you see them through the eyes of love? We have no problem doing that for the people that we care about, it’s time we start doing it for ourselves.

I am the example for my children. They need to see a Mom that loves herself, and isn’t controlled by her imperfections. They love me no matter how good or how bad I look. They think I’m hilarious and fun to be with. They think I’m perfect exactly how I am. Today, I’m choosing to believe them.

I am not just a reflection in the mirror and neither are you. Our story cannot be seen in one glance, or described by a single sentence. So instead of trusting a mirror, trust the voice in your heart.

That my friends, is all that matters.

Putting down the Pitchforks

I’d like to be able to tell you all that I’ve never left my children alone in a vehicle, but that would be a lie. I’d like to be able to tell you that I haven’t forgotten one of them somewhere or forgot to pick them up, but that would also be a lie. I’d also like to be able to tell you that I’ve always made nothing but right decisions and solid choices when it comes to my children, but that would be the biggest lie of all.

I’ve screwed up royally, and thanks to the good Lord above, all of my mistakes have never had dire consequences. My children survived all of my mess-ups and they’re absolutely amazing. They grew up in spite of me and my mistakes and I am ever SO thankful.

As we watch the news both locally and nationally, we are hearing stories of parents that made a bad decision and it cost their children their lives. When I hear these stories, my heart breaks. Not only for the loss of a child but for the pain that those parents will carry for the rest of their days. They will be judged, mocked, shamed and ridiculed while they mourn the loss of a piece of themselves. They will relive that moment over and over and over and will never escape it. I do not wish that torture on anyone. Ever.

Yes, these situations are preventable and yes, they should have never happened. But they did and there’s no going back. Harsh words spoken in judgement will not fix anything, they will just cause more pain and possibly more circumstances that are best avoided.

I’m in no way justifying what happened and saying that it’s okay, not at all. What I am saying is that we shouldn’t be so quick to judge someone and their wrong-doings. Accidents happen ALL the time, and more often than not, they’re preventable. But they are still accidents.

In these particular situations with children being left in hot vehicles, I think we need to hear all of the story before we go crazy and attack. Were they left in the vehicle because Mom & Dad were in the bar or casino and were using the car as a babysitter? By all means, get mad. That’s a deliberate choice, that is not an accident. Were they caught up in life, or with other kids, or assumed that someone else had the baby? Well, that is different. Completely preventable but an accident nonetheless.

As we move forward from here, I hope that these situations force us to look at ourselves and the daily decisions that we make. Stop judging their mistakes and focus on not making the same ones ourselves.

How many of you have put your child into their car seat and got partially down your driveway when you remembered that you left something in the house. Did you unbuckle your kid or did you justify leaving them because you were only going to be a second. Have you driven to the store to pick up some milk, and once you arrived found your little one sound asleep. Did you wake them or did you run in without them because you could still see your car? Have you ever gone to the Park to “watch” your children play and end up watching nothing but your cellphone? Have you ever been out for a long day of errands with your kids and their screaming and fighting nonsense, only to have them fall asleep half a block from your house. Do you wake them up and possibly disturb your peace and quiet, or do you just leave them there to sleep for a bit? Lets all be honest here … NONE of this stuff should happen, but it does all the time.

Do these things make us bad parents or are they just mistakes? Be thankful that no one stole your car with the baby in the back seat, or that they weren’t grabbed by a stranger in the park. Thankfully, you didn’t slip and fall and bang your head when you ran into the house to grab the forgotten item. What would have happened if you accidentally started your car with command start and your baby was napping in the vehicle in the garage?

Our kids have all been saved by grace more times than we can even count. Never forget that. Thank heaven for keeping our babies safe and secure when we don’t hold up our end of things.

Those children should have never been left in hot vehicles, that is undeniable. They were bad choices and mistakes of the biggest kind but I challenge all of you to put down your pitchforks, thank your lucky stars and be an encouragement to your community. That could’ve been you or me.

Fat equals Unpopular?

Not a big secret … I’m fat. I’ve been called names, I’ve been ridiculed and I’ve been flat-out ignored. I’ve been the brunt of many a joke and have heard more snickers than I can even count. I’ve written many blog posts about it and even wrote a letter after an extra annoying day.

Funny thing is, I’ve never thought of myself as unpopular. Or ugly. And I MOST certainly didn’t believe that a certain brand of clothing made me look more beautiful or would help me fit in with all the cool kids. But apparently, Abercrombie & Fitch thinks their clothes are TOO GOOD for me and my big butt. Hhhmmm….interesting and pathetic.

Read The Story here.

When I read that story, I actually laughed out loud as it was one of the saddest displays of ignorance and stupidity that I’ve ever seen. Frankly, those statements were written by a bully with a serious self-esteem issue that needs his ego stroked by all the so-called “beautiful people”. It really, truly is sad.

So, Mr. A&F, don’t worry, I won’t be shopping in your store as I recognize that your clothes don’t fit me. And in all honesty, I really don’t care. Make whatever clothes you want to make in whatever sizes you want. That’s your prerogative. Even though you’re missing out on a large, no pun intended, group of consumers. You know, the ones that aren’t 16-22 and actually have good jobs and disposable income. The ones that are driving your target audience to the mall and providing them with the funds to buy their wardrobes. The same ones that now know that you hate them, but whatever. That’s your choice.

What I do have a problem with is your implication that only the “thin and beautiful” are worthy of wearing what you sell. That fat means you’re unpopular and that “we” will never fit in with the cool kids. That YOUR picture of beauty is the same as everyone else in the world.  That YOU are better than ME based solely on the size tag of my clothing.

You are wrong, and you should be ashamed. Unfortunately, I don’t think you really even care that you’re being a jerk and that you’ll continue to stand by your words and your vision for your company. Yeah you.

But thankfully, now that I know you don’t want the money of me or “my people”, you won’t get it. Not from me and not from my children. And to celebrate my decision to not give you my money, I’m going to spend some time in your stores. Me and my fatness are going to come in and hang out for awhile. I think I’ll try some stuff on and put on an a fashion show.  The clothes may not really “fit” but they’ll be on and I’m thrilled to know that your “core customers” will enjoy seeing me, in all my hotness wearing “your clothes”. It’s going to be awesome.

You may look at me and not like what you see but just so you know, my mirror thinks I’m pretty freaking amazing. You sir are a fool.

The Fat Girl Responds

When I wrote my letter, I SO wasn’t expecting the response that it received. For 3 days straight, it was everywhere I looked. Facebook, Twitter and even Pinterest. It was shared so many times that I lost count. It became so much more than it was ever intended to be, as my words had become the voice of many. Truth be told, I had just written it because I was mad. I wasn’t hurt and I wasn’t sad, I was just a “fat girl” who was done.

I received more responses and private messages that I ever even dreamed possible and I thank-you for all of them. Many of them were sent with love and encouragement, and some challenged me and I first want to respond to those ones.

Number One. I’m Fat, and I totally own that. By calling myself that name, I’m in no way demeaning myself, I’m calling it like it is. I’m also a brunette with size 11 feet. Those are facts. “Fat” is just a word. Calling someone fat and lazy, or unloveable because they’re fat, or walking by while making cow noises is a whole different ballgame. There is a HUGE difference.

Number Two. Yes, I’m on a diet and trying to lose weight. Well, I’m actually not even on a diet, I’m on a journey that involves me taking better care of myself. If I lose weight, awesome. If I don’t, I’m in an amazing place and I’m happy. Me trying to lose weight, in no way, means that I hate myself or am unsatisfied in my life. My letter and my personal journey in no way contradict each other.

Number Three. Yes, name calling hurts. BUT I have MADE THE CHOICE to not let it hurt me. I’m choosing to believe that my outward appearance isn’t who I am. You can also make the same choices that I have. If we give people the power to tear us down, they will. Keep that power for yourself and kick the haters to the curb. Period.

Many of the other comments absolutely broke my heart, as the majority of the people that sent them weren’t ‘feeling” the same confidence and peace that I do. They’re feeling defeat and like they’re “less than” because someone told them so. Strangers and even “friends” are constantly beating each other down with their words. It’s so stinking sad.

I also received messages or saw comments saying “she landed a hot husband”, and “she scored with him”, or other things along that same line. Problem is, that judgement of how great my husband is was based on nothing more than his appearance. He is a wonderful man, and indeed I’m blessed to have him in my life, but you can’t tell that by looking at him. People were doing the exact thing that I was standing up against. I totally recognize that it wasn’t done maliciously and that people were saying it as a compliment to me, but it was still an appearance based judgement none-the-less.

Calling someone fat is one of the few “socially acceptable” slurs still floating around. Think about it. How often do you hear fat jokes and laugh? How often are you out with friends and an overweight person walks by and someone makes an ignorant comment? How often do you, yourself say “look how fat she is”? We’ve all done it at one point or another and it needs to stop.

Reality is, this isn’t just about fat people, it’s about people in general. We REALLY need to stop judging each other based on physical features alone. Why does it matter what people look like? And why does that determine whether or not we should tease or make fun them? Why can’t you see a person, and just think of them as a person, and nothing more? Why do I need to be “Fat April” as opposed to just April? If you spend time getting to know me and THEN decide that you don’t like me, thank-you. That’s exactly how it should be.

In all honesty, watching people around us quite often inspires us to become better ourselves. Seeing someone that’s overweight and thinking that I don’t want to be that, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Seeing a homeless person living on the streets and not wanting that life, may drive home why we want to work harder to avoid that. Seeing someone with tattoos all across their face or a million piercings may just verify why we choose to do or not do that. Noticing people and how they present themselves in itself isn’t a bad thing. Calling them out on it because it doesn’t align with your idea of perfect, IS.

I think it’s totally unreasonable to expect people to stop making judgements and to start only seeing people for what they are and not what they look like. In a perfect world, that would happen, but we’re not in that place. We are a society that is totally “looks” based and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I’d love for us all to make a personal effort to try to not pre-judge people and hopefully, one day we’ll see a huge difference in our world. But in the meantime, I challenge you all to just be kinder to your fellow-man.

Make your judgements, but shut your yap. If you don’t find someone attractive, okay, don’t date them. If overweight people just aren’t your “thing”, that’s fine, choose differently. If you think super skinny people aren’t good looking, that’s your prerogative. If you don’t want to cover your body in tattoos, more power to you. This world is a huge place, we are always going to find someone who we’re attracted to or we have something in common with. If we stopped pre-judging, we might just make some awesome new friends. People that might really affect our lives, challenge our thinking or bring us unspeakable joy.

So the next time you see someone who doesn’t fit your picture of what the “ideal” person should look like, just smile and go on your way. I’m not asking you to stop and ask them out for coffee, I’m asking you to treat them like human beings. We all don’t need to like each other or become friends, but we don’t need to be hurtful. Be respectful. Be gracious. And for pete’s sake, really truly treat people how you want to be treated.

Frankly, our relationships shouldn’t all be based on whether or not we would think that person would look good naked or whether or not you’d “tap that”. If you’re not attracted to me, I’m totally okay with that. But don’t for one second think that because you “think” you look better than me that I’m thinking you’re “God’s gift”. I’ll be waiting for you to open your mouth and actually speak to me. Your words will help me determine your value, and if you choose to call me a Fat Cow, feel free to consider yourself “judged”.

faults