My self-esteem took a massive hit this week. I’m no stranger to internet trolls and negativity, and I can generally ignore the occasional nasty remark that I get on one of my YouTube videos or posts. Overall, I don’t get many negative comments, and I’m pretty thankful for that. I know stuff like that comes with the territory when you’re “public” about your life, and despite being incredibly sensitive, I can usually shrug it off. Except this week.
As you probably already know from an earlier post, I was on ABC’s “The Revolution” with Tim Gunn. It was a pretty amazing experience, and I was super-excited to see how it all came together when it aired this past Monday. What I wasn’t prepared for was the “oh.my.GOD” moment of seeing my extra weight and roly-poly midsection plastered across the screen for all the world to see. I mean, I knew they were going to show that, but I just didn’t realize exactly what I looked like. It wasn’t pretty.
I watched the show with my mom and she immediately told me that I looked much bigger on TV than I do in person. That made me feel slightly better because my mother does NOT sugar coat things, and wouldn’t have said it if she didn’t mean it. But still, the camera is only adding so much, you know? I watched it over and over again – becoming more and more disgusted with myself. Why the HELL did I agree to do that?! And more importantly, how could I NOT know how crappy it would be to see myself like that on TV?
After a day or two of beating myself up, I checked the comments section on the video page – which was an even bigger mistake. This is what I saw:
johnjr3339: She is so fake. In my world she is still considered obese. If I were her I would not brag about losing 150 pounds when you still look like a cow get a clue. Someone else would have been more deserving them her to have used come on people wake up. I Google her first name and now we see she is a stripper why pick a fat stripper. I hope you gave that cow a crap load of the shapewear she needs it did you have anything for her face maybe
Rationally, I know this is something that I should just ignore and normally, I’d actually feel sorry for someone that is wallowing in such a pit of negativity. Honestly, who DOES this? Who takes time out of their day to insult someone – in such a cruel and hurtful way? As my friend Linda succinctly pointed out: “Happy people are not cruel: end of story.” (She also said, “ That is the type of person that should never wear seatbelts or helmets or anything – keep Darwin’s theory workin’!” – which cracked me up.)
Oddly enough, the fat comments didn’t really bother me. I’ve had a lifetime of dealing with those types of remarks that I’m practically immune to it. Plus, I was already beating myself up about that enough on my own. It was the “she’s so fake” comment that really got me . It’s affected me all week, and I’ve just retreated and kept to myself for the past few days – trying to pull myself out of the funk that this put me in. Is that how people really see me? I think I’m pretty genuine for the most part, and I try to be “real” while keeping a sense of personal privacy. Hell, an attack on my character is far more damaging than fat comments. And the fact that the comments are from some asshat that doesn’t matter – yet I let the comments matter – that just makes things worse. ”No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Damn you, Eleanor Roosevelt!
And for the record: I am not a stripper. I would have far more cash on hand if I were. Yes, I run a burlesque group – but the group exists exactly for this reason. Every woman is beautiful, unique, sexy, and talented – no matter what their shape, size, background, etc. And our audiences celebrate that. In fact, it’s the compliment that I most hear about our group. Every woman is welcome in our group and we have an open-door policy. It’s one of the things that I am most proud of in my life, because the women in this group express to me how much it’s done for their confidence and self-esteem, and I love that. And I truly DO see the beauty in each and every one of them.
I’m not writing this in some lame attempt to get compliments or confirmation: I just needed to get it all out, and to be a little more “real.” (For those of you who commented so nicely – and humorously – on Facebook: thank you. I really do appreciate the support.) Honestly, I just realized that maybe in my quest to protect my privacy, maybe I have become “fake,” in a way. I’m a person – an extremely sensitive one at that – and this stuff hurts. A lot. My general rule of thumb is to take the high road – don’t respond and don’t engage. Maybe that’s part of the problem. Maybe that just makes me an easier target when I don’t fight back. I don’t know. I’m still trying to sort it all out.