Instantly, mobs formed and torches were lit.
Over the past few days, more than 30 of my readers sent me the link to her article, most screaming anger and disgust at what had been written. I finally had no choice but to go see what the hullabaloo was about. I read the article and shook my head. It was wrong. There was no doubt about it. Things were said that should never be said, let alone published.
Then, I started to read some of the comments left by readers. I’ve never seen such levels of viciousness and ugliness. I’ve never seen such horrible attempts to destroy a person. And I thought I’d seen it all here at Single Dad Laughing.
I went back to her essay and forced myself to read it again through kinder eyes. I forced myself to try and understand why she would say the things she said. When I did that, I saw a beautiful, but hurting woman. You see, I believe what I have said on this blog. People who love themselves don’t hurt other people.
People who love themselves have no reason to hurt others. People who love themselves are not disgusted by others. People who love themselves have no need to compare any longer. They no longer see fat people or skinny people. They only see… people.
Shortly after the venomous responses began pouring in, she put a follow-up message on the post, which also caused controversy. You can read it if you like. While the follow-up was still a long ways away from fixing things, she said something that spoke volumes to those who could put their pitchforks down long enough to listen. She mentioned being brought to ponder on her lifelong struggle and obsession with staying thin, including a personal war with anorexia.
When we whittle that down, what she said is no more complicated than this. “I have always felt fat and hated myself for it”.
Damn. I won’t lie. I cried. She is what I was just months ago. She is what so many of us are and have been. She is a sad and hurt person running from something. Simply put, she is a person who looks at fatness and is terrified of having it define her, so she attacks it and makes fun of it. I have done that, you can read about it here. I have done that more times than I can count.
And oops, she did it, too. She made a mistake. She took that desperation to not be labeled by what she’s fought so hard not to be, and she said some words that I’m sure she’d give anything to take back now.
Yes, she said some words that shouldn’t have been said. But, can we drop that issue for a moment? Can we take a few seconds and look at what was beneath those hurtful words?