The first rule of the Internet, if you put it online expect that someone will say something rude about it. Gone are the days when everyone was taught, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all.” I still try to live by that rule. I know numerous people who post “selfies” that I never comment on or even hit “like” for that very reason. The only person who hears my displeasure is my Hubby over dinner as an anecdote, “why in the hell did she think she looked good in that,” or at least something along those lines. I’ll show him the picture, we’ll have a laugh and life goes on. No one was hurt, the picture taker never knows she was mad fun of and everyone’s self-esteem remains intact or at least not lowered by me. I long for the good ole days when people had manners or at least gave the imitation of them. Welcome to the 21stCentury.
I mostly stay out of whatever the “current” online argument is, I consider myself to be Internet Switzerland. I really don’t care about who is fat shaming, slut shaming, skinny shaming, kid shaming, parent shaming, formula shaming, vaccine shaming, husband shaming and/or baby shaming today. I have my own problems and pretty much leave the world to their own. I’ve realized over the years that opinions are like elbows, everyone has one and you’re never going to change someone’s mind, so why bother. Who cares what Dorothy in Duluth thinks about you? Other than words on a page, that woman didn’t exist in your world a minute ago and will fade into the Internet abyss if you let her. Here’s the thing, we don’t let them. We internalize that Maria Kang must be talking about me when she posts a picture of herself and her three kids with the tagline, “what’s your excuse?”
Well, here’s a question if there ever was one, what is your excuse? When you get up in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I hate the way my body looks, I need to change”. Why don’t you? The only thing holding you back is YOU. Yeah, I said it. It’s YOU. I don’t have rock hard abs. In fact, I still have a muffin top and a huge anchor scar across my abdomen that reminds me every day – “I’m lucky to be alive, trivial things don’t matter”. The thing is, I don’t want to be Maria Kang. It takes too much work. I’m fine with the body I have. It gets me up every morning, it enables me to play with my kids and is relatively healthy. I would rather be at home watching TV than working out. So, then why did so many people feel the need to bash Maria Kang and others like her that look awesome after they have kids? Who says, you have to look awesome after you have kids anyway?
You know why people bash others? It’s easier to throw a stone then to look in the mirror and say, “I AM HOLDING MYSELF BACK.” We (myself included) are our own worst enemies.
Here’s another question, why do we bash other parents for their child rearing decisions? We don’t live in their houses. We don’t have to deal with their kids. As long as they don’t raise another serial killer, I’m ok with whatever their plan of action is. If they don’t want to vaccinate, if they do. If they want to use formula or if they don’t. Really??? Why is there even shaming over non formula/formula use. The child is getting fed either way. We should be shaming our government over the all children in America that go to bed hungry every night, instead of worrying about if Sandy in Texas cares about whether or not I breastfed.
So before the Internet takes this post and twists it into an, “I’m shaming everyone” incident, I’m not. The point I’m trying to make is that shaming is a dumb and pointless exercise. As adults, we need to be confident in our decisions and live with them. That’s what being an adult means. Whatever path you choose, walk it with the confidence that comes with knowing you made the right decision for you and your family. You can only be shamed if you feel there is something to shame. Otherwise, it’s just empty words on a page.