Stopping the Madness

I’m not really political.  I have a lot of political friends, and I absolutely respect their opinions.  I had a late breakfast with a wonderful friend about a month ago and we discussed this.  They are political, very political, and I was telling them how much I can admire that, but for me, I don’t feel that I can have a lot to offer to that table.  My opinion on the matter is that I can’t change the world, but what I can do is offer myself and my offspring to the world.  My hope is that I can be a productive member of society and through my random acts of kindness brighten up someone’s day.  I am shooting for a moment.  That moment when a stranger pulls up to a Dunkin Donuts window, or the McDonalds window and they are just handed their items and told to have a nice day.  To know some random person just gave them a meal, or their morning coffee, for no other reason then just to be nice.  I am not always nice, in fact, most people who know me will tell you I am not so nice all the time, but I am human.

As for my offspring, I try to teach them the same lessons.  I can’t change the world, but I can raise them to know the difference between right and wrong.  They will learn, as my daughter has this year, about what hatred can bring when left unchecked.  

This comes about because I am bothered.  I am bothered by the CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch, who stated that their clothes, their brand, isn’t meant for the not cool kids.  The overweight, the nerds, they aren’t meant to be in their stores.

You, Sir, are a bully.

I don’t understand how an adult, someone with a very high education, can make such a statement, pretty much stating that it’s okay to single people out for how they look, and that they should be rewarded by being able to wear their clothing.  Why someone so focused on their brand would make such a statement.  

You, Sir, have caused a backlash.

People are rising.  The people who you have singled out are buying your clothing and donating them to homeless people.  To be honest, I think they are too good and should not lower themselves to wear your clothing, and I understand the irony that someone is buying your clothing to donate, thus lining your pockets.  I commend them though for taking action and at least putting them on people I know you wouldn’t deem awesome enough to wear them.

Bullying is an issue.  It’s a serious issue that happens all too often.  I remember when my son was in elementary school telling him it would get better.  I remember holding him when he cried, telling him this is just a blip in his life.  As a mother, it is the hardest thing, to send your child to school everyday knowing his day will be miserable.  He liked different things than the other kids.  He liked dragons, and RPG video games.  He was branded not cool.  He watched as the friends he had one day turned against him, hoping to use him as a jumping board to join the elusive cool kids club.  He entered middle school, and I am happy to say that it did get better for him.  He found kids that he could relate too, however, I am scared that he has changed who he is.

I remember the day Girl 1 came home and collapsed in my arms, sobbing.  This strong girl, this girl with quirky interests, and seemed to carry so much confidence, was a ball of tears.  Walking home she would be taunted every day.  One day she was physically touched, a personal item of hers broken, and she was done.  It broke my heart, that I couldn’t do anything but call a school and rage.  They took it seriously, but what can they do once the children leave the property.  I told her the same thing, just a blip.  She goes every day, still quirky, still herself.  I am proud of her.

As for me, I have written about my struggles, my never ending battle with eating disorders.  It is always there, and I don’t think will ever go away.  I have come to terms with people seem to see you differently than you see yourself.  I have seen extreme examples of this over the last couple of weeks, and hell, if you ask my girl K she will tell you I am some Siren, waiting to bestow my beauty and songs on unsuspecting men.  I don’t see that though.  I see a scared girl who doesn’t know if she will ever be pretty enough.  I have spent years getting better, but oh she is there, always there, right behind the mirror waiting for the perfect moment to taunt me again.  I do what I can to tell her to stfu.

So, Abercrombie & Fitch CEO, you can say what you want.  I don’t want to wear your clothes, and I never did.  My children won’t wear your clothing because my children are too good for them.  I hope the others realize this as well.  Bullying on any level is just wrong.  People have differences, and honestly, it is those differences that make us wonderful and beautiful.  I will keep doing my random acts of kindness and hoping that helps to put a little of good back in this world.  I happen to think this world is beautiful and people never cease showing their beauty.  Shine on, crazy, wonderful, world.  Let’s show those who want to point out differences as flaws, as those who shouldn’t belong, that there is far more to offer the world than just what they perceive.  Come dance with me, come sing with me, and let’s go play in the rain together.  Let us all bring a bit of happiness to the places we inhabit.  

The world deserves us.   



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2 responses to “Stopping the Madness

  1. Bullying is horrible. I remember getting a rather overzealous amount of it myself and I realize how horribly those experiences continue to shape my life. I remember coming home to my mom and having similar experiences to what your kids have gone through. Everything from being sat on out on the playground to being outright beaten up for no better reason than that I was a skinny redhead and they could. The way this company reinforces such behavior is unconscionable. The fact that it was almost 7 years before any response was organized with regards to the comments that the CEO made is ridiculous.

    This isn’t really politics. There really isn’t a law that can be put in place to stop bullying. This is a social issue that needs to be dealt with at the local level by families and communities that want change. All a law will do is criminalize a child who probably only bullies because of the horrors in his/her own life, rather than fixing the problems at their roots. What you’re doing is the perfect response. Talk to your kids, encourage them, remind them constantly that they’re worthwhile, and teach them right from wrong. That’s what makes a difference. Not a suit in Washington or a judge in a courtroom.

    It would be interesting to see what a bag of poop lit on fire and left on the CEO’s doorstep after a ding-dong-dash would do for the cause though…

  2. I would give you a giant hug if I could. I totally understand, and have seen what my kids have gone through, and to be honest, I know it is a fraction of what others go through daily. The world is a cruel place sometimes, and I just will never understand why people would want to push that agenda than one of acceptance. Maybe it boils down to it’s easier to exclude than accept, hate than to love.

    Sadly, again, you hit the nail on the head. There is nothing that anyone can do and it is something that needs to be taught at home. I won’t stop and I have faith in all the others that teach love and acceptance as well.

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