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I’d prefer sticks and stones to your words

Posted on: July 22, 2011

Proof that decency isn’t common anymore:  I had a lovely day today with a friend.  As we were walking out of a restaurant, a group of men on the patio started oogling us and one of them looked at me and said, “Hey ladies, come join us!  I’ll f**k the fat one!”

His stinging words hung in the air as I kept walking towards the streetlight stunned and mortified.  My friend walked back and told them off before rushing to my side, hoping I hadn’t heard them.   We crossed the street and got about a half a block before I caught my reflection in a restaurant window.  The damage was done and I stopped abruptly on the sidewalk.  Hot tears began to stream down my cheeks. Why would anyone say something like that?  I couldn’t make sense of it.  Burying my face in my hands, I broke down.

The world around me was frozen, and as I cried, my friend hugged me and said, ”You’re beautiful.”  In a moment like that, when you should be saying thank you for your support all I could do was sob more. Suddenly it felt like all the air had been sucked out of the world and as I struggled to catch my breath, the nasty voice inside my head taunted me. He just said what everyone else was thinking.

As violent thoughts raged in my head, I pulled myself together and holding my friend’s hand, we walked to the car.  I wanted to go back, to do something, to say something, but we both knew that was pointless. The words pathetic, ugly, and stupid were swirling in my mind.   I couldn’t believe I’d walked away without standing up for myself.

Have we really become so base as a society, that the need to filter our words with decency and tact is not a common trait but something to be wished for in a select few? I talk to people all the time about how our world has become so cynical and judgmental that the term “moral compass” is an archaic term. When did it become ok to say everything that’s on your mind with no regard to how it will affect those around you?

And when did I become so submissive to an even crueler voice in the world? My own. Self-deprecation is my defense mechanism of choice.  I usually take the position that I’d rather point out my faults before you do and I think it drives my closest friends crazy.  I cut myself down all the time, often in front of others. So why should I be upset that this man voiced words I assume people around me are thinking already?  Who gave me the right to be my own worst enemy?

“More than half (54%) of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic” *
SOURCE: Dove Research: The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited

My goal in writing this is twofold:  One, to get it out and move on with my life, and two, to remind me to be kinder to myself.

It would be trite of me to say just a few hours later, “Isn’t this a great lesson?  I’ve learned to love myself through this experience!”  There is no excuse for what happened other than some people are hateful and cruel.  But it did open my eyes to the realization that I need to be more vigilant in the area of taking care of myself.  Had I been more self-confident, I might have walked away with a bit more dignity and my head held high.

“Change the voices in your head.  Make them like you instead”  P!nk, Perfect

7 Responses to "I’d prefer sticks and stones to your words"

You ARE beautiful!

This blog post is written so eloquently. Your talents are expressed in so many methods and mediums. Everything I have seen you do from your costumes to your cupcakes to your intensely accurate marketing skills are done with an expertise that is beyond your years. I have so much respect for you and am so glad to know. You inspire me professionally and personally. I am sure the decisions you make out of this experience will make you even more of a powerful force in this world. That void of a person has no idea who he went up against.

Ali, you continue to provide new reasons why I admire the person that you are; “sticks and stones” is but the latest. I’m fortunate to count amongst my friends, that one who is exactly like you.

It is precisely times like these that a firm belief in charma become the necessary crutch for you to kling to.

Not charma that will physically hurt this ignortant man, but rather something to show him that he needs to change his ways.
The glass half full fantasy is that perhaps he will be our next Buddha based on some event that allows him to see how ignortant and against his fellow humans he has become.

Your beauty is your confidence and courage to share this ignorance. I do not know you, but am convinced that you must be one of the most beautiful people on the planet.

Whenever I hear someone open up their mouth and confirm their stupidity like the “man” described in your post, I always think of the old adage, “consider the source.” Healthy, well-adjusted people don’t curse, insult, and demean others in public. (Hopefully they don’t do it in private either, but that’s their business.) Low self-esteem is only the start of this idiot’s problems. An inflated ego, a bullying attitude, and a poor view of women won’t get him far in life, either. I pity him and his base world–one that I wouldn’t want to live in. Fortunately, Alicia, you don’t live in it, you just unfortunately brushed by it in passing. All the wonderful, decent friends and family who surround you are amazed by your beauty and intelligence. Next time you’re feeling bruised in life, remember their opinions of you, and you will soar with confidence, buoyed up by love and admiration from all of us!

You are beautiful both in appearance and from within. We are our own best critic but we can also be our own best supporter. Concentrate on your talents and accomplishments and you won’t have time for the negative.

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