Friday, February 10, 2012

Girls insulting girls. When we will learn?

This week I overheard some girls saying to each other (very matter-of-factly)
"Yes, I like that dress, but she should have let out the hem because she does not have skinny knees".

Instantly I felt like Cady in Mean Girls during this scene:

Karen: God. My hips are huge! 
Gretchen: Oh please. I hate my calves. 
Regina: At least you guys can wear halters. I've got man shoulders. 
Gretchen: My hairline is so weird. 
Regina: My pores are huge. 
Karen: My nail beds suck. 
Cady: [voiceover] I used to think there was just 'fat' and 'skinny'. But apparently there's lots of things that can be wrong on your body. 


Now call me loony, naive or just plain dumb, but I didn't even know 'skinny knees' or 'fat knees' were something you were even supposed to consider when getting dressed in the morning.
To me, you either have knees or you don't have knees and either way, they really needn't be bothered about. They're knees.

The comment left me feeling very sympathetic towards the girls making the comment (sad creatures) as well as, obviously, feeling sympathetic for the girl who,
Apparently, needed to do some knee crunches STAT...Unless she wanted to be known as Fat-Knee'd Nancy and talked about behind her back.

Now maybe I've never heard this insult because I have knobby 8 year old little boy's knees...So an insult for my knee's would go more like this: "Yeah, great dress but somebody PLEASE get a knife out and shave down some of that bone in her knee's or else put a longer skirt on her".

Or maybe it's just that, like Cady, I didn't go to public schools growing so I was a bit protected from hearing weird and obscure physical feature judgements like "she has fat knees", "her elbows are too pointy", "her butt is lopsided", "her face is on backwards".

Ok maybe that last one is an exaggeration, but to me, saying a girl needs to lengthen her hem because her knees aren't 'skinny' sounds just as ridiculous as "Her face is on backwards".

I grew up out of the public schooling system, yes, but it doesn't mean I'm wholly ignorant of insults.
I've been touring since my early teens so I've definitely seen and heard my own slew of judgements from the attention my family and I have garnered with our band Eisley and there's a very special set hoarded all for me as the wife of one of indie-punk's Darling's. I get crap thrown at me a lot, but
I also get emails and messages every week from young girls and women wanting to know any secrets or tips or magical cures for feeling insecure, dealing with bullies and just being made fun of, period...
I always have the same advice and that's just to remember that what they think is absolutely trivial.
It's ludicrous, ridiculous, meaningless, heartless and bodaciously bonkers.

When you let the total and absolute truth that it stems from the fact that people are broken and hurting so much so that they literally NEED to put others down to make themselves feel less-insecure about who they are then you will, in turn, begin to hurt for them and not over the fact that they said you're a
"smelly, dirty, tit-less b*tch" (oh yeah, that's a real quote).
I mean that crap's nuts!
So don't take it to heart, because you really shouldn't. Because it's empty, it's bollocks and it's lies
(Ok, maybe not the tit-less part, we can't all be a Kardashian right?).

Girls (guys too but I'm feeling girl specific here as I've seen a lot of girl-on-girl insulting lately)...
We seriously need to have grace and stop judging other girls, embrace the things that are unique in each other and see them as the things that make us all beautiful in our own way. I'm guilty of it too! But the truth is there is plenty of room for everyone to be exactly who they are and no one should have to fear being themselves or apologize for it. You want to wear purple from head to toe one day? Freaking go ahead! Um...is there the chance that you will be made fun of? Yep. You know what?...
They can deal with it.

They go home at the end of the day and they're the shallow-ass person who spewed their darkness into the world by making fun of someone who was being an individual (and were threatened by that)...
and you're the person who let your {insert your name here} light shine and in turn, is making the world that much more interesting for the rest of us. So thank you.

To the bullies...I hope that someone in your life encourages you to be yourself and tell you that it's
ok and cutting down others doesn't lift you up...it slams you down into emptiness.
Don't get caught up in it. Just don't.

This message is brought to you by Sherri-Rants-R-Us.
s.

29 comments:

  1. You're wonderful. I really, really respect you as a woman. I don't tend to look up to women, but you really are a role model to me. I was originally just a fan of Max's band, but I've really grown to admire you, and your family. You set the bar pretty high, Mrs. Bemis.

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  2. Sherri,

    This post could not have come at a better time for me personally. Thank you so much! Recently, I've been feeling pretty down in the dumps in regards to my self image (The whole "my teeth are so ugly", "My nose looks weird from the side", "Why do I have so many freakin' freckles?!"), and even though I realize that I am the one putting myself there I'm still angry at the society that cultivated apathy and disillusioned it's society into believing there is only ONE perfect way to be. I wish I could sit here now and say "You know what? Screw 'em! I'ma be me!" (I also wish I was cool enough to say "I'ma be" but that's an entirely different discussion). Anyway, I just felt compelled, in the same way that I'm sure you felt in making this post, to say that I truly agree with you and thank you for having the courage to be yourself even in a society that desperately tells you not to be.

    Keep on keepin' on :)

    "I wish I could show you, When you are lonely or in darkness, The astonishing light of your own being"

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  3. Well said, Sherri! I was shy to begin with growing up so when people cut me down it made it worse. I still tried to retain my individuality but it always felt like a struggle. And it shouldn't have to be. I remember getting made fun of because I wore red lipstick one time. And another time because my legs got purple and blotchy when I was cold. (They still do, but not quite as bad.) To make fun of someone for something like that, I realize now, is assanine!

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  4. Truth.
    You are a magical person, keep being awesome.
    <3
    Also idk much about your hubby's band but I am sorry about all the attacks you have gotten from crazy people. Music is about the sound and how it makes you feel not about what the singers do or who people are in relationships with. (but bands do tend to make happier songs or more to write about when they have someone)

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  5. Love you, Sherri!!! :)

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  6. this is why you are my hero. you have so much joy inside of you, it makes the rest of us want some too. be glad you missed out on all the bullshit of high school. what a rough time for most of us. i'm such a different person from who i was then, that sometimes i wish i could go back in time and smack the hell outta myself and say girl don't take things so seriously. oh and the girls who are constantly talking shit behind your back, but nice and fake to your face? well you won't ever see them again after graduation, so kindly (or not so kindly) stick up for yourself and tell them to suck it.

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  7. Sherri, This is great! My daughter is 17 and has some insecurities due to girls being so judgmental! peace,Heather

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  8. All right. I'm officially tracking down your mom on this internet thing and begging her to write a book on how she raised you guys...aaaaand I won't leave her alone until she gives in :)
    p.s. thank you

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  9. Wow. You are my role model! You have such kind words and understanding of others. You are such an inspiration to me! You are such an amazing example of confidence in yourself. Iv always been really hard on myself but that's starting to change. I don't know you but I can tell that you are an amazing person by what you let show to the world.
    Ps- I found it absolutely crazy someone could say anything bad about you!

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  10. And this is why you are my hero :D

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  11. "I'm sorry I called you a gap-tooted b****. It's not your fault you're so gap-toothed."

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  12. AMEN, amen, amen. This is why I admire you. Thank you for being amazing. <3 B

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  13. Amen, we girls need to lift each other up! Thanks for sharing this.
    -cindy ann

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  14. I needed to read this, seeing as how I'm in the process of changing my hideous hair color. It's hard to feel good about yourself when everything and everyone around you is telling you to change who you are. How to look, how to dress. It's rubbish. It's hard for me to pass by Victoria's Secret in the mall because I have these beautiful girls staring back at me, and seeing as how I'm a tad bit overweight, it's just a crusher on the ol' self-esteem.

    But then I look at you and your sisters and I see the most beautiful and influential women I could ever look up to. Better fashion sense than anyone I could see in the mall ever. Because what really makes me admire you are the beautiful women you portray through your music, the ones who lift my spirits up when I feel low. And knowing that one of my musical heroes can stand tall against bullies who stomp on your self-esteem makes me smile from ear to ear. So thank you for your music, your influential words and wisdom, and just for being you.

    Xoxo

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  15. "I love your dress, where did you get it?" ... "That's the ugliest F'n dress I've ever seen."

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  16. thank you for saying this! i totally and one hundred and ten percent agree with you! you're the best! keep on keepin on and being you :-)

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  17. I am a guy here and I can totally understand of what you spoke of.. totally hit my heart and I can somewhat relate to it.. I think I can summarize it to two words. "Be Yourself" but that just is too common now and loved how you beautifully explained it.. :)

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  18. Thanks for this post, Sherri. I read your blog a lot but don't comment; but today I decided that it was worth it to let you know that this really was an inspiration to me.
    I've been struggling a lot lately with accepting myself as I am, and not comparing myself to other women. It is so hard for me, personally, and to hear your words was quite helpful.
    Thanks & cheers.

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  19. wow, just got back on here to read you guys comments and thank you so much! you are all inspirational :)

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  20. You are so wonderful Sherri! Just what I needed to hear : )
    XO

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  21. That is all so true! Thanks so much for writing this, I can totally relate. I never went to school, but I was cyber-bullied for about 4 years. I got the usual insults, that I was fat, stupid, a walrus, etc and people always judged me for being different. It got so bad that I even tried to be "normal" for a while, but that didn't work haha. But anyway, thank you for being unique and inspirational. Can I share your blog post in an anti-bullying group on Facebook? I know that they would all love to read this. The group is Operation Bullyhorn. They're trying to prevent bullying and teen suicides and stuff like that. If you don't want me to share your blog post I won't, just let me know. :)

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  22. This was wonderful...I've listened to Eisley since I was in high school and during that time had been picked and teased on since I could remember - I only found relief in music and when I came across Eisley one day it made me feel for the first time that it was absolutely okay to be myself. Your family is a huge inspiration - both yours and Max's music is inspiring and uplifting, and now your blog is just something else out there for people who need support to have something to hold on to, thank you so much for giving us folks something beautiful to hear :)

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  23. "Don't ever fucking bully anyone and just so you know Karma has everybody's address and a mother fucking stamp!” - Lady Gaga

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  24. I'm a middle school teacher, and I see this EVERY DAY. It's awful. I'm guilty of being incredibly self-deprecating, and have realized that I need to stop. It's hard enough to love yourself, and it's even harder when you have others trying to tear you down. I constantly have to remind my students that middle school is not forever--and neither is the crappy feeling they're currently feeling. :(

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  25. Ugh, it's awful. My group of friends consists of four guys & myself, & I've got to say I've never had a better lot of friends in my 27 years! It's unfortunate how cruel girls can be.

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  26. Oh Sherri, this was awesome. I used to be a lot more sensitive to what people said and I was worried about how I would feel if people left me rude blog comments (it was bound to happen sometime!). Well, I started getting a few not so nice comments here and there and was pleasantly surprised that I wasn't bothered. I was absolutely not going to let faceless internet someones ruin my day. As I have gotten older I've realized that people who go out of their way to be rude to someone probably don't have a lot going for them or they just like to stir up trouble. I fully agree with your advice on dealing with the meanies! You are grrrrrreat!

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