I doubt anyone reading this blog has gone through life without experiencing the feeling of being different, perhaps even being excluded or bullied or abused for your differences. I think that may be one reason so many of us resonate to the “It Gets Better” project, started by columnist Dan Savage to try to stem a wave of suicides among young people who were (or were thought by their peers to be) gay.
Likewise, you don’t have to have ever carried an extra pound on your body to understand why Maura Kelly was wrong when she wrote in Marie Claire about how much she hates watching fat people walk or kiss. But you have to be a pretty awesome person to realize that Kelly’s hatred comes from a place of fear and self-hatred, as the awesome Plumcake of Manolo for the Big Girl does in this excellent post. Sample quote:
Other people don’t need to be bad to make you feel good. Other people don’t need to be ugly for you to be beautiful. It’s not a zero-sum game. Never has been.
And I’ll warn you that this video made me cry like a baby, and you should totally watch it anyway, and share it with everyone you know who is, or has been, hurt by others for being different.
If you’re reading this and other people are making your life miserable because of your religion or your race or your sexuality or your disability, please know that this is not forever, that you can live to prove everyone wrong about you, just by pursuing happiness on your terms. But the key word is “live.”