Bad Blood

My teenage daughter is exactly like me.

Seriously.

She looks just like me, has my mannerisms, speech patterns, & even stands with her toe pointed like I do. She’s also really nice & it gets her into trouble.

She ran afoul of two teen girls who were torturing her friend, to the point where we had to call her parents because she had written a suicide note. My daughter went to teachers, parents, and even took these girls to task on her own. We may be nice, but we take no shit. Attack someone we care about & we go full Pitbull. These girls were already outraged because the object of their affection (whom is a pint sized predator) is smitten with my child. So, the cyber bullying began. We’d block them on her social media, they’d open a new account & begin again. We tightened the settings, they’d use a friend’s. I brought screencaps to school & told the parents. One mom took action, the other accused my child & I of being jealous of them. Uh. Okay.

Anywho, my daughter’s tale is just one of a million stories of bullying. They’re on the news all of the time. You see all of the adults commenting that it’s such a shame, those poor babies, where do they learn this…only to click to the next article to read them mocking a celebrity, calling her fat, ugly. The most disgusting thing I have ever seen was the comments on a beautiful article about Dan Diaz, the widower of late assisted suicide/death with dignity activist Brittany Maynard. This man lost his wife & we’re mocking him, claiming he hoped she’d take her own life so he could have a healthy wife, that he’s milking it (his wife has been dead for four days), etc. We’ve become a society so deplorable that we are mocking a man who will bury his beloved wife.

So, where do these little pukes learn this disgusting behaviour?

FROM YOU.

Yes, you. They learn it from you. Every time you take a shot on Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift, or any other celebrity (this includes the time I called John Mayer the president of Doucheland), you are teaching your kids to bully & devalue human life. When you justify it by saying its a comment board & you don’t have to be nice, you are teaching children to defend bullying because the victim wore the wrong clothes or whatever. When you mock a woman’s appearance or cat call a woman, you’re teaching your child to objectify women. When you mock a man who’s mourning his wife, you’re teaching your child to devalue love, a marriage & that this man’s suffering means nothing. When Robin Williams passed in August, people tortured his daughter Zelda so relentlessly she had to leave social media. During a time when a human being needed the most love, we as a society ripped her heart out. Then we wonder why the next generation is a bunch of evil little shits. Because they learn it from you.

For years, I’ve been accused of being too nice. I’m always explaining myself & that’s okay. But the truth is that there are billions of hateful people in this world. They’re mean, heartless & cruel. There are billions of selfish bigots in this world. I do not wish to be one of them. I take flack for wanting to be the woman I want my daughters to be, because apparently that’s odd. But I am raising three beautiful & brilliant women. I want them to be strong & brave but also radiate compassion & Grace. So, I must do the same. I refuse to become the person who can’t find one thing in the world that makes the day amazing, even if it’s just that I saw a bunny & it was cute. I like who I am & I want to be the girl who is nice & gives as much as I can to others. I like being that woman because I need to teach my daughters how to spread love. I won’t take people’s cruelty lying down, but I will not spread misery & I hope this teaches my daughters the desire to spread love. I know other moms who feel the same way & I hope we can raise a generation of kids who are loving & not cruel.

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So, next time you sit behind a user name & take a shot on a random stranger, think about how you’d feel if it was your kid & a classmate. Think about if it was a classmate saying that to your kid. Think about if Miley Cyrus was saying that to you. After all, you’re a stranger to her as she is to you. Say she walked up to you & mocked your hair & your dog & your clothes & said she hoped you died of a drug overdose. Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, that’s what you sound like when you hide behind your user name & blast them…& you’re teaching the next generation that it’s okay.

Can’t Go Back

After The Texan got me to go Vegan for exactly one day, I decided to adopt more vegan recipes into my diet to help the girls & I be healthier & open minded about other dietary options. Because of this, I bought Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans by vegan chef Natalie Slater (my kids love taco lasagna). I’d been following Slater for years on Twitter because she’s freaking hilarious. But her first column with Red Eye Chicago (found here) solidified a thought I’ve had for years; celebrity worship is getting out of hand.

From Global Looking Glass
From Global Looking Glass

Slater details how her longtime friend has no privacy & can’t do simple things like take out his garbage or go to Target without people snapping pics. My oldest commented on how much that must suck when her friends on IG were uploading photos of her idol AJ Lee attending a hockey game with former WWE superstar CM Punk. “Poor AJ. She doesn’t deserve that. She’s not wrestling right now,” she said before unfollowing the offending account. She doesn’t read dirt sheets, mainly because she feels that they are biased against AJ & the Divas, & only goes to one wrestling discussion group, one of the few communities that promotes women’s wrestling & respects the hard work these women put in to entertain her.

From wwe.com
From wwe.com

As a semi retired entertainment reporter, I understand celebrity worship. In fact, as I apply for jobs in media in my new city, I understand that my livelihood depends on you caring about celebrity culture. But there is a limit & that limit is that celebrities are not trained monkeys to amuse you every second of their lives.

My job is to promote celebrities (well, it’s currently to sell phones, but my designated career path is to promote celebrities). I actually take minimal issue with the paparazzi. I feel that you signed up for that life, you take the pros & cons. But there is a limit. If a celeb is enjoying an outing with their children or doing a mundane task, then back off (I mean, does anyone REALLY care that Elisabeth Hasselbeck pumps her own gas?) I’m sure you’ve noticed that my children, while mentioned, are never seen. I have posted their photos twice. I do not call them by their given names. Mom’s a blogger; they aren’t. They deserve privacy. They also deserve me as a role model, not Miley Cyrus.

by: Terry Richardson
by: Terry Richardson

Before I go further, I love Miley Cyrus. I think she’s awesome. I also don’t expect her to raise my kids for me. If my kids experiment with drugs or dress inappropriately, that’s on me, not Miley Cyrus. Her job is not to raise your kids. Her job is to release albums & go on tour. She’s doing that. Don’t like it? Don’t buy them. Don’t go. Posting venomous comments on message boards clinging to anonymity because she doesn’t want to act the way you as fans want her to is sad. Then we wonder why kids bully. They learn it from you.

Slater’s piece should have opened our eyes to our fan entitlement. If Slater’s friend wants to retire from professional wrestling, he’s allowed to do that. He doesn’t owe you anything more. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan didn’t need to ask your permission to get married on the date that he chose, causing him to miss a week of TV. Jennifer Lawrence shouldn’t have to apologize for her personality. I have probably purchased everything with AJ Lee’s face or logo on it, but she does not owe me her private time & I hope if I ever ran into her in public, I have taught my teen daughter enough respect to leave her hero alone while she shops at Target or approach her with manners & respect, as well as respect that Lee has the right to decline her request for an autograph if she chooses.

Think about how you would like it if you were enjoying a baseball game & strangers were photographing you to announce it like a Sasquatch sighting. Or you’re enjoying dinner & 20 strangers bombard you, asking you when you’re in next or why you made that choice at work. Because that’s what it is; their job. I know if a stranger bothered me on a date to ask me about either of my jobs while I was off the clock; I’d punch them (or want to).

Sadly, Slater’s piece didn’t help anyone “get it.” Just more fan entitlement. Those people didn’t get that this is exactly what she meant. Those people who blasted her & called her horrible names, she was talking about fans like YOU. Yes, people choose the entertainment industry, but that doesn’t make them zoo animals, forced to perform 24/7. It’s not about you; it’s about basic human respect.

So, next time you decide to send that hate tweet, or go on Disqus as “guest” to put a celeb on blast for not being a good role model to your bratty kids, or attempt to take a selfie with the celeb you spotted at Olive Garden, think about how you would feel if people sent you hate tweets for making a work decision or demanded photos while you were eating your angel hair pomodoro. Also, before you say “well, they chose & I didn’t,” yes, they chose & worked hard & sacrificed & succeeded to entertain schmucks like you, & I bet you’d trade places for a day if you could. And I bet if it meant shopping in peace, they would too.