Dear Cool Mom,
You probably don’t remember me, but I remember you. How long has it been? Three years? Four? Doesn’t really matter, because I doubt you’ll read this letter.
While you were being the fun mom hanging with the preteens in the skate park, I was sitting on the bench outside eating McDonalds. The fat mom eating McDonalds. You thought it would be funny to mock me and to tell your children I didn’t really need those fries. My kids heard you. It made them angry and hurt their feelings, and probably embarrassed them too. I wonder if it embarrassed your kids. I wonder if you were embarrassed when you realized my kids heard you.
This isn’t going to be one of those letters where I justify my weight, because I don’t owe you an explanation for how I look or what I choose to eat. I won’t tell you I have a medical condition, or that the McDonalds I was eating was a special, rare treat I was enjoying with my kids. Neither of those things are true, but they could have been. Would that have made a difference to you? Probably not. I doubt you gave it much thought before you decided to be the “cool mom” and mock a stranger to give your kids a good laugh.
This won’t be one of those letters where I talk about how your rude comments changed my life. How I lost fifty pounds in response to your ridicule. Or how you inspired me to change my eating habits to mold my fat body into something more visually acceptable to strangers I might encounter at the skate park. Nope. I’m still fat.
So, if your comment didn’t change my life, why write this letter? To be honest, I haven’t thought about you in a long, long time. Not until I read an article about a bunch of hateful, pathetic people who tormented a stranger on social media. A teenager who did nothing to them. All she did was post a picture of herself in her prom dress. A beautiful picture of a beautiful girl. It’s heartbreaking that these pathetic people stole what should have been a young woman’s golden memory and turned it into a nightmare. The internet has rallied around the young woman, offering words of encouragement and support. But that young lady will never, ever be able to remember her prom without feeling the string of those vicious comments.
The comments you made, Cool Mom, barely made a dent in my day. Your comments, though harmless to me, could have caused deep harm to someone else. And your behavior set a horrible example for your children. You taught your kids that it’s fun to laugh at the expense of someone else. That it’s fun to mock someone based on their appearance. And, by directing your attention from your children to a perfect stranger, you taught them that appearance is more important than anything.
There are enough cruel, nasty people in the world. Plenty of people who are eager to fling social media insults at a person they’ve deemed is deserving of ridicule simply because they don’t fit a particular mold. People who take pleasure in abusing a beautiful teenager in a stunning prom dress. I hope your children won’t be one of those people. It’s up to you to show them a better way to be.
Just Another Mom
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