An important conversation started in the “Applaud Your Bod” Facebook group and it surrounds the idea of anger, hate and love and how we respond to those who have hurt us. For those individuals who continue to hurt us and for those who don’t respond to love, is it still appropriate to stick the middle finger up and say F-off?
Right now, I want to express that I understand the anger. I have been very angry many times and I know that people can be hurtful. This is for the trolls online and the people who feel it’s appropriate to comment on food choices or body shape. This is for the folks yelling from a car or standing at the beach making nasty comments. It is NOT okay. So, please make sure that you hear me say that none of those actions are okay!
It’s also really important that you hear me say that these actions should not go without comment or consequence or reply. I believe very strongly that we need to stand up for ourselves. Feelings need to be felt. Anger and hurt; they need to be felt. And something needs to be said to the person who hurt or angered you. What I also know is that I have never seen aggression be cooled or calmed by more aggression. Whenever I have witnessed a victim respond aggressively to the perpetrator, the perpetrator rarely backs down. Now, that’s not to say that confronting someone in a gentle manner or from a place of love is always received well. And yet, I believe that love at least provides the opportunity for them to hear the message. It may be hard for them to hear that their actions or words are not appropriate. The message needs to be firm and empowered, but empowered and firm are not the same thing as angry or irate or rude.
The leaders of rebellions that I admire and aspire to be like are Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King Jr. These men stood against oppression, they stood against wrong, and they did it with love and respect. What I have identified in history is that when the group that is trying to be heard is angry and violent, it’s easy for the masses to stand against them and to see them as outsiders and radicals. They’re not relatable. With “The Diet Rebellion”, I hope that everyone will see themselves or someone they love in our uprising; to see their daughter, their sister, their mother, or their friend. I hope that they’ll see the hurt that has occurred, since hurt is something that most people can find compassion for. “The Diet Rebellion” is not about anger. Anger is something that’s typically met with a defensive attitude.
I recognize how easy it is to justify aggressive behavior and intolerance when that’s what you’re faced with. I also understand how good it can feel to give in to that anger and hate and that F-you attitude in the moment. It can feel very satisfying, and God knows it’s easy to find comrades in arms to join in the expression of anger.
How can it be appropriate for you to respond aggressively to an attack when it’s inappropriate for the attack to occur in the first place? At some point we have to take the higher road. I’m not talking about complacency or about allowing bad behavior. I’m simply saying that aggression needs to meet met with strength, power, and numbers. It must be addressed with sanity, good manners, consistency, and of course dignity.
I believe with all my heart that we can make a difference. I truly believe in this rebellion and I’m so grateful for everyone who has decided to join the uprising and who believes that we can meet hate with love and that we can start to change the culture and change the conversation.
Live Life. Love Food. Be Free.