Such the Spot - Using our nice words - Tucson Local Media: Such The Spot

Such the Spot - Using our nice words

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, August 15, 2014 11:46 am

I caught a snippet of The Today Show this morning. I gave up watching that show years ago but it did pop up on my screen this morning briefly as I was starting my workout DVD. The hosts (who I didn’t recognize) were discussing something they referred to as “skinny shaming”. From what I gathered, it was in reference to a GAP ad in which a very gaunt model is depicted in a plaid dress. Apparently the Twitterverse responded adversely to the photo, making disparaging comments about the model’s physique. She is too skinny, apparently.

The comments stand in stark contrast to the last major episode of public body type shaming I can recall. In that case, it was Jessica Simpson who was being called out not for being too thin, but for weight gain. It amounted to a public “fat shaming,” if you will. We Americans, it seems, are nondiscriminatory in our shaming.

It’s a disturbing trend to say the least. A random sampling of Tweets would surely reveal ugly comments aimed at people of every size, every sexual orientation, every race. Not that the thoughts themselves are anything new; mean people have always thought mean thoughts. The difference in modern times is that now mean people have a microphone and a global stage from which to spew their blech. It’s a sad state of affairs.

Here is why it disturbs me (and why it should disturb you, too): the generation coming up now and those that will follow are subject to these rampant criticisms all. the. time. Short of burying their heads in the sand, they’ll be hard-pressed to escape the constant stream of judgmental people exercising their freedom of speech.

A friend and I were recently talking about how much harder it would be to grow up with Facebook. Imagine if we had access to the comments people made about our bad yearbook photos. For impressionable young people who are so desperate for acceptance, those kinds of comments could be terribly hurtful. People don’t seem to understand that whether they’re typed or spoken, words have a lot of power—both to build up and to tear down.

Screens are similar to cars in many ways. Think about it. How quick are you to honk at (or make hand gestures to) a fellow driver? The separateness of being in one’s own car seems to take away a degree of humanity, doesn’t it? Consider how much more kindness we extend to neighbors at the grocery store, when we’re behind the wheels of shopping carts as opposed to steering wheels. Screens seem to have the same effect on us. We type words onto a keyboard and—for whatever reason—we forget that there are real people out there reading our words.

For years I’ve been telling my kids this one thing: words matter. This society of ours would be a much kinder place if only people would consider that before they type their next 140 character tweet. When in doubt, consider whether you’d say what you’re about to post to the face of someone behind you in the grocery store checkout lane. If not, I offer some wise words of wisdom from my grandma: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

© 2017 Tucson Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • John Flanagan posted at 12:06 pm on Sat, Aug 16, 2014.

    John Flanagan Posts: 380

    " If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Search far and wide, to the very ends of the earth, but you will never find a human being who actually follows that rule entirely. I think the best I can do in my own life is to be civil and polite, reasonable and fair in treating others, objective in searching for truth, and able to articulate my point of view with undue harshness, sarcasm, or hostility. It is a tall order for a New York born and raised former Marine, but I am still working on it in my senior twilight years. Christian love can be reflected from strength, not passivity, and with honesty.....but sometimes it is not possible to be perceived as nice when what you need to say is received as offensive....even when it was intended to make a point but came out with the wrong words.

Darcie Maranich
  • Darcie Maranich
  • Darcie Maranich was a teen mom long before MTV made it the next big thing. In the 18 years that have passed since, she's gone on to build a life bold and beautiful here in Tucson. A self-described rebel with a lifestyle blog, her posts at Such The Spot reflect on the ups and downs of life as a mother to four, including one daughter who rocks three 21st chromosomes (or has Down syndrome, in layman's terms). Her passions for handcrafted food, inspired travel and back-to-basics living make her someone to keep an eye on. She's @medarcie on Twitter.

Monday 06/08/2015

Such the Spot: Early grandmotherhood and a fresh perspective

Friday 05/29/2015

Such the Spot: A lifestyle weekend getaway the whole family will enjoy

Tuesday 05/12/2015

Such the Spot - My daughter wants her own cell phone

Wednesday 01/07/2015

Such the Spot - When are electronics going too far?

Tuesday 12/16/2014

Such the Spot - A generation which seeks to be offended

Wednesday 12/03/2014

A less is more kind of holiday Question and Answer with Darcie

Wednesday 11/05/2014

A hefty helping of humble pie Cooler weather brings us to outside activity

Wednesday 10/01/2014

Such The Spot: My daughter got inked

Wednesday 09/24/2014

Such the Spot - My daughter got inked

Friday 09/12/2014

Such the Spot - A case of the HOA blues

Monday 08/25/2014

Guest Column - Suing the President or impeachment for life? Such the Spot - Tips for packing kid's lunches

Friday 08/15/2014

Such the Spot - Using our nice words

Thursday 08/07/2014

Vacation season is over, time for school

Tuesday 07/08/2014

Such the Spot - Why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover

Wednesday 07/02/2014

Such the Spot - The impact of constant connectivity

Friday 06/13/2014

Such the Spot - It really is a small, small world

Thursday 06/05/2014

Such the Spot - Literally Speaking

Wednesday 05/28/2014

Such the Spot - Moving my daughter across country

Wednesday 05/07/2014

Such the Spot - Inclusive fun benefits all Such the Spot - Did the Easter bunny make it to your house this year? If so, you have me to thank. Let me explain: Such the Spot - Loose lips sink ships

Tuesday 04/22/2014

Such the Spot - What the teen who sued her parents really needs Such the Spot - Three mom code rules I wish every mother could agree on

Friday 04/11/2014

Such the Spot: Prom yesteryear vs. prom today

Monday 04/07/2014

Such the Spot - The trouble with volunteering as a little league coach

Monday 03/31/2014

Such the Spot - Spring cleaning checklist

Monday 03/17/2014

Such the Spot - A lesson in dream chasing

Friday 02/28/2014

Such the Spot - A mom's take on a legalized prejudice bill

Friday 02/21/2014

Such the Spot - Three fresh ideas for packed school lunches

Monday 02/17/2014

Such the Spot - Dental anxiety

Thursday 02/06/2014

Such the Spot - Seven foods for seven days

Monday 01/27/2014

Such the Spot - How I undid years of parenting in one sentence

Thursday 01/16/2014

Such the Spot - What I learned from watching MTV's 'Catfish'

Sunday 01/12/2014

Such the Spot - My phrase for the year

Sunday 01/05/2014

Such the Spot - A lesson in movie going

Monday 12/23/2013

Such the Spot - Are Christmas Cards not a thing anymore

Tuesday 12/17/2013

Such the Spot - Gift ideas for the entire family

Tuesday 12/10/2013

Such the Spot - Elf on the Shelf shenanigans

Monday 12/02/2013

Such the Spot - America's moral decline

Thursday 11/21/2013

Such the Spot - Thanksgiving is coming - send help

Monday 11/04/2013

Such the Spot: What to say when you don't know what to say

Friday 11/01/2013

Such the Spot: Embracing the candles on the cake

Tuesday 10/29/2013

Such the spot: An anniversary dinner splurge

Friday 10/11/2013

Such the Spot - Six things every husband should keep in his car

Monday 10/07/2013

Such the Spot - Confessions of a football convert

Thursday 10/03/2013

Such the Spot - On not sweating the small stuff

Friday 09/13/2013

Such the Spot - Why I take my children to church


Follow us on Facebook

Online poll