June 1 12

Hey, so, has this ever happened to you whilst accompanying your wee child into a public bathroom stall? “Wow! That person next to us is farting like crazy!”

And, of course, your immediate response—other than pure mortification and the ability to morph your face into an extra-special shade of red—is to wonder how it’s possible that children just have absolutely no filter at all.

No filter at all. They comment on farts. And hairstyles. And tattoos. And weight. They just do. Because they are little children. We laugh, we are embarrassed, we tell our wee ones that we mustn’t comment on the flatulance habits of our stall neighbors because it isn’t polite. 

A filter is something that develops with time, with maturity, with lots of guidance.

The interesting thing, though, is how many people out there just never ever come to possess that filter.

Is it because they were never taught?

Or is it something else entirely?

Obviously, as a person who lives on the internet I have to develop a little bit of a thicker skin than the average person who doesn’t, say, talk about putting her ass through a wicker chair at someone’s dining room table, or who doesn’t, say, share stories about having to pee in a McDonald’s coffee cup at the United States border, or who doesn’t participate in a national swimsuit confidence campaign and put pictures of herself in a bikini online for all of the world to see. Obviously, as a person who has a COMMENT SECTION on her website needs a thick skin—comment sections are, by their very nature, platforms for people to give opinions. All you have to do is take one look at the comment section on any online newspaper article or any youtube clip to see opinions in action.

So you might say that because I put myself in that position purposefully, I should be ready and unsurprised by the insults.

And I really am ready.

Typically, I keep my content pretty OMG! LATEST INTERNET DEBATE-free. So, you won’t really find me writing about being photographed breastfeeding in a uniform. And I probably won’t really write too much about finance, sex, religion, weight. I don’t discuss spanking and breastfeeding and crying-it-out and circumcision and helicopter parenting and family beds and crash dieting because I do what I do and it works for me and I expect that you do what works for you.

My debatable topics tend to say on the lighter side—things like books I loved and hated and being anti-white pants and leggings and shorts that are too short and indie folk music.

Go on, let’s debate! You love white pants? Tell me about it. You hated The Dovekeepers? Let’s discuss! You hate my music? That’s cool—we can totally still be friends. You love to wear short shorts? I want to hear what you do when you sit on a subway because I’m afraid that you could get herpes.

Healthy debate is just that…healthy.

But you know what’s not healthy?

When I see comments from “anonymous” sources (who aren’t really anonymous, they just have no idea how IP addresses work and basically how the internet works and they think it’s really easy to hide behind their computer screens and behind the word ANONYMOUS) telling people I know that their children are overweight or that they are terrible parents or that their children are spoiled or that they are terrible writers or that their blogs are overrated or that they need to get off their asses and exercise or that they needs to get their roots done

or that I have no business being part of a site called Curvy Girl Guide because I had visible ribs in my bikini photo. 

Ouch.

I have a thick skin, I guess, but it gets a little thinner due to all those protruding ribs.

Fun fact for the commenter: I don’t wear bikinis.

I got into a bikini for this campaign with Lands’ End and Self Magazine and The Curvy Girl Guide because I really, truly, honestly have never felt comfortable in a bathing suit EVER. Swimsuit confidence is such a hard thing for women and here was an entire group of women saying, YES! I am pledging to love my body no matter what it looks like and I will effing OWN that bathing suit no matter how many stretch marks I have or how much cellulite on I have on my thighs or how little my boobs are. I am so proud to be a part of this campaign. And I write for a site called The Curvy Girl Guide even though I don’t have any curves because it’s a site that celebrates all shapes and sizes.

And here’s the thing.

I felt awesome about it. I feel awesome about it. About myself.

Until I read that comment. Because this kind of stuff stings. We can be fat, skinny, tall, short, funny, serious, happy, sad, parents, non-parents, WAHM, Stay-at-home moms, dads, grandparents, childless, part of a big family, southern, northern, Canadian, black, blue, purple. And it doesn’t matter. It hurts when people say this kind of shit to you about you, about your family, about your thoughts, about your feelings.

I actually don’t have any answers to this one. It has just been on my mind a whole lot lately, this whole filter thing. And that I just truly wish I could gift people with filters. I wish I could hand them out on street corners; just give them away for free. Because I think the world, and the internet, would be a much better place if we could save the red faces and the total mortification for when we visit public bathrooms with our wee ones.

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  1. Well said! You look fabulous! I find people who are “experts” in everyone else’s lives are usually so messed up, a crane couldn’t manage to pick up their crap of emotional funk.

    Comment by gorillabuns on June 1, 2012
  2. I’m so sorry you were hurt by someone else for doing something that is so personal to you and all of us. It’s easy for me to say PEOPLE ARE JERKS AND YOU SHOULD IGNORE THEM THE END, but it’s not that easy to erase it from your mind once it’s in.

    I will say YOU’RE AMAZING THE END and hope it helps to dull the assjerk’s comments.

    Comment by Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] on June 1, 2012
  3. I wish I had a different kind of filter to hand out. A filter that would block all the mean things, the petty things, the criticism and let people only hear the truth about themselves. The other day I said to my BFF “I wish there was just some way to make people realize how amazing they are.”

    ali replied on

    That kind of filter would be amazing. Truly.

    Comment by Suebob on June 1, 2012
  4. I like you and I like your ribs.

    People are stupid. Just remember how awesome YOU are and how sad and lonely THEY must be. xoxo

    Comment by Meghan on June 1, 2012
  5. I’ll stand outside and hand them out with you. People need them badly, it seems. Love you, your bikini AND your adorable ribs :)

    ps: because of CGG, I had swimsuit confidence at the beach all week. I owned my cellulite and muffin top like you wouldn’t believe!

    Comment by Jana A (@jana0926) on June 1, 2012
  6. I HATE MEAN RIDICULOUS PEOPLE.

    1. You’re gorgeous, and your’e body is rocking, and you have curves, the very awesome kind.

    2. I have those fears about catching gross diseases on subways too. Even though I don’t take the subway anymore because there is no subway in Ottawa. (But when I lived in D.C…)

    3. Kids and their NO FILTER have caused me massive amounts of anxiety before. “WHY IS HE SOOOOOOO TALL?????” they’ll ask about the 6’9 man in the elevator with us. Oh yeah. Good times. Or like, the time I told my six year old: “Listen, don’t go running and telling your grandmother that I gave your brother 2 chocolate bars because he was freaking out and screaming, you know she hate when you guys eat unhealthy snacks.” “Okay, mom.” Arriving at grandmother’s house: “Yiayia, mommy gave Dimitry TWO chocolate bars!” ME: FML.
    And the people who think they can talk about a child’s weight are people I don’t want to know. I’ve had anon comments on my blog that say my boys are overweight, and I just delete those comments. Because it is SO not cool. And I’m a good mom who feeds her kids well and I don’t think I have to justify everything, right? Sigh. Sorry, rambling…

    Loukia replied on

    YOUR, is what I meant to type. :)

    Comment by Loukia on June 1, 2012
  7. You look fab in that suit. I want one. I totally get that that comment hurt you BUT coming from someone who has been on the curvier side of things….I think its hard for us some of us bigger girls to see you skinnier girls….and when its on a site called ‘the curvy girl site’ where you would assume it’s going to be people of your own shape…you might get disgruntled. I’d love to say that’s not true – but I’m gonna put myself out there and say that was probably where she was coming from. I’m totally going over to check out the swimsuit confidence bizz now…I need some!! I hope you kept that bikini!!

    ali replied on

    No person has the right to make negative comments about any person’s weight ever. I don’t care if you wear a size 00 or a size 100. At least that’s what I believe.

    If you have a look at the about page on Curvy Girl Guide, it’ll tell you a little bit about what the site is about: http://www.curvygirlguide.com/about/
    ;)

    Comment by Sara on June 1, 2012
  8. YAY YOU! I think you’re great Ali and I love your blog! :)

    Comment by Sandy on June 1, 2012
  9. I feel the opposite. I wish we had no filters. But I also wish everyone was accountable for their own words and actions and anonymity was not something that could be used as a weapon. Either way, I think we’d get the same result.

    And do you need me to go after someone? I have some frustration that I’ve been building up that I’d love to unleash on someone who thinks it’s okay to be critical and anonymous.

    Comment by Avitable on June 1, 2012
  10. Have you ever seen the SNL sketch where they mock Internet trolls and anonymous? It’s fabulous. The world’s a funny place when you remove the face-to-face aspect of communications.

    Let it be known that now that I’ve seen you in a bikini, I’m totally ready to take this friendship to the next level. ;)

    xo

    Comment by Alex on June 1, 2012
  11. Nope, never okay to judge.
    My curves may be soft and padded with a little layer of fat – yours are rigid and a little more like an edge, but nonetheless, underneath its all the same. ;)
    I hate that people are assholes.
    I love your writing, whether you fit the name of the website or not.

    Comment by Amy on June 1, 2012
  12. Oh, Ali. I’M ANGRY.

    You are beautiful, inside and out, and so is your family.

    Do I need to go all Momma Bear on someone? Because you know I will.

    Comment by Angella on June 1, 2012
  13. The biggest problem with the internet is that people FEEL like they can be anonymous. And they have all this confidence from behind a screen and a computer box and they can be horrid and mean. Because they feel like no one will ever know.

    And yes, that may be kind of true, but the fact of the matter is, it’s RUDE. If you wouldn’t say it in public (and if you’re so chicken shit to not even leave your name on a comment, I’m going to guess you WOULD NOT say it in public), then don’t say it on the internet.

    I think the internet needs a shame filter.

    Comment by Kristabella on June 1, 2012
  14. One persons curves can be just as much a state of mind as my curves are jelly rolls of awesome. You’re awesome, both for posing in a swimsuit for the whole internet (GO YOU!) and for calling out the internet trolls.

    Comment by Angi on June 1, 2012
  15. This is one of the reasons that I will never have a blog. Unfortunately no one has to pass an intelligence test to hop on the internet and the number of sad, jealous, petty, small-minded, morons is disheartening. Anyhoo, try to remember that these comments are more about the person making the comment, then about you. Because you, clearly, have a rockin bod, and an assload of confidence to post bather pics online. And whoever it is that said whatever, is a sad pathetic harpy. Yeah I said it.

    Comment by Jen on June 1, 2012
  16. I am deeply sorry someone trolled you like that. Body imagine is a deeply personal thing honestly for men and women. I applaud you putting yourself out there for a worthy cause. People can be insensitive jerks. Sorry that happened to you, and I’m glad you put this out there to talk about.

    Comment by Corey Feldman on June 1, 2012
  17. I find it irritating that someone will hide behind anonymous to make hurtful comments. If you’re going to say something at least have the balls to own those words.

    Comment by Sharon on June 1, 2012
  18. I am a fan and a follower for over a year and I must say that I regret that this has happened to you. You are lovely – REALLY lovely – AS.YOU.ARE.

    Comment by Rae Ann on June 1, 2012
  19. As I told my momfaze partner when someone who wrote an anonymous bully comment on our blog intimating that if she kept writing posts in the same vein, she ‘wouldn’t be invited to parties anymore’…FUCK EM. and the ones who write anonymous rude comments…FUCK EM TWICE.

    Comment by mara on June 1, 2012
  20. Ali you really do look awesome and people who only have negative things to say can’t be very happy or they wouldn’t be so rude and yes they say hurtful things but you are better than that perso so don’t let them hurt your feelings

    Comment by LAVANDULA on June 1, 2012
  21. I hate mean, stupid people. Who makes comments like that?! I don’t get it!! No one has the right to make negative comments on anyones body shape or size! You look fantastic and I love that there is such a variety of shapes and sizes and such a nice range in curviness on the Curvy Girl Guide! Great post Ali! You look fantastic! :)

    Comment by Sarah Remmer on June 1, 2012
  22. Judgy people suck. Kudos to you for going outside your comfort zone and loving your body!

    Comment by Deborah / Mom2Michael on June 1, 2012
  23. The older I get the more I see beauty in every single person I meet. I love that about getting older. I think you look great :) Haters will hate, that’s a sad fact.

    xoxo

    Comment by Kami on June 2, 2012
  24. As I keep saying – WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE? You have brought so much laughter, smiles and joy to my daily routine by hearing what you have to say. I get to share your life and wait with bated breath for the next installment each day. You are fabulous. You are funny. You are real. Insecure people will always bully, put down and be mean. I say we veto these people and just click delete. Sorry you experienced that pain. Sending you hugs.

    Comment by Cheri on June 2, 2012
  25. Great article, thanks to the Webmaster.

    Comment by CDs Baixar on June 3, 2012
  26. Great article and I think you look fabulous in your bikini. More power to you for participating. I find it sad that weight is just one more thing that is being used to divide women. I know that plus sized women experience a lot of prejudice and humiliation from our society, and now there is a growing movement to reclaim the idea that ‘plus’ is beautiful, desirable, and normal. Unfortunately, in some cases, this has led to an ‘us’ and them attitude: the ‘skinny’ girls vs. the ‘curvy’ girls. We all have our insecurities about our bodies and society tells all of us that we are not right in one way or another. Why can’t we just all come together as women and accept ourselves and each other for who and what (and what shape) we are?

    Comment by Carolyn on June 3, 2012
  27. You are beautiful. People comment “anonymously” because they know what they’re saying is wrong. They are the ones with problems – NOT YOU.

    You look fab in your suit. So glad you picked that one.

    Comment by heather... on June 4, 2012
  28. Never underestimate the stupidity of people. That commenter is a moron, you look amazing. I wish I had the balls to post a picture of myself in a bathing suit. And I just lost 15 pounds and wouldn’t do it. Nope. Never.

    Comment by jodifur on June 6, 2012
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