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Thank you, Sparkers, for common courtesy.

Monday, February 24, 2014

A friend shared a link on Facebook to a blog about the latest Victoria's Secret catalog. I found most of it to be humorous - such as her points that it's uncomfortable to be chasing after kids with your butt cheeks hanging out, and that you need to stand in certain poses all day - DON'T MOVE - or else whatever isn't already "out there" will soon be.

However, more than once, the author referred to these VS models who "starve themselves" to look this way. I thought the piece would have been just as funny without those zingers; maybe even funnier, because talking about weight clearly evokes strong emotion in people. At 5'4" and 125 pounds, I wonder why some people feel the need to tell me, out of the blue, that I'm too skinny and need to put some meat on my bones. I look nothing like a supermodel and I eat like a horse. I run, but not a tremendous amount - usually between 25-35 miles per week, and it averages to about an hour of exercise per day.

So then I scrolled down to the comment section of the blog. Most of the comments were about her references to eating habits; with people waging war on both sides. Now, I think each side had valid points.

1) There are plenty of people who are healthy, fit and thin.
2) There are plenty of people who are healthy, fit and not as thin.
3) Human beings are all shaped differently.

However, there was no civil discussion to be had about this. Some were saying things like "you must be lazy and stuffing your face with Girl Scout cookies while your husband cheats on you" and others saying things like "a woman built like a 15yo boy isn't attractive." Of course, there were plenty of "sentence enhancers" thrown in (as SpongeBob calls profanity), as if that helps to make a point.

It made me very thankful for SparkPeople, where the discussions and comments I've seen have always been courteous. I left that other blog without commenting, as I did not feel like throwing myself into the ring.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD6416381
    You bring up excellent points.
    I love SP for all the support and positive talk.
    I don't understand why people feel the end to throw in the sentence enhancers. I was in a parking lot the other day and a man was talking on his cell phone with his car window open....he was loud and everyother word started with F. I really wanted to go over to him and ask him to stop polluting the air with his nasty language. I did not have the guts though.

    2609 days ago
    I don't know why some people have to react so hurtfully. I really do appreciate the SparkPeople "crowd" who all seem to be courteous and caring. I think maybe they understand better the hurt that insensitive and thoughtless comments can cause.
    2610 days ago
    emoticon The community brings together all sorts of folks, all having common goals. I have never witnessed inappropriate comments.

    2610 days ago
    2610 days ago
    I am always stunned by the way people comment on various blogs and articles around the web (not Spark, thankfully). It's as if courtesy, respect, and common decency are thrown to the winds when they touch the keyboard. And usually, it's completely unprovoked and unnecessary. I feel sorry that there are so many people who use this venue to air their own insecurities by putting others down.

    2610 days ago
    By the way I love your mom and followed her link over here! I, too, appreciate the vast majority of Spark being supportive and positive. As someone who is Previously Over Weight (POW)... and had moved when I was at my thinner end of a WIDE range... I've been in the position of listening to people who never knew me heavy bashing a heavier person in the room. And I've also been the position of being told I had "lost too much" by folks who really had no business saying so!

    It is not about what people "expect" (which fuels some of those comments, I'm sure) but what is healthy for each ONE of us. And that, m'dear, is between you, your pants, and your doctor. Do what's right for you, and never look back! emoticon
    2610 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14034154

    I just have to say thanks SP for having Godly wisdom to bring ALL types and shapes of people together for a common goal! Did they stop there, NO! SP vamped and revamped the site, and there are numerous teams, for every ailment, you can think of, and in all of this I've never seen any malicious or down grading talk, and I'm very appreciative, for that. You were very wise, not to put your 2 cents into the discussion.

    Be blessed,

    - Nancy Jean -
    2610 days ago
    Sp is positive. At my thinnest I have been told I was gaunt and needed to gain weight..not at SP. People should pay attention to heri own bodies and not try to control others with their unecessary belittling comments.,
    2610 days ago
    I am not sure why people feel the need to comment on other people. Let them live their life be it skinny or fat, unless someone asks for my option.
    2611 days ago
    2611 days ago
    You're right! I hadn't thought about it, but SP is one of the few places online where I feel comfortable expressing myself without worrying about getting unwanted and unwelcome negative replies. My Facebook posts have become bland and much less frequent for that reason. Yay, SparkPeople!
    2611 days ago
    One of the many great things about the SP community! I don't think that I have read any disparaging or ad hominem discussion comments on SP.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
    2611 days ago
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