At the AWC luncheon yesterday at Terrazza, I got to sit next to the finest lady at the table: my mom. Over Waldorf salads and pappardelle, we laughed about how someone she met that week was baffled that I could be her daughter; not because of my cocktail of an Asian heritage…but because I’m blonde! Obviously not natural, friends.
This led to a bout of giggling, confusion, and continued to a story of a clique she used to run with in high school. Being one of the “cool” kids, my mom and her friends were the envy of the Beatles-loving, pubescent girls and desire of all the pizza faced, letterman jacket clad boys when at the peak of their adolescence. One girl, let’s call her ‘Mary’, had a beautiful sheet of blonde hair (but let’s face it, not natural).
One day one of the gals found the words “MARY DYES HER ROOTS” scrawled across the wall of a bathroom stall. I don’t how Mary reacted at the time, but I had a good laugh about it thirty or so years later. I mean, come on. Did the desperate girl who took the time to pen that while taking a pee think that was really the worst she could do? And even so, was she that insecure to go out of her way to do so? The poor, misguided thing…
While bathroom walls might not be the first choice nowadays to jot down snarky comments, bully in cowardice, and leave bitchy notes; Facebook walls are. Or Instagram accounts. Or tumblr. Or twitter. Or any of the other multitude of social media sites out there. I’ve gotten “YOU WEAR FAKE EYELASHES BECAUSE YOU’RE UGLY” commented on a photo before from a falsified social media account- but hey, I wear faux lashes because they’re effin’ voluptuous, I don’t have naturally long ones like my sister (that lucky hooligan), and hell- I’m not going to lie about it. Say the same thing to every other celebrity donning mink falsies on the daily, and while we’re on the topic of it all: gel nails, Botox, fake tans, face lifts, lip injections, dyed hair, boob jobs, rhinoplasty, colored contacts, extensions, Spanx! Everyone has the prerogative to do what they want with their bodies- or not do with their bodies, to feel at their prime.
I’ve written about cyber bullying before because I’ve seen it run rampant within the community around me, been subjected to it myself, and see a trend worldwide that’s absolutely devastating and not going anywhere fast. Recently, a teen in Mexico stabbed her “best friend” 65 times in revenge for uploading nude photos of the two onto Facebook. There have been countless suicides from bullying, both online and face to face, and the long term negative effects on young adults and even children dabbling in the social media world can be long lasting. I am so glad AOL instant messenger and the new hit MySpace were the only things really available when I was at the weakest point of my teens, when those mean words could have had an impact on me, and when I probably felt the most alone. Now, I take everything with a pillar of salt (yes, a pillar) and move on with my life.
I don’t have the time to respond to silly remarks or ponder who might be plotting my takedown. Cést la vie. While I may laugh at “MARY DYES HER ROOTS” now, it could have been devastating to her at the time. Even though you’re not taking out a permanent marker and writing some cruel, weenie little note to anyone bothering to read it while dropping a deuce- think about what you type out when you next log in. Consider that the person has feelings. That there’s a living, breathing entity on the other side of the screen who may or may not a) have the ability to kick your ass one day b) have severe self esteem issues already and you could be pushing them to dire levels c) have the power to sue/deport/ruin you d) not give a shit. Not to mention you’re just wasting your life to make someone else feel down. How’s that for pathetic?
Maybe it’s time to step outside the stall, put the Sharpie down, and instead- take a long look at yourself in the mirror. Sometimes dyeing your roots is nothing compared to the ugliness inside.