Newsflash: I’m not airbrushed in person

Let me just dive into this topic, because I’m annoyed and a little pissed off.  We all know when those emotions flare up, my alter ego, the Homecoming Queen of Crazy Town, gets extremely riled up and demands to be let out of her chambers.  She desires to handle the situation and unleash her wrath and fury in an unforgettable display that is sure to be filled with high theatrics and drama. While entertaining, her irrational responses and behaviors leave even the residents of Crazy Town shaking their heads and exclaiming, “Oh my, the Queen was on one today.”  With these factors being taken into sincere consideration, I choose to handle things and allow the Queen to remain deep in the chambers of my soul.

A little bit ago, a woman posted on my page and accused me of being fake and presenting a picture of perfection to other women that is unobtainable.  She accused me of photoshopping all of my pictures and basically implied that I don’t look like my photos.  She stated that there are women who are vulnerable and that I was basically hurting them by presenting fake perfection.  She stated that she would no longer follow me until I was “real.”

I responded immediately and said that she clearly had not read my book, my blog, or watched any of my live videos because I constantly talk about and point out my many, MANY imperfections.  I explained that I am the last person to present an image of being “perfect” and that I believe we are all beautiful in our own amazing ways.  She responded, and before I could respond again, I was being inundated with messages from women who were outraged by her comment and rallying the troops to attack.

Women–beautiful, amazing women–were telling me of their scathing replies that they were ready to launch her way.   I had to chuckle as they were pointing out ALL of my imperfections—the ones that I discuss in my book, blog about, post about, and openly go live about.  I thought to myself, “wow…that’s a lot of imperfections,” and all of these people are aware of them.  But the beautiful thing was that they were ready to go to battle to defend their imperfect friend—me.  One Facebook friend said to me, “you did a Facebook live video with your face deformed and hanging sideways, (LOL—her words) and this woman is going to accuse you of presenting fake perfection ?!”

I was so touched by the wonderful people who were so ready to defend me and felt they had to reach out to me.  I truly appreciate the support and the love.  I have tried to be real and to share the truth of my story.  I have shared the horrors of my childhood which was filled with rape and sexual abuse.  I have shared the heartbreaks of my adult life, and the many mistakes I have made on my continued journey of trying to become my very best self. My book is filled with my imperfections.   Do I use filters on my photos?  Absolutely! Yes!  One hundred percent of the time I use filters on my photos, because I choose to and if I want to, it is my right to do so.  I never thought anyone ever believed for a second that I look like I’m airbrushed in person.

I can also say that most of the time when I meet people it’s remarkable how many times they say, “you are so much prettier in person.”  I have heard this so much that I have said to Lori many times that my pictures must look like booty, because people always tell me I look better in person.  I always choose to believe that people think I look better in person because I am live and my heart and soul can be seen in person.  It’s hard to pick up energy and love in a photo, but in person, you can’t hide your personality–the vibe of who you truly are is present and alive and people experience you in real time.

I can also say that I have never once thought that I should post on someone’s page and say that their photos are fake and that they are clearly photoshopped.  I would never do that.  Why?  Because I think it’s a mean girl thing to do and I have encountered so many mean girls in my life that I could literally vomit.  I choose to support women and rally for other women and lift them up.  I will never be that woman who chooses to write something negative on someone else’s page.  For starters, I am not the photoshop police or the social media police.  I get negative comments all the time on my page.  People post and say that I’m transgender– I’m not transgender, but if I was, I would let the whole damn world know.  Others post and say that I am a drag Queen.  I’m not a drag Queen, but if I was, I would openly rock that shit too.

The sad reality of it is that some people are just mean-spirited, unhappy, and they feel superior when they put someone else down.  If you have to put me down to feel better about you, I feel sorry for you.  I am not walking around this earth trying to tell other people how to live their lives.  I have enough battles to fight in my own life and I certainly don’t try to jump into everyone else’s world and tell them how to live.  I figure when I get to heaven I am going to have plenty of explaining to do to God about my behaviors while I inhabited this beautiful planet He created.   The very last thing I am going to try to explain to Him is why I tried to do His job and judge other people on this earth. Nope, not this kid–I leave the judging up to God.

My mission is to provide hope and faith to people who are hurting.  I have always told people to believe in themselves and to trust in God and that He would open the doors they need in their lives.  I have shared that I know how it feels to be alone, to be abandoned, to be betrayed, to feel trapped in the darkness and to be afraid that things will never get better.  I have been vulnerable and explained how, at times, I wondered why God would ever allow me to suffer through the horrors that I have lived through. I have also explained how at the end of the day, my faith in God is what has gotten me through and that I realized how He never left me–God was always there.

Each day I pray and ask God to please allow anyone who meets me to find Him. I have shared my truth and I have tried to spread love and kindness to all I encounter and have encouraged others to do the same.  I speak a message of love and compassion, yet I also implore everyone to discover their own self-worth and not allow anyone to ever treat them poorly.  We all deserve better.  Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness, though, I am no one’s victim any longer and I do not tolerate disrespect or cruelty.  I will no longer give any energy to those types of comments on my page.  I will not respond to them ever again and will simply delete them and block the person who posted them.  Those types of people will never be members of my tribe.

I’m going to keep being unapologetically me and I implore you to do the same.  Don’t let the trolls of social media upset you.  Anyone who has to point out someone else’s flaws isn’t a person for me.  Now, if you are like me and you’re covered with scars, your path has been littered with mistakes, you’ve survived the monsters of life, and every day you’re simply trying to do your very best, you’re my kind of person. Maybe you’ve been lucky enough to escape some of these afflictions in your lifetime, but you support the people who have suffered through these storms, you’re my kind of person as well.

It’s really not that hard to let people live.

One last time, for the record, I use filters on my photos. I promise you I’m not airbrushed in person.  If you follow me on snapchat, I don’t really have any animal ears, or a tail wagging behind me, six-inch eyelashes, a bunny nose, or a high-pitched squeaky voice.  If you come to an event where I speak or a book signing, I won’t have perfect lighting and you’ll see me from a regular angle, not the spectacular one that photographers are perfect at finding.   I don’t always say the right thing.  In fact, sometimes I make huge mistakes and say ridiculously funny things during interviews that my friends and I laugh hysterically about later.  Yes, I laugh at myself–all the time– and I am more critical of myself than anyone else will ever be.

One thing I will never do, though,  is be that person who sits back and watches someone bully someone else.  After having been bullied for many years of my life, I will certainly not ever suffer in silence again while someone bullies me.  So, to all you keyboard warriors out there…it’s okay if you don’t like me.

I’d think less of myself if you did.