Posted in Howling Sea Lane, Uncategorized

If You Aren’t Pretty, We Don’t Care

I can’t believe I am about to write this, but I’ve got my ranting pants on, so here it goes:

Why hasn’t there been more coverage of the shooting at the New Orleans Mother’s Day parade?  I work in a place where CNN is on all day long, so I’ve been inundated with sexy murderesses, foreign looking bombers, and evil dungeon masters for the past several weeks.  Right now, the story being played ad nauseum is the psychotic abortionist.  But nothing about the shooting in New Orleans.

Well, not nothing.  Halfway down the page, the day after the shooting, there was a small link accompanied by a photo that was–see for yourself, and think about what the photos from Boston looked like in comparison.


The journalistic point behind having photos go along with stories is to add depth and draw empathy, the marketing point is to drive clicks.  Photos are carefully chosen because, to paraphrase the old addage, they tell the story cheaper, faster, and more effectively than screeds.  That picture?  That picture says, “We’re going to make fun of WalMart shoppers!”

So, the sexy murderess is a white girl who killed a white man.  The foreign looking bombers killed a white child, a white woman, and an Asian student, and wounded a whole lot of athletic white people.  The evil dungeon master abducted and tormented three, pretty white girls.  The psychotic abortionist killed live babies (we don’t know if they were white, but they were babies, and we aren’t racists until after children have hit puberty.)  Judging from the photo, the people affected by the NO shooting were a) Not White, b) Not Athletic, c) Not Attractive, d) Adults. I can only assume that these are the reasons we haven’t heard about it.

Look, when even MY mother says, “You know if they’d shot up white people, we’d have heard about it,” there is a big issue.

Is that it?  Is that why it isn’t getting the same level of coverage?  It was a Mother’s Day parade and 19 people were injured!  By a shooter!  With all the media attention focused on gun control right now, and a SHOOTING at a MOTHER’S DAY PARADE is getting the amount of attention usually reserved for a 2-alarm fire?  You know how I found out about it–with CNN blaring in my ears all day–one passing mention of it in my Facebook feed.  I wouldn’t have known it had happened at all otherwise.

We’ve covered that national attention rarely highlights missing minority children.

And that the media largely ignores missing black women.

What can we do?

How do we change the narrative so that color and socio-economic status aren’t what drives media coverage?

As a bonus rant:  WTF is wrong with these women who are throwing themselves at the remaining Boston bomber?  Are they mental?!

Posted in Howling Sea Lane

It Gets Better? Pffft.

Can we please stop talking about other people’s bodies?  Please?  This is my plea, and I am sending out into the universe.  It is my message in a bloggle.  Sing it:  Message in a bloggle…I hope that someone gets my, I hope that someone gets my…

If you want to talk about your own body, if you want to make changes to your own body, if you find flaws with and want to share about the ups and downs of your own body, make haste!  But if you find yourself wanting to write/talk/laugh about someone else’s, make mute.  This story was my [latest] tipping point.  Seriously?

Listen, I have a recurring nightmare that I am a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader in my current body.  I have to go out into the stadium wearing THAT uniform on THIS body.  And I have to dance.  I don’t know which is the worst part of the nightmare: My muffin top, or my complete inability to move my arms and legs to choreography.  Or the camel toe.  Camel toe figures largely into the horror of it all.

My upset in the dream isn’t because I look like I look–I know what I look like.  I look like this all day, every day, and I’ve seen me in underwear.  It isn’t that bad.  My upset is that people are going to laugh at me.  People are going to laugh at me because I don’t look how we know a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader should look, I can’t dance, and it appears that my shorts are being inhaled by my crotch.  I know that people are going to feel free to tear me apart because my image does not conform, that they will judge my character based on my belly fat, and they will think I am a bad person.  The nightmare isn’t my body:  The nightmare is society.

Can you imagine being Kelsey Williams’ mother or father?  Aside from the fact that the girl is perfectly lovely and absolutely conforms to an ideal image, and the outrage anyone should feel at being told THAT woman isn’t gloriously proportioned, can you imagine being her parent and reading the ridiculousness that was written?  Suggesting that your daughter should be ashamed of her looks and offering a POLL to discuss her figure?  I would want to set that person on fire.  That person should be required to post a picture of herself in the same uniform, in the same pose, hovering above the same poll.

Why, why, why do we think our children are going to listen to us banging on about not bullying each other when we are filling our endless internet with this trash?

I was on the other day and I took a screen shot of a list of links below a story on the Boston bombing.  I wrote an angry rant about it, then decided against posting it because it seemed shallow in light of lost lives, lost limbs, and domestic terror.  But we blow up people’s worlds with our words all the time, so now I’m resurrecting the rant.

This is bunk..
This is bunk.

So, this is what was under an article about two men who murdered an 8 year old.  You’ve got stories parents have told on themselves–fine.  A story about dogs–fine.  And four stories that claw at self-confidence, and strike at vulnerabilities.  Not only do they affect the object of the stories, but the people who read them.  How are you supposed to feel good about yourself with the internet screaming you aren’t good enough?  What if you already have low self esteem?

Have any of you ever had acne?  Imagine your face plastered across the internet for entertainment.  It’s horrifying!  Why do we do this?  Links are chosen for popularity’s sake.  Editors post links that will get clicks.  Clicks make money.  Out of six stories editors chose for their money-making value, four of them were negative.  One was clearly slut-shaming.  One was trying to take the world’s sexiest woman down a notch.  One is a last vestige of style snark, which I hope is going away because style is so relative.  The “10 Actors Who Would Be Beautiful If Not for Their Horrible Skin,” title is just gross and enraging.

Let’s be examples for our children.  Let’s offer them an internet where the links editors think will make money are positive stories.  Let’s don’t click on [name redacted]’s pregnancy weight, or [name redacted]’s boob job, or [name redacted]’s pockmarked skin (something that even the most masculine actor in the history of Hollywood found hurtful), or [name redacted]’s trashy dress.

Let’s treat everyone else the way we want our own children to be treated.