Hey guys. Started a new job, acting classes and went through a move. I’m sorry I haven’t written lately. I do want each and every one of you to know that I’ve seen your emails telling me how much I’ve touched your life. It means the world to me. I am juggling a lot right now, so I haven’t been able to respond. Please forgive me.
I had a few posts written and none of them were worthy of me to post. It just wasn’t touching me. Today, I’m sitting outside of a coffee shop on rodeo drive and listening to a group of girls chat. I pulled up my blog on my phone and started to write and here’s why.
Today this group of beautiful girls, in what seems like their late teens are talking (or should I say gossiping) about their “friend” Sarah*.
“God Ashley* what is up with Sarah? She’s gained so much weight and her face is starting to break out really bad.”
“I know right?! I was thinking the same thing. She’s like letting herself go.”
*third girl jumps*
“Her face is bad and she doesn’t wear makeup when we go out because she’s letting it ‘breathe,’ it’s kind of embarrassing”
“Omg stop is that why you didn’t invite her today”
“Yeah and she smokes a lot and we only smoke sometimes so it’s just weird”
Okay. Gonna stop right here. Because it gets worse and angers me.
Gossiping. We have all done it and are sometimes not even aware of it. AND DON’T TELL ME “no I don’t gossip I’ve never done that, that’s not me.” If you’re a guy, I know you’ve gossiped with other guys about how that one girl looks or gossiped about something private you shouldn’t be talking about or even showed photos of a girl you shouldn’t have shown. If you’re a girl, you might’ve gossiped about a celebrity or someone you don’t like or even your best friend because girls talk too damn much. I’ve gossiped, you’ve gossiped, we’ve all gossiped. But have you ever reflected afterwards… driving home or sitting alone in your room wondering why you did that? Feeling a little guilty? Have you ever gotten sick to your stomach because that person finds out what you said about them but you act like you didn’t say it or worse you admit it and say “well it’s true.”
Gossiping is bullying and until I was the victim of it, I didn’t realize how terribly hurtful it truly is. I was bashed in middle school about my hairy legs, braces and bodily features and today I get bashed about the way I look on a daily basis by random girls all over the world on my Instagram. I’ve been told to go die, that I’m ugly, that I’m fat, I’ve had a guy call me a basic broke bitch because I could only afford a Michael Kors purse (this is kind of funny lol), I’ve even had someone DM me when I posted a bible verse that God can’t save me from being ugly. Bullying is everywhere! I’m sure we all have felt this to some form and we’ve all done it to some form but when will it stop?
First, we must ask ourselves this. What else does this mean? Why are these people gossiping? Well maybe they’re extremely bored with their own lives. Maybe they have nothing better to talk about. Maybe they are insecure and it makes them feel better about themselves. Or maybe, the reason I feel so many do, is to be relevant and to fit in.
Can you imagine how wonderful it would’ve been to sit down next to a group of girls and hear them filling each other with life? Strategizing business plans, talking about how to help their friend, talking about where to vacation next or what they think is out there in the universe. Maybe they could’ve talked about a book that empowered them, or what they believe about the latest political news. So many are afraid to disagree with each other or talk about something deep but that is real, that is passion and that is LIFE.
I’m 23 and when I was a teen I was a big mouth. I would say whatever to be relevant and liked and you know what? Gossiping made me feel empty, wrong and miserable. So I started doing something about it and I lost a lot of friends but I also helped a lot of people be better. Every time someone gossiped, I countered it. I would say “we don’t know what that person is going through,” “We shouldn’t talk about them that way,” “We should be positive,” “Is there a way we can help him/her?” I’m being 100% serious when I say that one day in high school my friends were gossiping about a certain celeb and I got into an argument with them. I remember saying “you don’t know what it’s like to grow up in the spotlight.” And my friend said back “jazmin you didn’t grow up in the spotlight, you don’t know either.” But I felt like I knew and I was going to defend this celeb if my life depended on it. And most of the time it is AWKWARD, I get silence in return and don’t get invited around again because I made them feel bad OR I get, “I’m not talking shit but I’m just saying how I feel,” “I’m just venting,” or my favorite “I’m not being mean, I’m just stating facts.” But occasionally, I get “You know what? You’re right. I shouldn’t say that about him/her, I’m just upset.” Or “I feel bad now, I shouldn’t have said that.” And those are the people worth keeping around, the ones who empower each other and when they make mistakes, they recognize it and learn from it.
We are going to make mistakes and we are going to gossip because it’s a bored habit. But I challenge you to be different. I challenge you to monitor your behavior and words and try not to give in to mindless behavior. I challenge you to make your friends better people by challenging them. Push each other to be great and counter negative comments with a positive one.
There is a fine line between venting and gossiping. “So and so hurt my feelings because of this and I need advice” vs “so and so is getting really bad skin what’s up with her” shows not meaning any harm vs maliciousness.
Sarah probably looks in the mirror every morning and night and wonders what is happening to her skin. Having skin problems sucks! How mean to point out someone’s flaws. I had to take antibiotics to get rid of backne. I didn’t wear a bikini for 6 months. It’s mortifying. Sarah probably notices her weight gain and her body is probably changing, as do all of ours and is waiting for her friends to encourage her to workout and uplift and help her. Sarah probably smokes a lot more because she’s sad and the company she keeps as friends are shitty and make her feel exiled and empty.
Spread love guys. Spread kindness. God made us all different, with all different paths, shapes, sizes and looks. Don’t be mindless, be encouraging, be smart, stretch your thought process, be an example, be WONDERFUL. We need more of that. We are more than this and we can stop people from feeling so alone simply by being kind.
Before I left that coffee shop, I made sure to make a pit stop to the mean girls table. I put my hand down on the side and smiled real big and said “Hey! I just wanted to stop by and thank you guys so much for inspiring my next blog about gossiping and bullying. I was having serious writers block and I’m super grateful. Just a friendly word of advice, there is enough bad going on in the world and enough people who are hurting so deeply and enough people who are losing and taking their lives, your friend Sarah could probably really use people who love her right now.”
I walked away and they all stayed very quiet and stared at each other but I hope I made them think. And if you ladies happen to come across my blog and are reading this right now, I hope you grow and change and become better people. I hope you love Sarah and help her and help each other because you’re better than that.
Be the change you wish to see in the world and when we make mistakes, we should apologize.
*names were changed out of respect for the individuals whose conversation I intruded on*