This weekend has been quite different than what I had planed. The majority of my waking hours was spent on Saturday feeling conflicted. Part of me was feeling ecstatic that a piece I had written was on the front of a wildly, successful online magazine. Writing for xoJane had been a writing goal for so long, and contributing over the past 9 months has been incredible.
My goal has as always been to connect with others through my writing- so someone out there going through similar situations won’t feel so alone. As a writer, the fact that the comments have continued to pour in (last time I check it was at 502) is also an incredible win. People are reading, clicking, and sharing my story. Someone other than my grandmother is taking the time to read and talk about what I have to say.
The other part of me is mentally wrestling with myself. I would say 85-90% of the comments have been uplifting and full of constructive criticism. I have gotten AMAZING online dating advice and can’t wait to try it out. It was the advice I was looking for from readers. There have also been lovely emails sent to me from readers saying their experiencing the same thing, or have in the past. Again- it was a goal of the article to strike a chord with women facing similar struggles.
What i didn’t expect was the hateful, mean, body shaming feedback from the 10%. The ones that brought my deepest insecurities to light. The comments that have started to unravel my positive body image I’ve worked so freaking hard in therapy each week to repair. The comments that want me to know that I’m fat and boring, so no man will want to be in my presences. And that I must be going out of my league, because apparently ‘girls like me’ don’t deserve to be in relationships.
I did not expect this on xoJane, especially since it is a website that prides itself on being non-judgmental platform created by a community of women who are supposed to encourage each other. The majority of feed back has been all of these things, but the ones that haven’t have just baffled me.
So some people have asked to I regret writing about this topic. Hell no– I am 100% standing behind my piece.
To the commenters that gave constructive advice on how to better my dating profile through changing the bio and including photos featuring me doing more active things, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are the reason I love xoJane. You are the reason I continue writing about my life. You are the reason the internet rocks.
And to all of you who have used this space to body shame and make women who are a certain size feel unlovable: Thank you for reminding me that we has a society have A LOT of work to do.