Many of you remember my infamous post that I wrote last year for Essence.com about being open to dating outside my culture. Apparently the topic upset a few thousand folks and they came for me like I stole something from their mama. This was a level of cyber-bullying that I had never seen or experienced before and to say the least, I was devastated. Months later I recounted my experience for Essence’s print magazine and it made quite an impact.
A couple of weeks ago, someone who had only recently read the magazine article contacted me on my Facebook fan page and asked “how are you doing now?” That got me ta thinking… it’s been nearly 18 months and it was high time for me to share the good, the bad and the awesome that came for my ordeal. So here goes!
My post on Essence.com was so popular that it went viral. It was one of the top trending posts on Essence, The Root and Madame Noire all in the same weekend. It was a blogger’s dream come true.
Then there was the boat load of cyber-bullying that came in droves. The trolls even found my personal email address and blew up my inbox with hideously hurtful comments. I won’t even drag all that ugly drama into this post, but if you want the details, I also blogged about it here.
My “tiny” controversial post attracted some pretty ahhhhmazing folks like fellow blogger Professor JT who moved me to tears when we met up for lunch. He said “I felt like you were saying.. I LOVE BLACK MEN, WHY WON’T YOU LOVE ME BACK!” What can I say, the brotha didn’t just read my words, he read my heart! (By the way, shout out to Aunt Brenda for speaking words over my life at lunch that day.)
Initially I felt inclined to argue and defend myself against all the heinous comments. But then I just got overwhelmed and stopped. I was especially surprised when the attacks came from other women. But the even bigger shock came from the number of Black men that defended and supported me (I never expected that). Can I get a woot woot for chivalry and the brothas.
The main thing that I was bullied about was my weight. But the comments that were the most painful were ones that made assumptions about my character. Words like lazy, unmotivated, undisciplined cut deep. So 6 weeks after the initial post, I wrote a follow up and publicly addressed my battle with obesity. This post was my way of fighting back. If you’re feeling frisky, please read the post here: Why Is She So Fat? A Voice From Inside The Obesity Epidemic.
I got tons and tons of comments and and messages from people saying how I had inspired them. I started to call myself the “accidental inspiration”. Sharing my story landed me a full page article in the October 2013 of Essence magazine. It’s ironic that the section was called ‘SHARE” and it happened to be the “Beauty Issue”.
The Unthinkable, Amazing, Awesome Sauce On The Cake…
As if I didn’t get enough gooey goodness out of this situation. My follow up article caught the attention of the producers at BET and I landed the role as the featured guest on TD Jakes talk show. The topic? My battle with obesity! The show has been seen by millions world wide and I am humbled to have been a vessel for the use of God’s work.
Why Cyber-Bullies Can Kick Rocks With No Frigging Socks!
So here are my reasons in a nutshell.
- Write a blog post the goes viral (check)
- Get your chops busted to the 10th power and still come out swinging like Ali (check)
- Land a full page story in a top national publication (check)
- Land a feature spot on a nationally televised talks show (check)
- Meet and receive counsel from Bishop T. D. Jakes (CHECK!!!)
- Meet and build relationships with amazing people around the world (check)
- Realize that my voice is priceless.. (check, check, chickety check)
- Do the booty dance… well shux, I’m about outta checks!
So on that note I’m going to scoot on outta here and go earn a paycheck.