My little sister, Josephine, came down for a visit on Tuesday and slept over. Tuesday night, we decided to go to Walmart, just so that I could get out of the house for a little while and show her around the town a bit. Plus, I had some birthday money of Nolan’s to spend on him, so yeah.
Anyways, I wore leggings, a skirt, a t-shirt and flip-flops. I was wandering around the main aisle, waiting for Josephine to come back from grabbing a cart and talking on the phone with Matt (asking him what he wanted me to pick up, if anything) when two teenage girls walked by. One of them stared at my foot and started laughing and elbowed her friend, pointing at my foot. Her friend chimed in with the laughter and said “OMG, look at her toes! That is so gross” as if I wasn’t even there.
I froze, mid sentence, and felt my heart drop into my stomach. I was extremely embarrassed, held frozen in place by that embarrassment and in that single moment they were able to walk away laughing, looking over their shoulder at me.
Then the anger set in. I couldn’t believe those two young girls had the balls to openly point and laugh at someone for being different. I mean sure, my crooked toes aren’t the cutest, but seriously? Who raised them? MTV?
I was angry. I wanted to go up to them and say “Yeah, that will be five bucks please. If you’re gonna stare at me like I’m a freak show, you might as well pay me for my embarrassment” but didn’t, because I’m honestly not that ballsy (although, I totally wish I WAS).
It also made me extremely sad and worried about Nolan’s future. When I wear flip-flops or sandals or any other kind of shoe that displays those toes, I catch a lot of people staring. Most of them? They don’t school their features. The disgust clearly shows. It’s embarrassing. It’s one of the [millions] of reasons why I have such a horrible body image. It’s one thing to try to rise above it and think positively, but when you’re actually in the moment with people staring and even laughing and pointing at you, it’s hard to hold too that ‘everyone is beautiful’ mindset. It’s hard to feel confident. It’s hard to feel anything but embarrassed, insecure, and low as all hell.
I don’t want Nolan to ever feel the way I felt in Walmart the other night, and so…I’m asking all of you to do me a favour. If your eyes are drawn to something different and strange about someone, something that isn’t exactly society’s definition of “beautiful”….please don’t stare. Please don’t point and laugh. Chances are, you’re making that person feel uncomfortable and embarrassed. Chances are, you’re hurting them. If you see someone else doing this to a person, and that person is frozen with the emotions of having a physical feature laughed at, please speak out and say “not cool”, because chances are the person that they’re laughing at is too insecure and embarrassed to stand up for themselves, as I was in Walmart the other night. Had I been able to reach the anger emotion faster, I sure as shit would have [tried] to say something.