You know how they say if you don't want to hear something that will upset you, you shouldn't eavesdrop? It's kind of the same with Google, I think.
I was going to write an entry about how good Lola (aka bebe pone) has been doing and how nice it is that March is here and horses are shedding and stuff, but then I fell down an internet rabbit hole.
I read an article about how Google search's main page has changed, and for a lack of anything else to search, I punched in "A Fat Girl A Fat Horse". I do this from time to time to see what sorts of keywords pull the blog, etc - as a matter of marketing and knowing how people are finding me. The fatal error I made was that I then checked out "images". Of course there were tons of images that I had posted on the blog (fair enough), but then I caught sight of this picture:
Pretty much cropped off below my knees, used on a site called Memegenerator where people put words on stock images and then post them on Facebook and think they're clever. I saw a couple on the main search page but then clicked through to the memegenerator site itself.
I won't post the memes that were generated using this picture, but I will tell you there were 9 pages of them, the least insulting of them being "Dave's Girlfriend" (trust me, Dave should be so lucky!). Many of them insinuated a sexual relationship with this horse, most of them were about the horse's back breaking,
I'm not immune to this stuff. I often put on a brave face but the instances that hurt me the most are when I don't have the opportunity to engage in a sensible discussion with someone, when things are said or done in a "hit and run" style that are clearly meant only to hurt. So I was incredulous, then I was hurt, and then I regrouped. It didn't take long, maybe 30 minutes, for me to lift my head back up and remember a few things.
If someone isn't human enough to ask me more, to find out the story, before passing judgement or worse, trying to pass my existence off as humor... well, I don't have time for that. Waaaaaay too busy being fabulous!
The truth is, friends, the internet is a wondrous and horrifying place all at the same time. It is a great place to network, find people with similar interests - support, friendship, and all of the things that build us up and make us happy and healthy. The internet is also a mostly anonymous outlet for hateful people to spew their vitriol with little to no consequence. People get to air alllllll their ugly out there, and other ugly people can find them and give them a virtual high five and perpetuate that ugly.
Now, about that picture. Though some anonymous assholes on the internet have used it for the butt of their joke -- that picture represents pride, it represents happiness, it represents freedom and the beginning of a whole change of heart about how I felt about myself. Angel has been gone for almost 8 years now. I am so much different now than I was then. Amanda then probably could not have looked at this and realized that the problem is with them, not with me. Amanda then probably would have had a crying jag (I didn't even shed a single tear this time!), and then done something self destructive which probably would have involved rage-eating or some other type of overindulgence. Amanda then couldn't have, after the initial shock and sadness, felt sorry for the people who have nothing better to do with their life than to make fun of an anonymous person without knowing a single thing about their life other than their body size. Amanda now has got this in the bag.
Edited to add: Now that I am over being shocked and upset, I think the thing that bothers me the most is that they used an image with my beloved deceased Angel in it in this way. I think the humor of it on images of Bronwyn and I wouldn't have been as tough as the one-two punch of not only seeing the cruel words used but also my dead horse.
Edited AGAIN to add: If, by sharing my image of me riding Angel, in the four year life of this blog, I have inspired EVEN ONE reader to STOP putting things off until the time is right and their body is perfect, then this grief has all been worth it!