Body Shame

I have a post to share with you ladies and gentlemen. I am purposeful to share it here for growth purpose not for Facebook mania. This post is from one of my role models of my youth. As a teenager, my aspirations were to become an anchor. I wanted to broadcast the news on a local or national platform. Maggie Wade, little did she know that she was my inspiration when I was completing my internship at WLBT, TV station in Jackson, MS. In fact, she was the object of many lessons in my broadcast journalism class at Alcorn State University. Maggie was a class ‘act’ then and continues to be one now.

Who is Maggie, “Maggie Wade is an Anchor for the WLBT-TV3, Jackson, MS with two videos in the C-SPAN Video Library; the first appearance was a 2011 Public Affairs Event. The year with the highest average number of views per program was 2018 with an average of 2,901 views per program”(https://www.google.com/search?q=maggie+wade&oq=maggie+Wade). This is just a snapshot of who this beautiful woman is and is becoming.

I admired her as a professional, but the following post has made me admire her all the more. Ladies and gentleman as you read this, please do some self-reflecting and ask yourselves have you been guilty of anything pertaining to this article. If so, confess, repent, and grow from it as I have. There are so many nuggets from this, don’t let them go to waste. Thank you Maggie, for sharing and being so transparent.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:29-30a;32

The journey flows..

Maggie Wade, WLBT (From Maggie Wade’s Facebook Page).

September 16  ·From Maggie: I must admit there are days that I don’t like the way I look. I have bad hair days and yes I struggle with my weight. I am not getting perms as often because I want to keep my hair healthy. But when will people learn it is never positive or constructive to body shame another person. I share this only as a learning opportunity. Because we all should think twice before taking the time to use email, social media or the phone to body shame or criticize the way another person looks. We are all beautiful and unique in our own way.

The Email to Maggie: Here is the email I received today and my response is at the bottom. I continue to pray for people! Email sent to me at work this evening: Maggie, I have struggled with what to say to you regarding how you represent yourself as a professional black women. I remember in 1991 when I first moved to Mississippi and saw you on the news and in public I was impressed and I called you and asked you where you got your hair done. You were kind enough to tell me since I was new to the area. Over the years I have watched your appearance change and I wanted to reach out to you and let you know that young black and brown girls are watching you hoping that one day they might be able to be a newscaster in prime time. Please do not take my observation negatively because you impact young women. Your appearance has been on a rapid decline year after year. Specifically your hair, your weight and how you dress. I want you to know that your hair looks terrible and your weight gain is offensive. You used to look like someone that my daughter used to strive to be like. She asked me what happened to Maggie? So I’m asking you to please take more time with your hair, try to loose some weight and consider what you wear. You do impact a large number of women. I’m only writing because I tried to call to speak to you but I was not able to get through. A little constructive criticism does not hurt, don’t you think?

Maggie’s Response: My response: Thank you for your email. While I don’t think it is constructive or positive to body shame any woman, you have a right to your opinion and I respect that. In this day and time women choose many ways to wear their hair, it does not define who we are. My goal each day is to look professional, and pray that each viewer will focus more on the information than what I’m wearing, my weight or how I wear my hair. It is my hope that you will tell your daughter that I am proud of who I am and what God has blessed me with including a career that I love and continue to work hard in each and every day. I am a wife, mother and grandmother, my greatest blessings. I would hope that we would be proud of each other for what’s in our hearts and our brain rather than appearances. One of the reasons I have volunteered for years and worked with young people is to remind them they are beautiful no matter the size, what they wear or how society tries to identify or label them. I want them to love themselves, to be healthy and to strive to be the very best people they can be which means being compassionate, respectful, and treating people the way they want to be treated. One of my very favorite quotes is from the amazing Maya Angelou, “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I try to live by that and making every single person feel valued, important and relevant regardless of circumstances. Thank you again and blessings to you and your family,

Maggie,

May the Lord continues to bless you Maggie!

4 thoughts on “Body Shame

  1. This is a wonderful and heartfelt example from Maggie Wade modeling how we too can respond high when other go low. I pray that my own words would encourage and strengthen rather than tear down through hurtful criticism.
    Thanks for sharing Zephany and reminding us all to be mindful of our speech as well as our responses to negativity.

    Like

  2. Thank you Hubby! We all are in need of an example on how to respond when faced with hurtful criticism and a reminder of how are words can hurt and should be used wisely to encourage and edify not destroy.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: