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Wednesday, September 16, 2020, Channel 3 news reporter Maggie Wade shared on her facebook page a message sent to her. As always, Maggie handled the situation with strength and grace. What a wonderful lesson she shared with the lady who “called Maggie out” on her appearance.
Many are constantly striving to look their best for the world. My heart cringes for teenagers who may not have the perfect body, the perfect hair style, or the perfect teeth! People are quick to give their opinion of anyone…good or bad…on social media. Calling out a person seems to be the norm. If someone makes an honest mistake, let’s crucify them (like those people never made a mistake).
Take time to read Maggie’s post. Listen to her words…and let us strive to look at the heart.
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. Here is the email I received today and my response is at the bottom. I continue to pray for people!
The email sent to Maggie Wade.
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?
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,
(The photo is from WLBT’s Facebook page)
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