Thursday, February 23, 2012

Criticism and Bullying


As you know, I post about topics that are important to me in between all of the pretty pictures of decorating and fashion on here. From breastfeeding to Christmas card etiquette to nutrition and wellness, I enjoy sharing knowledge with others, and I enjoy learning. Enjoy. As Sir Francis Bacon said, "Knowledge is power." Or Benjamin Franklin, An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."

One important topic that I have wanted to post about - or more ASK about - for quite some time is criticism and bullying. This is a huge problem in our society today, as I am sure any of you with children in school know. I bet mothers in the carpool line feel it. Now, I know that there are many out there that view my posts on touchy subjects as judgmental, and I am sure there are some sentences that step on some toes, however I do my best to base the core reasoning behind my discussions on facts - not emotion. Not opinion. Facts gained through research. Once I present the information, truthfully I do not care even 1% if you listen to me or not. That is YOUR choice. I am an advocate for breastfeeding, but I don't care if you give formula to your kid until he's 14 years old. It's your child. I like following Miss Manner's etiquette rules, but if you want to list your names upside down and backwards on your Christmas cards and then smear poop on them - go for it. It's your card. If you are morally against eating meat, don't. If you want to eat sugar cubes and Doritos for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for the rest of your life, more power to you. It's your body. I present a topic based on facts, follow with a logical discussion, and exit stage left. 

That said, let's get back to bullying. When I put any of that information out here in the blogosphere with good intent - to simply educate and bring awareness to a subject - it is puzzling when I receive a comment like the one below. One that is not based on ANY facts, but rather emotionally fueled. Unfortunately {for her} an emotionally-fueled position is one that will never hold any water....

Arya Elizabeth Delevigne has left a new comment on your post "Nutrition in 100 Words":
you won't eat a bean but you'll devour cattle that has been slaughtered in the most unholiest and inhumane of ways? how christian and republican of you.

you went on an african safari to hunt wild animals and then turn their skins into rugs for your non-grain eating babies to crawl on. you don't see that as twisted at all? you have the chance to travel to a beautiful country on a severely impoverished continent and watch animals in their natural habitat and you kill them?*

look, i'm all for eating healthy and providing the best for myself, my family, friends, all loved ones, but you are OFF YOUR ROCKER. and it is just getting worse.
if you treat food this way, your children are going to suffer, you're basically paving the path for eating disorders. And Paleo guru diet program BS. you bought the book, right?

your blog is becoming this neurotic hypocritical regurgitation of southern digest and whatever you google that is on the runways of Paris. There are other housewives and mothers who believe what you say and just want you to pat them on the back through the internet.

i don't come at you with anger, it is frustration. you advertise yourself as something you're not.
you are southern, as much of my family is. river oaks houston to be exact. so i suppose what is "eclectic" about your blog is that you try to be anything but a stuck in the middle of texas woman through liking neon and gaudy things your husband buys. the icing on your cake being your belief in eating Paleo is the one thing that makes you feel separate from the fatties driving in the SUV next to yours, kids in the backseat eating sesame rice crackers. keep preaching.

i don't expect you to publish this comment. i don't mind either way. when you create a blog you are communicating with the rest of the world and people you do not know and who do not know you. i'm just telling you that this is how you appear to people who are not in your demographic (housewife, middle american, white, republican, anglo saxon protestant). your blog was much more accessible and palatable when it was you and your take on fashion and decorating. but if you want to preach then preach. i won't bother you with a negative comment again.
sincerely, arya

*through simply googling your name the photos of you and your husband show he supported those horrible OBAMA socialist as the joker images, is an avid proponent of world violence through support for continued Army presence and for a war in Iran. no wonder you're so focused on your diet. that and the fact that you used to be overweight. there's photos of you at St. Andrew's, you were barely recognizable.

Sweet thing.

It is difficult for me to even know how to respond, primarily for the reason I gave above: emotionally based arguments won't get you anywhere, and really don't allow room for intelligent and logical responses. The quote that first came to mind when I read her words was this:

"The highest form of ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about." - Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

She seems fairly certain she knows everything about me to say the silly things she did {and is definitely very confused about Paleo}, but nonetheless took it upon herself to spend the time writing a letter with this nature, with the intent of...?? What is achieved by attempting to bully, criticize and belittle another? To try to cause hurt? To make herself feel better about her lifestyle choices by attempting to meanly knock holes in mine? I honestly don't know the point, which is the purpose of this post - enlighten me if you have an answer as to why people behave like this!

Which brings me back to the problem of criticism and bullying in our world today. This is a serious issue, and the saddest thing is that it is happening at such a young age. Our children are dealing with this - often daily. Criticism of body types, the wrong shoes, a unique outfit, a hair color someone might deem unacceptable, or perhaps {and as I believe is most usually the case} it is just based on their own insecurities. Thankfully, my skin is pretty much as thick as it gets. I can let stuff like this roll off me. Not everyone can though, and no one should have to be faced with hateful remarks. It breaks my heart - sickens me. angers me. - to read of young children taking their own lives because they simply did not know how to handle being bullied. So I have to ask: WHY ARE PEOPLE SO MEAN?!

I could tell Arya that Squish and Munch had donuts this weekend at a birthday party, and, gasp!, so did I. I could tell her that the majority of the meat we eat at our house has been killed by Biz - in the most humane way possible. I could tell Arya that we eat every animal we kill, and that it confuses me she would not advocate using the entire part of the animal, but throwing away the hide rather than having it in our home. I could tell Arya that she needs to research preservation versus conservation, and educate herself on the differences, successes, failures and benefits of each. I could tell her that allowing hunting licenses for endangered animals in Africa has moved species from endangered to thriving, once money is there from hunters and conservationists. I could tell Arya that the people I have met that care most about the land and have the most respect for and appreciation of animals are, in fact, hunters. I could tell Arya that I am certain my children will not suffer as a result of my husband shooting a deer. I could tell her that she should consider reading a Paleo book, as then she would not mention anything about feed lots in an argument against the lifestyle. I could tell her that it might be beneficial for her to talk to someone about her anger and frustration, but I don't know of any good therapists in River Oaks. {Anyone??} I could tell her that I am proud of myself from going to very unhealthy in college to very healthy now - weight loss was a happy side effect. I could suggest to her that she might find it more beneficial to spend time Googling anger management, rather than searching through old photos of me and my husband. I could tell Arya that I don't eat Paleo because it "is the one thing that makes me feel separate from the fatties in the SUV next to mine," but rather I focus on my diet because I want to be around for a long, long time to see my great-great grand babies. I could ask Arya if she means my blog was more accessible and palatable only when she wasn't aware we had different views on certain subject areas. I could tell her that I don't really consider myself a Republican - they're not politically conservative enough for me - but that might make her mad. Ok ok, I'll say it ;) I could tell her that the way I present myself is nothing but 110% authentic, neon shoes, gaudy jewelry and all {thanks Miuccia Prada! Those rhinestone Miu Miu earrings are still my favorites!} and even when faced with ugly criticism like hers, I will never stay silent on a topic I feel strongly about. I could tell her that the most wonderful, special, touching and appreciative comments I receive are on these so-called preachy posts, and that I get more requests for these than anything I ever post about. Why would I say any of that though? It seems she already knows everything about me.

Enough of the I could. I WILL tell Arya that if she doesn't like who she thinks I am, or what this blog is about, then she is more than welcome to unsubscribe. There are plenty of other blogs that focus solely on pretty pictures. 

to be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best night and day to make you
everybody else means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight
and never stop fighting.
-e.e. cummings

I had to memorize that in 7th grade. Fifteen years later - it still applies. I once heard this: to avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. Think about that! Don't be afraid of criticism. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you'll be criticized anyway." Think of criticism and you as oil and water - just tell yourself the two don't mix, and let it roll off your back. Stay true to yourself. Act with integrity so that you may always hold your head high. You are good because you're YOU. There are 7 billion people in this world - don't let one get you down!



106 comments:

  1. Very well said!

    I'm new to your blog and happen to fall into the same demographic that you do. It's who you are; don't be ashamed of it (or your views and opinions).

    If others can't stand your views, then why are they even reading?????

    Keep it up. :)

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  2. I am appalled. I just typed up a sort of angry response to all of the things that woman said about you but decided to delete it. Instead, I will just write that, sadly, there are hateful people everywhere and I am disappointed that you had to encounter one of them via internet bullying. This should be a safe place for you. After all, it is YOUR blog.

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  3. if you're going to put yourself out there with potentially polarizing points of view, then you really need to develop a thicker skin.

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  4. Although I try and eat a mainly vegetarian diet (just don't love the taste of meat), am at the opposite spectrum in political views and have never hunted a thing in my life (no kids yet, but I do plan on breastfeeding). I must say that I'm amazed that someone would take the time to write such a hateful comment. It's as simple as if you don't like the non-pretty-picture filled posts then skip them. Good for you for rising above.

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  5. Unreal. This person is a total psycho. Stalker. I just never understand these blog-bullies, and they always lurk at any successful blog. The fact that she is in total disagreement with everything about you, yet has obviously memorized everything you've ever published here is just absurd. Why be hateful over someone's blog life, real-life, choices, etc??? It's a freaking blog, don't like it, read something else!!! I've got plenty of different beliefs than you, but that doesn't interfere with my appreciation for your design and life commentary. Kudos to you for standing up for what you believe in!!!

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  6. Wow....I don't think I have words after reading that awful comment! I've seen quite a few bloggers address "bullies" like the one above when they've encountered them and it always appalls me at how mean people can be! Good for you for standing your ground!

    P.S. Since I know you enjoy learning and educating yourself, you might be interested in the documentary Forks Over Knives....you obviously follow at Paleo lifestyle but I found this documentary about vegan eating particularly interesting since its done from a very medical standpoint. Not that I'm trying to push you to stop eating animals or anything....just thought it was a very well done and educational movie! :)

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  7. Sheridan, you and I couldn't be more different in world viewpoints, and I STILL love reading your blog! I think it's refreshing that you're genuine and personal - after all, isn't that what blogs are for? There are so very many different blogs out there that if yours offends her, she can certainly find something else out there that's just pretty pictures with no opinion or thought behind them. ;) Please keep being you - that's why I read!

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  8. Yay for you!!!!!!! Why would someone be so hateful? There is certainly a difference between having a different point of view and bullying. She is CLEARLY a bully! Good for you for standing up to such a hateful person!

    Jennifer

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  9. Sheridan, I for one want to say I love reading your blog, especially the informational, opinionated posts! Even if I disagree with the posts (which I usually do not). I think your attitude of not letting this psycho, Arya, get to you and then taking her cruel words and turning it into a lesson about bullying is a phenom way to handle this girl/situation.

    For the record it is beyond creepy that this girl took her own personal time to google you and your family, and also that she took the time to write such a ridiculous and mean-spirited post. Clearly this girl is a LOSER with too much time on her hands. I would suggest she spend more time focusing on her life and her family and less time being so concerned with your life...but that's just my personal opinion.

    Keep up the great posts, both pretty pictures and opinionated ones. I love your style and attitude toward life! xx

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  11. Amen to this post! I really don't get when people feel the need to put others down, ESPECIALLY, people they've never even met in real life. I think most of it stems from insecurity. Way to keep yourself above all the nastiness...I love your blog--so keep it coming and Arya can let the back door hit her on the way out!

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  12. Great post. If you write something that one of your readers disagrees with or is offended by, that is not on you. You are not forcing anyone to read this blog. I don't agree with everything you write about, but I admire your curiosity and passion. Anyone who cannot "live and let live" needs to stop reading personal blogs.

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  13. STAND UP AND TAKE A BOW, SHERIDAN!!! BRAVO!!!!!!!!!

    It makes me crazy when people comment in such negative ways. If she doesn't like what you offer than why in the world does she read your blog? I'm proud of you for standing up for your beliefs.

    May I also add, you gave me the push to research Paleo. I've been Paleo since June and I don't plan on ever on giving it up. I feel and look better than I ever have!

    Keep sharing whatever YOU wish....afterall this is YOUR "baby!" Those of us that choose to follow are fortunate enough to partake of it. :D

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  14. You asked why people criticise - isn't it obvious - it gets your attention! You must have received literally hundreds of compliments not to mention have hundreds of loyal blog fans who adore your aesthetic and humour - but which do you dedicate a post to? Calling someone out like this is a form of bullying too. Naming this individual was cruel, even if it is reciprocal, even if you may feel they deserve it, even if they do deserve it. You have an incredible lifestyle, family and future ahead of you - not everyone is so fortunate - not everyone can or will share your view of the world. Why expect that?! How people choose to express themselves can be unfortunate but for goodness sake don't give them a microphone! :-) All any of us can do is do our best to be the better person, friend, colleague, stranger etc. (In fact that's the first thing you define yourself by right here on your adorable blog). Not convinced you did yourself justice here S....

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    1. Girl on a Mission - I agree with you 100% and you said exactly what I was thinking in an eloquent way. Just wanted to let you know that people agree with you!

      Delete
    2. I have to agree with Girl on Mission. Sheridan, your blog is completely entertaining!! But, 'bullying' is the wrong word here. Bullying is habitual behavior. This gal commented one time. She wanted to detail her opinions. Thats fine. Unfortunately, she peppered her opinions with personal attacks on you. So Not fine. So tacky.

      Delete
  15. I agree with Erin. Why read?

    That was a pretty hateful and undeniably BITTER post. It was her choice to read your blog and by NO means do you force people to follow your views. You are merely sharing.

    Stand your ground. Rock your neon colors. Share your style and BY ALL MEANS, share all the great goodies and gifts your husband provides for you!!!!

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  16. i'm glad you posted this - there is never any reason for bullying and I'm glad to see more bloggers taking a stance rather than deleting the angry comments!

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  17. Sheridan! You are doing a great job, and keep it up! I'm ALSO a southern girl and my hubby does Crossfit and I ran across your blog looking for PALEO STUFF!! SO YAY! We are doing Paleo as much as we can, and honestly my body has never been happier with what I'm feeding it! So thank you for posting the pancake recipes and meatloaf etc! yummy yummy!
    I'm so sorry that blogger stalker sent you unkind words, but obvi this chick can only hang in circles where everyone agrees with her...and in my humble opinion, HOW BORING...
    I just moved from Houston and the entire River Oaks comment sort of baffled me? Why is that necessary to include in her ranting rage of "frustration" on YOUR blog?? If she's so passionate on sharing her opinions then maybe she can start her own blog??? just ideas..
    You are doing an incredible job. I SO enjoy reading your thoughts, ideas and inspirations. I agree with you that we should be celebrating our differences, no criticizing them.
    Thanks for rising above.
    Sincerely,
    A very loyal reader:)

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  18. I can't believe someone would take the time to be that hateful. This is YOUR blog and we all appreciate you being honest and yourself. Keep it coming, we love you!

    xoxo
    eileen
    www.acreativedayblog.com

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  19. My Mama taught me "if you don't have something nice to say, say nothing at all". I handed down this word of wisdom to my daughters. Obviously not everyone had such a wise Mama! :(

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  20. I don't normally comment on the blogs I follow because my opinion probably doesn't matter to the blog writer and if I don't agree with them and at some point may get tired of them, it is my choice to "unfollow" them. I'm commenting now because I wanted you to know I enjoy reading your blog. Arya is bitter, jealous and, most likely, is very unhappy with her life and needed to make herself feel better by putting you down. Please keep up the great writing.

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  21. I'm stunned by her comments! Wow! Bullying and unnecessary criticism has been on my mind a lot lately too. It first started when I noticed how negative people's comments on Pinterest can be. I honestly don't know what happened to "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." It really makes me sad. My opinion? I think most of those nasty comments and mean hardheartedness comes from a person's own insecurities and jealousy. I don't have children yet but I am desperately trying to figure out how to teach my future children how to have courage. Courage to be themselves, courage to stand up for themselves, courage to not fear possible failure. I really enjoy your honest posts as well and am glad you are awesome enough to not let negative comments get you down!

    Megan
    www.thenolaruth.com

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  22. What a bitter comment! There are ways to not agree with someone and state your opinion/belief whatever tactfully and respectfully. These internet bullies are truly awful. I was reading another blog and they went beyond attacking the blogger and started off about how ugly her daughter was and how they thought she looked like a troll doll. Her daughter is adorable by the way. It just saddens me that adults are worse than children these days. Nobody has the right to tell anyone who they're allowed to be.

    Keep being you! Your blog is amazing because of it!

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  23. Ignore her. Someone that nasty and judgmental is best left to her own mean spirited self. I do not always agree with you - I do not always agree with anyone. I don't expect to and would find a clone of me to be boring - already got one! I feel the same way you do - life is like a cafeteria line: lots out there, check it out and choose what you want. To criticize in such a nasty way someone who is different is inexcusable. Nice to know this ONE WOMAN has all of life's answers, from politics to diet to fashion, etc etc.

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  24. sheridan. you rock. you rock as a mother, as a wife, and as a small business owner. good for you for not only publishing this nonsense but for sticking up for yourself. in doing so you are giving others and your children an amazing role model...bravo!

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  25. As many people have commented... If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all. I firmly believe that if you don't agree with someone's beliefs or posts, then you can walk away from the blog. Period. I don't understand why people try to force others to believe their beliefs or why they do so in such a hateful manner. It saddens me to see how people blatantly attack each other in the comment section. It's so mean-spirited and amazes me that they don't see the error in their ways. Do these commenters honestly think they're going to sway someone by discussing someone's weight or economic status?

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  26. What this woman needs is a serious dose of prayer.
    She is honestly the kind of person we will hear about when turning on the news one morning. I'm not joking. She is really teetering on psychopath.
    Sheridan, you and your blog are adored by many.
    It is because of you that my family found Paleo, did our homework, and feel amazing.
    I do sort of want to bully you into giving me your yellow glitter miu miu's though :)
    xo

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  27. Wow! I think the anonymity of the internet allows people to be just as cruel as they want to be without face to face confrontation, which I'm sure she wouldn't have the guts to do! This is YOUR blog and anyone that disagrees with your point of view on ANY subject can simply stop reading and go on to the next blog. I'm proud of you for publishing and responding to her critical comment without letting your emotions get the best of you, it would have been very difficult for me to do that! I am new to your blog and really look forward to your posts. Bless your heart, you are a true Southern sweetheart!

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  28. Keep doing what you are doing! I love your blog!

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  29. Just delete people like that. They are not worth your time or emotional energy, and I am saying that as a grain-eating vegetarian.

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  30. Sheridan, Just recently subscribed to your blog and am loving it! This woman's comments were mean and I'm like you and alot of the others,she needs to MOVE ON!!! This person must have a truly miserable life and be jealous of you and yours! Keep on keeping on with what your doing!

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  31. Bravo! It's impossible to understand that kind of viciousness, but it's so important to stand your ground and not waver from what you believe.

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  32. Maybe it would surprise Arya to know that one of your readers in downtown Manhattan agrees with everything you said in this post! People who love God, guns and meat don't only line in the middle of Texas, FYI! Do you read Peppermint Bliss? A fellow Texan blogger who has recently addressed cyber-bullying...

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  33. For someone who says she's not coming at you in anger, she sure does sound angry to me. Instead of being hateful to you because she disagrees with your opinions and beliefs, I suggest she just stop reading. Last time I checked, blog-lovin' was completely voluntary. I don't always agree with you, but that's just it, it's YOUR opinion and YOUR blog. How BO-RING if we all had identical views. I think you are fearless for putting it all out there, and it's too bad that people still let their own insecurites get the best of them.

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  34. love your blog! keep doing what you're doing!

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  35. I appreciate that you were brave enough to confront the criticism so boldly. I think your mantra at the end says it all: "take me as I am or watch me as I go." You can't please everyone, and you would be nuts to try. Maybe we can all take this as a wake-up call from the constant criticism we receive and JUST BE NICE TO PEOPLE.

    I love your blog and I have your Paleo Pancakes bookmarked :)

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  36. Sheridan, I thought your facing and staring down criticism like this was very brave! I feel so often that we live in a world where everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion...as long as it is the "right" one. Your quote, "To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing" encourages me to voice my own deeply felt beliefs more often, rather than being careful not to provoke the kind of cruel backlash that you got on your blog. You could have never blogged at all in order to avoid the sting of that personal attack, but then you would have deprived the rest of us of your sense of humor, insights, and fantastic taste! Thank you for taking the risk, and thank you for the encouragement!

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  37. Arya Elizabeth DelevigneFebruary 24, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    I agree with Girl on a Mission. Sheridan, you have the choice to allow anyone to see a comment. And as I wrote to you I didn't expect you to publish it as it was meant for you to read and not to garner any negative attention for you or your blog.
    Honestly, I enjoyed your blog because I am interested in DIY projects which you have a creative eye for. This is why I google searched your name. To my surprise I saw things that are contradictory to who you claim to be and what you stand for. If googling someone's name makes one a "stalker" then we all are.
    I said some negative things about you and I disagree with your opinions, but I was not cyber bullying you as you are an adult who has the choice to publish this or not*. If someone upsets you then ignore them. Be constructive. Make a topic about how criticism on the internet affects you and us all and allow others voices to come through openly with their own experiences, without an aim at a specific person online. Much more is accomplished that way, selflessly.
    After I sent what I wrote to you I instantly regretted some of the things I said. My intent was not to hurt you and I feel the last portion was only that. My intent was to express to you directly how I am appalled by some of the choices you and your adult husband have made which you put out there for us to read and I saw by googling your name. I kept my mouth shut for awhile because I knew nothing would come of me telling you any of it. I also wanted to tell you as a reader that I think your blog is better as a house design/fashion blog because that is what you are best at. Regardless, it's yours to do whatever you wish.

    I do not subscribe to your blog and as I said before I don't intend on commenting negatively or positively again. I am not trolling you or trying to make you feel bad. Still, I understand that I came across as someone who i am not and this bothered me. It is my own fault for being overly aggressive and stooping as low as making those last negative comments about your weight, etc. which is something NONE of us should do.
    All in all it was futile. There is no way I could say what i think about you in a way you could see past your own POV to understand. You live your life how you think it should be lived. I have enough family who I deeply cherish and love in Texas to understand how the "wealthy conservative wall" works.
    It's sad but not surprising how women are so quick to PUBLICLY attack one woman. Yes, I am talking to all of you on here who went directly to the crowd of girls standing on the playground calling one girl, someone they don't know, names and making assumptions about her character. Sheridan, you made an entire post out of something I wrote to you in a private comment and had people who subscribe to you putting me down and patting you on the back for being strong. I think I mentioned the whole "patting on the back" thing before.

    I did not cyber bully you. Goodness! I criticized your choices once, privately, told you I never would again, and you chose to make them public.
    Sorry for hurting your feelings,
    Arya.

    I will include the definition of "cyberbullying" because it seems most people here, including you, don't understand it at all.

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    Replies
    1. Arya,

      Get a life!!!

      Sheridan,

      You rock! pat, pat!

      Delete
    2. It is impressive that you came back to the blog to appologize and state that your personal attacks were wrong.

      Delete
    3. Arya,
      Really? What did you think you were going to do when you decided to criticize someone's way of life and family. Go look in the mirror and I hope you see a perfect person, but I seriously doubt that!!!

      Delete
    4. Arya,

      I was so upset, insulted, and disheartened by your original message that I could not bring myself to respond.

      First of all, you clearly do not know Sheridan French at all which is too bad because she is an awesome, down to earth, extremely intelligent, hardworking, and loving friend, mother to her precious children, and wife to her fantastic husband. It is clear in your comment that you do not get her or what she is about at all, and for that I am sorry because you are really missing out.

      I am not sure if you are young or simply inexperienced but hopefully this will teach you an important life lesson. NEVER put anything in writing that you aren't comfortable having published across the world wide web, put in your file, or generally associated with you for the rest of your life. From this point forward, when anyone (including future employers) googles your name they will find a lovely tirade directed toward someone you don't know that is filled with fantastic grammar to boot! That will definitely not reflect very well on you...

      It is clear that you are upset that Sheridan published your comment - this is evidenced in your response comment when you wrote: "And as I wrote to you I didn't expect you to publish it as it was meant for you to read and not to garner any negative attention for you or your blog."

      However, to criticize her for publishing your comment is extremely hypocritical as you literally provided permission IN WRITING for her to do so in your original comment: "i don't expect you to publish this comment. i don't mind either way." If you are going to attack someone you need to OWN IT, don't try and hide behind a claim that it was meant for their eyes only.

      I could spend all night responding to each thing you said, but that is simply not a productive use of time. Luckily, I know Sheridan well enough to know that she does not need defending - she is a tough cookie and is also smart enough to know that if she puts herself out there not everyone will agree with her. It's ok, she can handle it.

      However, you should know that there is not a person out there who does more research than Sheridan French. Her political beliefs, thoughts on food and diet, motherhood, marriage, work, play, whatever are exhaustively researched and I can assure you she and Biz do not make decisions based on "fatties driving in the SUV next to [theirs]", pats on the back, nor are they a part of the "wealthy conservative wall" - that one is just funny.

      But, I do have to ask, in what universe is it acceptable to attack someone YOU HAVE NEVER MET's religious & political ideals, perceived financial status, food choices, parenting choices, and weight in one comment? Not to mention referring to someone as "off your rocker". Why would you ever think that is OK?

      You say in your response comment:
      "It's sad but not surprising how women are so quick to PUBLICLY attack one woman. Yes, I am talking to all of you on here who went directly to the crowd of girls standing on the playground calling one girl, someone they don't know, names and making assumptions about her character."

      This is extremely ironic as you are basically describing yourself and your own actions. You publicly attacked one woman, that you don't know, called her names AND made assumptions about her character and life choices. The women who attacked you had just as much information in judging you as you do in judging Sheridan.

      I applaud you for realizing you made some mistakes and apologizing, that is never easy, and I am sure you have learned more from this experience than anyone else involved...Hopefully you will refrain from ever lashing out at someone in such a way and can instead learn that if you don't like something then stop looking/reading/watching/listening to/or participating in it and move on with your life in a productive, loving, and happy way.

      All the Best!

      Melissa

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  38. When I first stumbled upon your blog I found it light and fun and inspiring. I have to admit, after reading your breastfeeding article, I felt pretty judged and pretty bad about myself....I didn't find it necessary to rip you a new one, however, I do find myself reading your blog less. I'm all for educating people; let us all do it in a loving and compassionate way.

    My own personal experience with criticism is this: I only take offense or find the need to defend myself if I find any ounce of truth to what is being said. Is there any possibility that within the entire message, something bothers you because there may be truth to it? Furthermore, imagine this possibility, FORGIVING this woman in lieu of callling her names including psychopath and lunatic.....isn't FORGIVENESS how we put an end to bullying. After all, should your kids see you or hear you name calling you are certainly preparing them to be a bully themselves....

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  39. I am in shock that in today's world as fellow women we still choose to be so judgemental of other's choices rather than supporting one another. I've read all of your post and the comments from Arya on here. Any comment made on a blog is public and you clearly were aware of that when you wrote that - never assume someone is going to not let your horrible words to be seen by all. It is bullying - just because you don't agree with someone and how they choose to feed their family doesn't make them wrong, it just makes them different than you.

    Wouldn't it be great if in this world instead of being so mean we could all just learn to support one another because we're all really just trying to do the best we can.

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    1. I am shocked as well. Shocked by how people here have responded. Aren't most of us women? Aren't we supposed to love another? I don't see how creating a blog post from someone's comment is a way to achieve that. It completely backfired. See what happened? See how most of us reacted? We attacked someone. We called her names. We insulted her.
      If that's what brings us together then that's a sad state of affairs.

      This is not typical of the comments which are usually present here; full of support and helpful friendly communication.
      Anya was not kind in her words and yes, she was very critical of Sheridan's choices, but no where in there is it cyber bullying. Not even close! I have two children 11yo girl and 17yo girl (I know, doesn't that sound like a hoot!). Cyber bullying is serious, children are expelled from school over it. It is not something to be handled lightly and tossed around with as adults. We should know better.

      Mel- any comment made on a blog isn't always public. These comments are moderated as are many personal blogs. Aside from that she wrote she didn't mind if Sheridan published it.
      I'm not taking her side, I'm simply stating what you must have read over.

      I am in 100% agreement with you. I think this is a beautiful way to live:
      "Wouldn't it be great if in this world instead of being so mean we could all just learn to support one another because we're all really just trying to do the best we can."
      sadly that is unrealistic, just look how Sheridan shedding light on the situation only enhanced everyone's negativity. Perhaps there was a better way of handling this Sheridan. I know comments like this can hurt, but only if we let them and you made something bigger than it was allowing more darkness instead of light. It's disappointing.
      Sarah B.

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  41. Bravo. Perfect post.
    Colette

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  42. The fact that you are very different from me is one of the reasons I enjoy reading your blog. It is fascinating to get insight into the life of a different person living far away from me, with a completely different lifestyle. The blogosphere would be quite bland if were all people just like me who adhered to my beliefs.

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  43. Oh my goodness Sheridan - I have never commented on here before because it seems strange somehow as your friend to communicate with you in such a public forum - but despite all the well written and well informed comments there is something important which is yet to be said.
    I agree with many of the comments on here (and in case anyone is wondering I am a left wing pasta addicted Scot living in London), and I would like to tell a story of the St. Andrews pictures that Arya was so rude about...
    When in 2006 my then boyfriend (now lovely husband :)) began sharing a flat with Sheridan and some other uni friends, I saw pictures on Facebook and asked "Is she really that pretty or just unfairly photogenic?" Now my ever so diplomatic and thoughtful husband looked a little pained as if he didn't want to answer, before saying "Ok, I'm not going to lie. She really is that beautiful. Don't worry though, she is also so sweet and you are going to love her". Six years on here we are ... and those were your "fat" days! Huge hugs! Proud of you as always. xx

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  44. Sheridan, let me start by saying that I love your blog. I find it fun and creatively inspiring, I also have some very different beliefs than you, but that is okay! You are entitled to your opinions as much as I am, and let's be honest; I'm probably not going to change your opinions with a blog post nor are you likely to change mine.

    What Arya said was mean and hurtful, she brought up your beliefs, which clearly you're passionate about, she brought up the way you look, she brought up your children and family. Thick skin or not, I can see how you would be hurt by her comments. But that said, I don't think what you did back was much better. The name of the post is "Criticism and Bullying" but that is exactly what you're doing back. To me, it looks like you opened the door for all of your followers to post mean comments about her, and to pat you on the back for taking such a "stand" on bullying. When you bully, you put someone down to feel better about yourself, and frankly, that's exactly what this looks like. I so wish that you would have taken the high road and really addressed bullying and what it can mean - the serious effect it can have on people for their entire lives. Instead, I feel like you lashed out in anger, just like Ayra.

    We're all women; we all have our insecurities, our buttons that can be pushed. Let's stop attacking one another and support each other instead, we'll all be happier for it. xxoo

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    1. Kudos Molly - that was exactly the point I was trying to make to the lovely Sheridan. You said it so much better that I. Thank you. Two wrongs don't make a right. We are all someone's daughter, friend, mother, sister etc. We are all people with feelings, dreams, and foibles. We are all human and we all make mistakes. I make loads - daily!! ;-) We should support and encourage each other to be the best we can be - not call each other vile, crazy, fat, miserable, jealous. Although I will say right now I am tres jealous of Sheridan's incredible sense of style and the fact that she is a size 0/1 whilst 7/8 months pregnant - AMAZE!! - putting down the non-paleo cereal bar right now! ;-) xx

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    2. Sheridan, I have to agree with Molly and Girl on a Mission. It's exactly how I felt when I read your post. I think that the word "bullying" is thrown around a lot. Arya was critical, and, as she admits, rude, but I do not think she was bullying you. Bullying is very serious and systematically done in a way to tear someone down little by little every day until they feel like next to nothing.

      Goodness, my poor sweet niece has been battling a group of bullies at her school. They have been leaving fake, sarcastic love letters in her locker. Can you even imagine how that would feel? Slightly different from the way it feels to read one critical response, which you said yourself was obviously a very emotional response on the part of the author.

      I do think that as someone who has married into an extremely well off family, you need to be particularly mindful of how the things you say come across. Surly you can see how it can sting a bit when someone who appears to have so much makes critical comments about the life choices of other people, especially in regards to mothering, which is always a sensitive topic. For example, the issue of addressing a card with the wife's name first. You say that you don't care if other people follow your advice or not, but you do clearly care if someone takes the time and effort to send a card to you, but puts your husband's name first. You seem to conflate that with smearing feces on a card. Don't you think that's a bit judgmental?

      I think that with great privilege comes great responsibility. The more advantageous your position in life is, the more mindful you need to be of how your comments can be seen as critical to others. As someone who has also married into a very fortunate family, I think it's a small price to pay. Realize that the vast majority (99.99% of the general population) is in a very different situation from your own, and things like breast feeding, cooking, and the importance of properly addressing a card are frequently overtaken by more immediate concerns, like simply paying rent or buying gas. Being told that improperly addressing a card to someone can make the recipient seethe with anger, or that feeding a child formula or bread can give that child cancer comes off as judgmental when said by anyone, but when said by someone who's basic needs are met and then some, it comes off as especially so. A negative emotional reaction can frequently be the response that you'll get.

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  45. While I agree bullying in any situation is terrible, putting someone's name on that post just led to further judgement of another woman. It would be nice if the conversation steered more toward prevention of bullying rather than publicly attacking another reader.

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  46. Hang in there, sweet girl! Putting yourself out there unfortunately means you get the meanies and the crazies. It is life, a sad part- but a great part is your ability to express yourself and entertain us through your blog. Good job clearing things up/venting. Now don't let it bother you further! You can be sure most of her outlandish comments stem from jealousy.

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  47. Well said Sheridan! Don't let anyone else bring you down. You are amazing and I absolutely love your blog!!

    xx,
    Morgan

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  48. Before I act, I often ask myself - how would I want my daughter to respond if she were in this situation? This was a private message sent to Sheridan. Not a public comment. If Big Girl Munch received that private email message from Arya, and asked for your advice, would you tell her to post it on her Facebook wall for the world to see and comment on or would you tell her to conduct herself like the polished, classy young woman you raised her to be?

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    1. Anon - It was not a private message. It was a public comment she left on a previous post, one that she herself assigned her name to.

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    2. But...it has to go through your clearance to have it posted. You could have deleted it. It could have never been posted. You could have responded back privately. Or you could have posted it on your blog for comments without her name. Since I always ask myself - how would I want my daughter to respond - I know what I would have done. I would have chalked it up to someone having a bad moment, a bad day or a bad life and moved on. But that's me. You were upset and hurt - rightfully so - but I don't believe you conducted yourself how you would want Munch to conduct herself. IMO - your post was a mistake. You are better than that.

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    3. turn the other cheek and let it go! i am sorry your feelings were hurt but this is spiraling into something even more destructive.

      (written by a new "anonymous")

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    4. If it was a public comment then why isn't it public? I'm an avid reader of the S.E. and surely wouldn't have missed a comment as fiery as hers. I have looked through your latest posts and see her comment nowhere. It only shows up here where you posted it as the subject. If you have the ability to moderate your comments then I would say the above poster is correct in asking if you would tell your own daughter to post a private comment such as Arya's to her Facebook wall for everyone to comment on, knowing full well what would happen.
      Correct me if i am mistaken, but I don't see a private message option anywhere on your blog. I think that's where comment moderation comes in handy, you get to decide if a comment is private or not. In this case you decided when and where you wanted it to be public and it seems a bit like burning the girl at the stake.

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  49. Hi Sheridan,

    i just wanted to say i have always admired your passion, beauty, love for family, intelligence, ability to balance it all, career ... i look up to you (and i think you are younger than me- but have it way more together than I do!). but of all these incredible qualities - I admire your boldness the most. you have helped me see things differently so many times, and I appreciate your posts. whether they are deep or fashion.

    if you ever need a pat on the back - you know who to turn to... (:

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  50. Cat fight!!!! Handled very poorly on both ends.. Let's all play nice, sheesh...

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  51. Hi Sheridan,
    I am a sometimes reader on the blog and we share similar views on eating healthy, fresh, whole foods that best serve our body. My whole life changed when I became a mother. I drastically changed my family's diet and my approach to our healthcare.
    I wanted to shout my new found knowledge from the rooftops and tell everyone that they should be doing what I am doing because they too could reap the benefits of it. But then I realized that instead of others wanting my opinion, they avoided asking me things. I was way too wrapped up in my own thoughts and opinions to begin to help others.
    I believe you share information in order to help others, but sometimes, it can come across as demeaning and belittling. I too had to learn the gentle balance of sharing my knowledge and excitement with others while respecting their personal views.
    My mother always told me that you can get more bees with honey than vinegar. I've found that others enjoy hearing my views now because I also include information on how we got to this point, how we have struggled, and how we overcome. Living a healthier lifestyle is difficult and can be overwhelming. Supporting those who are new to the challenge can be the best way to help someone make that change stick.
    I'm sorry you have experienced any kind of bullying or criticism. But, I truly believe in a lot of what you are saying. Maybe saying it in a way that is more approachable could help those who feel differently have less of a recoil and begin to see the other side of the coin.

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  52. Oh my goodness!!

    I certainly don't share your views on everything, but you seem like a really wonderful mother who cares about her children and husband.

    This is your blog, and you should have the freedom to say whatever you want on it! Why are people still reading it if it offends them so much?

    Much Love.

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  53. I think your blog is inspiring and tells a beautiful story of being able to do it all, fulfill your dreams and be the best wife and mother you can be. Any other information you share is an added bonus! WHY is are your readers so deep into your blog posts, deep enough to find them personally insulting and "belittling". I'm in shock that any readers were that offended by your breastfeeding post. I'm 24, with no children - and found the post incredibly informative! I learned a plethora of information about nursing that I will keep in the back of my head until it's relevant.

    Sheridan, shake off the haters. Anyone who's offended simply shouldn't be visiting your site. Can't please anyone.

    Now, on a lighter note - please continue to share your fabulous fashion finds and all of your other awesome posts!

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  54. Sheridan,
    I've enjoyed reading your blog- and reading about your fabulous life. You are extremely talented, with great fashion sense, design ideas, and inspiring ideas. I wish I was that well put together when I was your age! Tackling other "controversial" subjects is brave! If someone doesn't like what you have to say- READ ANOTHER BLOG!

    So "Mean Girl" felt compelled to let you know you need to stick to superficial subjects like fashion and design to make your blog "more palatable", and then contradict herself in by insulting your style and design? And then she gets mad about your opinions and choices in life? Honestly. She may have southern roots, but her anger and vindictive (psycho-stalker?) behavior lacks in southern grace. She's the neurotic one! And is so jealous it is sad.
    As a mother of three, and a fourth on the way, I found your editorial about breastfeeding wonderful. Yes, it is the best thing for infants. But you revealed your own struggles with keeping it up, balancing work, questioning your choices of how to balance what is best for your baby and for you. That is not condescending! You revealed your struggles as a mother (struggles we've all had)- which is human!

    Keep doing what you are doing. Just delete negative comments like Arya's. Hopefully she (and any other people like her) will realize it is pathetic to troll the Internet to try to find opinions that differ from your own, then zing those people with insults.

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  55. Sheridan - I so enjoy your blog. Do I always agree? No, but I appreciate you sharing your views, opinions, etc. Your posts make me think when it is a sensitive topic; ooh and ahh when it is about fashion, and get ideas when it is about decorating. I'm always learning and I do appreciate you putting yourself out there and sharing your world with everyone. I think to blog takes courage!

    To me, blogging is about SHARING; opinions, views, ideas ... I think of it as a friendship - why would I want to surround myself with people just like me? How would I grow? What would I learn? Nothing! To have a cirlce of friends that think differently opens up a whole new world and honestly, I think makes me a better person. I don't want to be so one-dimensional.

    I do see where you were heading with this post - what this woman said was hurtful and the attack was very personal. However, I'm not too sure this is "bullying", per se, but it is down right mean and extremely rude! I would even say CRUEL. When I think of bullying I think of the girl in my junior high that would chant "Mary Moo Cow" to me every day (even tho I wasn't overweight). Or the boy that would push my brother into his locker when he was in 5th grade.

    But I do agree that this woman was MEAN. And I also agree that it was emotionally charged. I would even say that your response was also emotionally charged - by hurt feelings and a desire to defend your husband and your family. I know I would have felt the same way! Kind of like: "Attack me all you like, lady, but my husband and children?! Oh no you didn't!" :)

    The question you posed "Why are people so mean?" reminded me of what my father used to tell me when I'd be upset about the mean kids - there is just evil in this world. And thank goodness we have our faith to teach us and show us how to live and love. To be loving Christians - continuing to love others and always striving to be more Christ-like.

    I think your post is more about how thoughtless and mean people can be - how someone can step wayyyyyyy over the line with personal attacks.

    Could you have handled her attack differently? Probably. BUT I do understand the point you were trying to make. And I agree with the others - the commenter can always simply stop reading if it upsets them that much!!

    Please keep being you and doing what you do!

    ~M

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  56. So, Arya- your comments were meant to insult Sheridan privately? Would you have been so quick to apologize if she hadn't made your comments public? Perhaps you would prefer to be anonymously mean. Why don't you write your own blog, putting your own opinions and ideas out there, instead of reading about (and writing to) someone who you disagree with?

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  57. Sheridan, I am a new follower and I have to say what I have seen and read I love.....The low blows and unnecessary commentary made by your reader are very sad. I understand this is an open forum and we are free to voice our opinions, but to do so, so harshly with such malice with no good intention in mind but to obviously inflict pain and potential embarrassment?!?! Very sad, sad you had to read and endure the post, sad this person feels so opinionated and free to shred you on your own blog, free to bring your family, your views, your lifestyle, your privileges into her comments. I don't know what is wrong with people anymore! Blog on for what you love, live and believe in...those that love you will be here reading and those that don't please move on to your own crazy side of the internet....From a gun loving (non-hunter, more NRA), vegetarian. size 2, non-republican (because they aren't conservative enough for me either), mother of 4 amazing kids, wife to an amazing small business owner, SUV driving, suburban housewife that wears lots of bright colors, 5 inch platforms and jewelry most would consider too big and gaudy, and I will make no apologies for any of it and Sheridan please don't you either :-) XOXO, Lauren S.

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  59. This whole strain of posts really kind of makes me sad. It makes me sad that someone would send that to Sheridan. It makes me sad that you would respond that way. It makes me sad how some of these other commentors responded.

    I'm in high school, and my dear friend Ellie + I love love LOVE your blog! We read it everyday in Photography class... even when there isn't a new post! :) I remember the first time I read a post where you mentioned your faith, and I was so excited that you are a sister in Christ. That said, your hope is not found in your popularity in your cyber community.

    Reading this stream, the John Mayer song "No Such Thing" comes to mind.
    "I just found out there's no such thing as the real world, just a lie you've got to rise above."
    This might be a little strong, but I've found this to be (for the most part) true. This whole dramatic stream just reminded me that you never leave high school. And, I don't know, but that makes me kind of sad.

    To every blogger/commentor/reader involved: I find myself wondering, what would Jesus do?
    After reading all of this, I long for the Kingdom of Heaven, where mean and harsh words are NEVER exchanged.

    ~Lydia

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  60. Lydia - You are my new hero. It sounds trite, but we are very fortunate to have people like you in the world. Arya, Sheridan and all the name calling posters could learn a lesson from you. I, for one, will be taking a break from the blog. This was just too much unnecessary drama.

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  61. AMEN TO LYDIA'S POST! Im a senior in college..not a mom or married and love your blog Sheridan. I have been inspired by you. But I immediately felt so sad and share Lydia's thoughts exactly.

    To Lydia... You clearly have your head on your shoulders girlfriend. My heart goes out to you!

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  62. I guess I'm confused as to what the disgruntled commenter expects from a personal blog. You write about your life and all that it includes. I love your posts on Paleo. I used to think my sister was nuts for trying it, but I've read 3-4 books on it and now I'm nuts about it! It isn't easy or inexpensive, but I feel that I want to eat cleaner for myself and for my son. I enjoy reading about all your topics and whether or not I agree whole or half-heartedly, I've learned something new about someone else's perspective. Isn't that what effective communication is all about?

    I think you're a doll and I always have a smile on my face after reading what ever you post. Thanks for sharing your life and interests with us!! And on a side note, you're clothing line is incredible. Love, love it!!

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  63. I rarely comment on this blog (unless there's a chance of getting some freebies :)), but I mean- did she really insinuate you were fat in college???

    That was my biggest beef with this whole debate. You are gorgeous now and have always been. Inside and out.

    Thanks for being you! (And for helping me to be a better/ healthier person- in college and after)

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  64. Arya will most likely hide behind "anonymous" from now on. I think it's very strange that she made all of those terrible comments about you and then she comes back to check your blog? She sounded completely appalled by you - why would she check back in?? People are weird.
    I have always enjoyed your blog and I have learned a lot of very interesting things from it. You keep on keeping on, Sheridan! xoxoAlicia

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  65. Double Amen for Lydia! Everyone here needs to read her post and takeit as a call to action to set a better example for compassion, forgiveness and sisterly love/support in this world. Shame on EVERYONE for stooping to such cruel and embarrassing cattiness.

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  66. one more lil' thing to share.....here's what I tell my boys (ages 12 and 14)," be careful what you write (in a text or email) - you may be upset, you may be angry, you may have your feelers hurt, but you never can be sure of who's on the receiving end of your text or email. It could be anyone - a mama or a daddy, big brother or a sister, auntie or uncle. NEVER put in writing anything you will regret later - 'cause if it's in an email or text it's there forever. You never know who's going to read it." I know adults who make this mistake - if you wouldn't proudly say a loud what you write - don't put it in writing - geez! Hopefully lesson learned for Aranya (map??).

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  67. Sheridan - this is message is meant for you, not public comment. I am very concerned about the message from Lydia. I have a daughter who was bullied. I wouldn't even it call it bullying - I would call it abuse. Day in and day it for over a year. In class, at lunch, by text, etc. She attended a well known private school in FW. She never, NEVER told us the extent of what was going on. Later, she told us it was because we (her parents) work so hard to pay for this education and she did not want disappoint us by leaving and going to a "substandard" school (her thoughts - not mine). When it finally got so bad that she broke down and told us, one of the things she kept saying was - "It's never going to stop. Mean people become mean adults and it will be this way the rest of my life." She also was saying that she "longed" to be with God. Some of the verbage in Lydia's post just struck me as so similar to my daughter's feelings. She says she has a dear friend - but who knows? She could be the kid alone in the back of the classroom, being made fun of, having crap thrown at her, and she is looking at your website trying to escape the hell she is in. And then she sees this. Maybe I am overreacting because of our past situation - I sure hope so - but I know my daughter sent out many, MANY messages to teachers, coaches and counselors and they all didn't hear her message. I don't know if you have a way of reaching out to her personally, but please, PLEASE try to reach her. Let her know that not everyone is mean and hateful. That as adults we can - for the most part - choose the people we want to be around. We may never leave high school, but the campus gets soooo much bigger. And although the kingdom of God will be wonderful, life is a beautiful, incredible gift that we are meant to live to its fullest. FYI - we pulled our daughter out of school as soon as she told us - she never went back. She received intense counseling and support. She is thriving at her new school. Please try and communicate with that child. I wish someone had heard my daughter's cries. Do you mind letting me know if you are able to speak to her? I am so worried. My email is pattysoule21@gmail.com. thank you

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    1. I'm am so sorry about your daughter and am glad she is doing better! Thank you for your concern and your watchfullness; I truly do appreciate this. I can assure you, however, that I have never been bullied at all! Ellie and I really are GREAT friends! I am blessed with fantastic friends and family, thanks to Jesus! Thank you again for your concern! :)

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  68. Lyd, I just saw your post and agree with you 100%. Like "Anonymous" said in the comment below yours, you really do have a great head on your shoulders and I'm so lucky to call you my friend. Sheridan, we really do read your blog every day in Photography class and enjoy all of your posts-including the thought provoking ones so neither of us could stop thinking about this one in particular all day. Thank you for bringing this to others attention, no matter how controversial it may be; I think everyone can now see that bullying is very real and that we should try our hardest to stop it.

    Patty, I can understand where you are coming from but I assure you that Lydia and I are great friends. We go to a small Christian School and found our friendship in our love for photography. I am so sorry to hear about your daughter but also so happy to hear she is in a better environment now. I hope these people at her school haven't steered her away from God but, have instead, brought her closer to Him.

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  69. Hi Sheridan,

    It must have been really unsettling to get such a scathing diatribe on so many aspects of your private life from Arya.

    It was really poor judgement of her to send such an aggressive and ugly note.

    In her comment, she expresses regret about sending her note so impulsively, and although I cannot understand why she it felt it her duty to personally attack you and your husband, I do understand what it feels like to send off an email when I am tired and irritable --- as soon as I hit send, I feel foolish and a bit ashamed for getting so undone.

    I imagine that you are both carrying a bit of that right now.

    In the spirit of goodwill, and to restore the positive energy that usually pulses between these chevron borders, would you consider deleting your post and her comment?

    It might be the cyber-equivalent of burning a bit of sage :)

    Best of luck to you!!!

    -Kay

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  70. Sheridan, I think that this post turned out to be more instructive than you even intended. I enjoy your positivity, love for your family, the way you embrace color, and your interest in health and wellness; oh, and I also happen to have OPPOSITE political views (but if we can't find common ground in our fine country - how can we believe that there is hope for the rest of the world where things aren't so good?).

    I don't think that your reader was well thought out in her comments to you - there was a bit too much emotion showing through to really believe that the words written weren't angry ones. I'm sure that it becomes difficult for you to read comments and even emails sent to you that no polite person would ever say to your face (or behind your back). It takes a strong person to put themselves out there, open to people who are angry and hurt .

    Your human reaction was to defend yourself, to single-out the troublemaker - and you had every right to do so; but it brought out the side in so many women that is ingrained - to protect - to attack the interloper - this is reality - but we are better than that. We are the evolved sex, we know that light pushes out the dark, and that the power we have is best used for constructive efforts. Yes, and we have learned that we still can work to live up to the ideals that young people always see more clearly. Lydia, it is not all like high school out here, but we can find it - even in ourselves if we forget to look for the truth in love.

    This entry was not a mistake, it was from a human person putting their thoughts out there. It was only a mistake if we all didn't learn from what happened in the comments, and we didn't take anything away besides hurt and hate. Thanks Sheridan, xo amy.

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  71. I am sorry that this happened to you. Like you mentioned, if your blog bothers her so much, she should just stop reading it. However, I hope you will consider this: hate is a form of passion, it is just misguided. While it is not the response you would ever want, at least your work instills passion in others. Often, I am sure, that passion is directed in love, but sometimes not. Better to inspire passion than apathy.

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  72. Wow! That is one crazy diatribe she wrote there! I am always discouraged whenever I see nasty comments. I think that disagreement and constructive criticism are fine. Like you said, she can go find a blog with pretty pictures, with nothing but pretty comments. But there's such a big difference between voicing your constructive disagreement and trying to advance a conversation, and just being mean. She could've said, "I'm not sure I agree with your take on X, because this is my experience with it," or "I hope you appreciate that I am disagreeing with you because you are bold to take a stance on certain issues and I want to respectfully voice my opinion because you seem like someone who likes to think." Instead she made it about your character, which ironically reflects very poorly on her's.

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  73. I think Sheridan could have been much meaner in response to Arya's post. I do not think she bullied Arya back. She merely posted her comment in a post and replied to it. All she did was suggest that Arya was angry and had her all wrong and jumped to conclusions. For those who say Sheridan should've just ignored it and shouldn't have written the post because that is bullying and criticism also- I don't agree.
    Sheridan was super civilized to Arya.
    If it were me I would call Arya jealous and spiteful, with an awful grasp of the English language and appalling grammar. All Sheridan really replied, was please don't judge me because you don't know me, and especially please don't judge me and insult me on my own blog. By ignoring it the woman would have won. Sheridan posted it, and got an apology and sent out a warning to others. Go Sheridan.

    To ARYA, because I'm sure you are still reading all of these comments and will also continue reading Sheridan's blog-
    I think it is super commendable that with all of the 'privileges' that Sheridan has she chooses to parent her children herself, have so many close together, cook nutritiously health food for them, have a career as a successful fashion designer, blog about it all and paint furniture and ceilings and etc. She could have a nanny per child and lunch all day long drinking mimosas- but she doesn't.
    It is not ok to attack someone about their past weight, their political beliefs, their eating habits and especially what they say on their own blog. I'm not American but I was under the impression that America was supposed to be the land of the free, with free speech, democracy etc?? What happened to that?
    She has given you the info she wants you to see on her blog- she trusts that we don't invade her privacy with amateur detective googling of her and her husband. By confiding in us she puts trust in us, she trusts us with her opinions, we matter to her. She wants us to know all this stuff to help. Read it, if you don't agree, MOVE ON.

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  74. I never comment, but felt the need to do so on this post. While I can't comment on why the message was sent, I can say that as a fairly new reader (discovered your blog around December 2011) there were a number of things that had me hooked and kept me coming back. I'm in my late 20's, married and pregnant with my first child (I love finding inspirational photos of preggos who manage to look fashionable) and plan to breast feed, eat healthy (most of the time), live in Texas and love blogs dedicated to interiors, fashion and lifestyle blogs. Overall, a blog I could relate to.

    However, I have to admit, the last couple of months the posts seem to be irregular (totally understandable) and about the evils of fried foods or the benefits of Paleo. When I first discovered your blog I saw previous mention of Paleo (I've never heard of it prior to reading about it here). I can't say I have any interest in it (but also have no opinion against it), but understand that is your choice. I wasn't turned off in your previous posts, but it seems like semi-controversial lifestyle choices are now the focus of posts, when I doubt that is why most readers became fans. Even if they are views I agree with (i.e. benefits of breast feeding) I don't need a blog making me feel bad if, unfortunately, I'm unable to do so. As Meagan commented above, it's one thing to have these views/beliefs, it's another thing with how you present them.

    Kind of random, but this reminds me of when Tom Cruise became so vocal about Scientology. People became a fan of his for being a talented and charismatic actor. However when he began using every chance possible to preach about the benefits of Scientology, people were turned off. I'm sure most people don't mind what his religious beliefs are, but when somebody is always on the soapbox, the public is generally turned off. Same goes with Gwyneth with her previous macrobiotic dieting and now with the juicing.

    There are some blogs that have incorporated motherhood into their repertoire, like A Cup of Jo, that have done so successfully but they don't come across with a preachy/judgemental tone. Maybe that isn't your style, which is fine, but you have to be prepared when people come back with conflicting views. Some of the comments the writer said were unnecessary, and I don't agree with the personal attacks, but when you put out strong opinions you're going to get the same back.

    On a side note, I will now check out Gap's maternity skinny jeans. I have two pairs of Paige's and agree they're awesome, so I'm excited to try Gap. :) Hang in there!

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  75. Wow! Please, please, please check out Kris Carr's fantastic article about criticism. I think she just nails it.

    http://crazysexylife.com/2011/how-i-handle-criticism/

    Like some of the other readers here, I don't always agree with what you post and I don't think that you necessarily are walking in the same shoes as me. I'm not angry or resentful AT ALL but sometimes I do feel that you act a bit self-righteous... or like we all have these "choices" that quite simply, we don't.

    That said, I *choose* to come to your site... Just like I visit other blogs. There is something to be learned from exposing ourselves to beliefs different from our own. We all have the right to agree or disagree. I am a LIBERAL from New England... And should the day come that I don't feel like visiting here is a positive experience for me, I will simply stop stopping by.

    Straight up attacking like that commenter did is just L-A-M-E. And I think you nailed it that she needs REAL help handling her anger...and also finding better uses of her time than googling you and your family. wow.

    Thanks for opening this dialogue. It's important.

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  76. Readers who don't like your style or attitude on certain topics should just move on and unsubscribe. You have the right to act however you want to act on your blog. But on the flip side, why allow reader comments if you don't want feedback? True, the original comment seemed bitter and mean-spirited, but if you are going to be a public figure you need to take the heat sometimes - especially if you have such adamant views.

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  77. YIKES. If you don't like it, keep moving lady. But even more so than that, she should know (by the 90some comments) that making personal attacks does not support her argument. If anything, it discredits her. Why google you and your husband...to disprove your ideas about...beans? They're not related. I'm not saying she has to agree with you, but - honestly, people - have we lost so much decency behind the anonymity of the internet that it boils down to personal attacks?

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  78. Bless her heart...sounds like someone had a bad day! I adore your blog, and I completely credit you with my discovery of Paleo (and I feel amazing...THANK YOU!). Keep it up! xoxo

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  79. I've been following your blog for nearly two years now and have to let you know how great I think you are in spite of the fact that you and I couldn't be more different in most of our views!
    A friend of mine has her own blog and is an avid poster on Facebook. She is sweet and funny and an all around amazing mom, wife and friend. Before she married a close friend of mine, she was a single mom of limited means. After her marriage, her financial situation changed drastically and all of a sudden she was building new homes, able to afford all the beautiful things she had always admired and had a lot more time to follow her passions.
    We all adore our friend and know that if anyone deserves all the good things that have come along for her, it is she. Herein lies the problem: after following her blog for many months and reading her Facebook posts almost daily, I started noticing that she was not coming across as the sweet, non-judgemental, carefree gal I know and love! She seemed to be making statements that sounded very preachy and sometimes flighty (totally un-relateable to anyone who isn't wealthy). She used to have far more liberal views, yet she was suddenly siding with more conservative economic opinions. Of course when I would spend time with my girlfriend in person, she was still the same friend I admire and adore, but this WAS NOT TRANSLATING to her online persona!
    The reality is that when something is posted online, rather than being shared in person, there are without a doubt going to be certain things that are lost in translation. Inflection in one's voice, the knowledge of one's history and circumstance. The reader's reality also plays a huge role in how it is received. I have to say that I do have one friend in particular who is a huge fan of your blog, but called me in tears after reading your posts about breastfeeding. She had given up nursing after six weeks, because she just could not handle it emotionally. At the time, she swore that your post was a direct attack on her abilities and dedication as a mother. Months later, she is in a much better place and is far more secure as a Mom. She admits that she probably did not receive your post in the spirit it was intended. There is no avoiding this type of situation when one plans on blogging about topics that are sensitive or when someone with so much passion expresses her views with such fervor.
    Just like my girlfriend who sometimes can't see how her comments might come across, I'm sure you only have the best of intentions in anything you choose to share. It's not hard to see that you seem like a nice person and you obviously have a lot of people who love you! I'm sure Arya isn't really a "mean girl" either. It sounds to me like she could be a good person who was caught behaving badly, but sadly, for her it is now recorded on the internet. This should be a lesson for all of us online (and one to share with our kids), that if you don't have something nice to say, you need to REALLY consider the need for sharing your thoughts and how they might affect the people who will read your comments. Once they're out there, you can never take them back and you can't "unhurt" someone else's feelings.
    I hope that you continue to post about the things that you find interesting and that your loyal readers are able to understand that all you can do is share your point of view as developed through your own experiences. I'm not sure whether your husband really supported the "Obama as the Joker" posters or not, but if he did, I'm sure the president knows that things like that come with the business of politics. In a way, being a blogger can get a bit like that. Haters be hatin'! That being said, I hope you don't just "develop a thicker skin", because you reacting to the hurtful comments the way you did, shows that you have a sensitive heart and I would hate to see all this nastiness change you one single bit. You go girl!

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    Replies
    1. Wow! Alexa, great response! Very, very well said and so very kind and diplomatic. I think we could all take a lesson from you. Team Alexa! ;)

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  80. Sheridan, You are incredibly brave to share so much of your personal life on your blog and for that I have always admired you. I am not a housewife, I dont live in the South, I am not a mother and yet I relate to you and appreciate your point of view, whether or not I agree with each of your posts. I would like to think that we are all sophisticated, mature and gracious enough to appreciate that you are putting yourself out there, encouraging a dialogue on issues that are important to many women whether they are housewives, Southern or not.

    What I find especially interesting about Arya's comments is that she suggests that your blog was more "palatable" when you wrote about "fashion and decorating" or that she commented on your weight. Is that how we as women want to encourage each other? To only talk about clothes and homes and weight? And to judge you for your husband's political beliefs or hobbies or finances?! What is this, 1952? Why is it even relevant to her opinion of YOU or YOUR blog?

    Unfortunately too many women try to cut one another down rather than supporting each other. You are a smart, gorgeous,interesting women with a beautiful, healthy family. Thank you for sharing glimpses of your life with us, even if it makes some childish people green with envy.

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  81. I am shocked by all of this. The title caught my attention because I have a joyful kindergarten daughter who has been bullied a bit this year and I have blogged about it. I am working my tail off every single day to teach my 3 children (14, 11 and 5) how to be loving and inclusive and how to respond to bullies. In fact, my 5th grade son is a student representative on a board of Positive Works (a new anti-bullying organization here in Houston) I also have Ph.D and am a Marriage and Parenting Coach.

    People behave badly when they feel badly. It is as simple as that!!

    One more thing...my kids go to an International Baccalaureate School and they teach amazing principles wot the kids. One thing they say every single day as a school (k-5). Treat other people as you would like to be treated. Even if I disagreed with someone vehemently on their blog post (which I have always loved yours), I would never be mean and hurtful because I would be hurt if someone wrote that to me.

    My daughter observed a bullying incident yesterday and she went up to the girl and said, "Treat others as you would want them to treat you!"

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  82. You've got a great blog, Sheridan. Keep writing all your opinions down. Whether I agree or not with your opinions or fashion choices, you obviously are intelligent and have thought out everything you post on here. Frankly, I'm GLAD you write something intellectually stimulating instead of always posting pictures of yourself. There are enough fashion blogs out there. I like that your blog reflects YOU!

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  83. Omg she is so mean! Why use the energy to be so mean to somebody she doesn't even know?. In the uk she would be classed as a troll, cowardly, criticising via the Internet. I agree with free speech, but the energy she has used to write this, could have been better directed at sorting out her own issues! I like your blog and I really like you, I find you refreshing, honest and I enjoy your blog more than most of my women's mags! Xxx

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  84. Gee, I wish I could express my feelings and thoughts as clearly and powerful as you. cheers! -emily

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  85. Such ... wasted energy. My goodness.

    It takes so much more energy to hate than it does to love. Ever notice?

    Sincerely,

    A Republican Beef Eater :)

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