On Being Ugly

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Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (8956 posts) -

Hey there! My name's Cameron Lowe, and I'm about to throw myself under a bus. This is me:

Ugh, I know, right? Jeez, what a loser.
Ugh, I know, right? Jeez, what a loser.

Right! I'm four hundred pounds. Sometimes it's a lot less depending on the year I'm having, sometimes it's more, but it usually winds up being around that mark. I used to be six foot even, now I'm five eight. I have glasses thicker than just about anyone you'll ever meet, and I can't use contacts or get eye surgery due to the unique nature of my severe astigmatism and eye problems, leaving me a really handsome motherfucker, especially combined with my Mr. Potatohead face.

Let's go over some things you're not seeing in this picture. FIrst, you can kinda tell that my head is tilted forward. That's due to ankylosing spondylitis, a disease that has left my back with an unnatural curve. Not only does it help make me even fuglier, but I get the joy of living my life permanently staring at chest level, which leaves me, already the fattest hunchback of Notre Dame you've ever met, looking like even more of a creeper.

Also on top of that head is a knob of bone and flesh, a leftover from skull surgery as an infant. There's a half-foot long scar running down my head, hidden by my one and only good feature - my hair (and yes, it's all natural - rawr). I have scale-like crusting all along the insides of my legs due to a pelvic injury I suffered about a year and a half ago. My toenails are regularly not clipped because I can't reach them, and there sure as hell isn't much going on below the belt. Sorry, long-time fans. I hate to disappoint you on that end.

I was bullied about all this and more for years. Not easygoing teasing either. I mean, full-on me sitting naked in a locker room crying with a fractured rib from the beating I just took from bullies because I couldn't fight back kind of bullying. Me screaming for help from other guys when I was getting the shit kicked out of me the next week kind of bullying. The kind of bullying that maybe sends you into a lifelong spiral of near-depression and a self-loathing I'll never recover from. That kind of bullying.

Yeah. I don't much like myself. And that's just for the physical reasons.

Why bring all this up? Why the holy hell would I make myself a target like this?

Well... because I want people to be better. And because of this:

No Caption Provided

Now look. I completely agree Cate Blanchett is a stunningly talented woman and incredibly beautiful. But calling out her husband like this is frankly an astonishingly petty move, especially from someone from whom I'd expect anything but comments like this. It's vindictive. It's a low blow. If this guy looks like a statistics teacher, what do I look like? What does any person considered to be ugly look like?

There are a lot of reasons to dislike a person. You want to dislike me because I'm an asshole, buddy, I agree with you a thousand percent. But this guy has done literally nothing to deserve this. Maybe he's a great guy. Maybe he's the nicest dude on the planet. Maybe he's just someone Cate Blanchett enjoys spending her days with, and her him. Or maybe they don't need a reason at all to be in love and married. Maybe that's their life, and maybe the surface-level bullshit you're judging him on doesn't actually matter.

This bugs me. This really bugs me. I've been single now for ten years. Ten freaking years. I've had a few dates here and there but that's about it. And why? It's not because women perceive me as ugly. There are loads of fantastic women out there who judge a man based on his character and strength, not his looks, and I greatly look forward to falling deeply, stupidly in love with one of them someday. I'm single because, quite honestly, I don't see myself in any good light. Part of that is personal - I am a bundle of stunted human emotions wrapped up in a bunch of life failures - but at least half of that is from the way I've perceived myself since the earliest days of my bullying. I am an ugly man. And while I can't really go back and give myself the confidence I need to even approach a normal relationship, I can at least try to stand up for a stranger (even if he'll never read this or care). And I can say this - we can be better than this.

Thanks for reading.

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#1 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4582 posts) -

Hey man, thanks for the courage to write this. I do agree with you that that tweet was in poor taste and doesn't fit Abby's usual message. Even if it doesn't ever reach the people in question, it's still stabbing fun at someone's looks, which is very superficial. But at the same time, i think we should be able to give people some leeway for fucking up every now and then when it's not a regular occurance. Or when the message that they wanted to convey didn't came through properly and made them look like an asshole. She did it on twitter where it's for anyone to see, while my shitty jokes about superficial shit stay between a few friends that know i'm being a dumbass right there and then, but that it's not part of my general persona.

This message didn't play well, it was mean, it doesn't fit the person. But it's an abnormality. It's not usual business for Abby. She'll get lambasted for this by a huge crowd (some who do it for the wrong reasons) and that shows that Twitter was not the crowd for this shitty remark. Sadly, there will always be a few moments where we silly humans act like assholes and say stupid shit. The best thing we can do in those moments is make sure that it's heard by as few ears as possible and try to do better next time.

For what it's worth, i think you have a friendly warm face and i don't recall you ever being an asshole on here.

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#2 Posted by BisonHero (11637 posts) -

Yeah, I feel you, bud. At least in my experience, holding onto self-confidence for very long in spite of your flaws can be tough. No idea how so many people do it, and I assume they’re mostly faking it til they make it.

And yeah, Abby’s tweet you showed is pretty shitty. From the looks of the tweet, I know she’s trying to make some kind of sassy point about like, the patriarchy, I GUESS, but it’s pretty shitty that even after she clearly got backlash for it, she didn’t walk it back. Like, she’s basically body shaming that guy for not being Hollywood A-lister attractive, as if celebrities can’t just date and marry people of normal attractiveness if they so choose. I like Abby in pretty much all GB content she does, but she comes off as super callous in that tweet.

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#3 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4582 posts) -

For what it's worth, i think it would play a lot better already if this was done in a bit where she builds up Cate Blanchett as this absolute goddess sitting on a mountain spreading her sunrays on the planet. All these gods on Mt Olympus are fighting to court her, when suddenly this small mortal man shows up with a ring which she gratefully accepts while the gods stop in mid-fight being perplexed by this happening.

Just like she would build up Bjork & Ellen as godlike figures that stand above the rest of us mere mortals. I'm thinking about jokes in the same vein she did before like ' Oh god.. if Bjork would sue us , that would be the best! For her to notice us!'

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#4 Posted by The_Nubster (4357 posts) -

Thanks for writing this out. And by following it up by saying she didn't call him "ugly" goes to show that she knows full well how the tweet will be taken. It is low, and there's no way to take that tweet as anything but dunking on this fella. Everyone on the crew has slipped up, and that's to be expected, but what's uncouth is the doubling-down on this shitty comment and refusing to acknowledge that it can be hurtful.

By the way, your prose is great. You nail the cynical humour angle very well.

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#5 Posted by doctordonkey (1863 posts) -

I don't follow the staff's twitter, is Abby always like that on there? I love her in all the GB east content, I hope she isn't secretly shitty, that would really bum me out.

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#6 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (8956 posts) -

@doctordonkey: No, she's usually a riot to follow on there. I'm very sure this is just an isolated case.

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#7 Edited by MoonlightMoth (651 posts) -

I can relate to this, although for quite different reasons. Having your self-esteem battered over and over takes it's toll so I can't begin to imagine the courage it must have taken to write this *hug*. You've always been so lovely and kind, which I'm so glad you keep a hold of as it can be very easy to grow bitter and resentful. Whatever ugliness you may feel, you've got all the beauty where it counts, even though I know it doesn't feel that way very often.

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#8 Posted by stagqueen5000 (2 posts) -

Regardless of where you come down on whether this is offensive or not, If you’re going to make a joke like this then it better be funny. Im sure he loves hearing harmless comments on the topic all the time.

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#9 Posted by Brackstone (958 posts) -

It took a lot of guts to write something this personal, kudos to you. I don't think I could write something so personal like this. Honestly, you've got confidence in spades to be able to do this.

Abby's tweet comes off pretty mean and her attempt to walk it back just made it worse. I get the joke she's trying to make, but I think there are more positive ways to make that joke rather than mean spirited ones. I don't think she wanted to put anyone down, sometimes it's just too easy to put something out on social media for a laugh without thinking of how it can be hurtful to people.

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#10 Posted by jasperkazai (619 posts) -

It was very weird to see those tweets of hers, and even more surprising to see she doubled down. Seems like the exact opposite of the things she normally does. And the people defending her, saying that people are only taking issue because it's coming from Abby (a woman) - no, that's not it. This type of thing (making a tactless/tasteless joke and then doubling down) is par for the course for assholes online. Abby has proven to be better than that. It's disappointing to see this coming from her. But, it is only one instance, so nothing to rake her over the coals about.

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#11 Posted by millionthlayla (194 posts) -

It was really brave of you to share this. Thank you for sharing your perspective. Splash damage is a real thing, and it's hard not to take comments personally even when they aren't directed at you.

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#12 Posted by BongChilla (364 posts) -

Very well said, I applaud your courage for putting this out there. That tweet certainly is a massive bummer and it sucks that she never thought about how saying that might be taken by people over trying to get laughs on Twitter. It’s exponentially worse that she apparently doubled down on it also.

For what it’s worth you have quite the knack for writing and know how to put out something as sensitive as this from an angle that goes from cynically humorous to incredibly poignant. I’ll say it again, very well said.

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#13 Posted by nutter (2394 posts) -

Thanks for sharing. It takes a certain toughness to do so. We all have our traumas and struggles, and brother, you’ve had more than me - I won’t pretend otherwise.

You’re absolutely right that how you feel about yourself, carry yourself, and treat yourself has a lot more to do with how people perceive you than something as shallow as appearance.

I sincerely hope you find what you need to think better of yourself, as difficult as that journey may be. You seem like an alright dude from what I’ve read of you here. This post is further evidence. You deserve to be happy and I’m pulling for you.

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#14 Edited by Slag (8164 posts) -

@sparky_buzzsaw Yeah it's a misfire for sure. I guess what bugs me is more the followup than the first tweet. As if mocking his speculated profession based off his appearance and them "not seeing it" somehow makes the snide remark more defensible.

The whole thing just comes across as punching down, and that's never good comedy in my eyes. Hopefully she realizes that and does better. I have to believe she will

You on other hand, I think did a beautiful job and got a lot of guts laying it all out there like that. Fwiw I've always felt you are one of the very nicest people on GB. I know that doesn't mean much necessarily when you yourself don't believe it, but I hope you can believe that I believe it.

Can't say I've got all my various problems solved or my love life in great shape, but I will tell you something that's made a fairly big difference in my life recently and that's losing weight (60 lbs and counting over the last 18 months). It's been amazing how much better I feel mentally after doing so. I expected the other benefits, but not how much clearer my thoughts seems to be. And oddly how much more positive it makes my outlook on life.

Took me a very long time to find something that worked and could actually stick to. For me it was a combo calorie restrictions (tracking on a phone app) and Intermittent Fasting. My diet's still terrible (I eat a lot of pizza) and I don't really exercise, but it surprisingly works. I've got 4 other friends roughly our age who have had similar results too, including one who is paralyzed from the waist down. I think also losing weight before you exercise is the right way to go, because as you lose weight your energy level picks up and movement becomes easier.

Another thing that I learned through this is just how much your body's weight swings wildly due to random amounts of water retention. So I find it's more helpful to look at weight based on weekly averages than any random mornings weigh in

Intermittent Fasting might be worth looking into if you haven't tried it. (ofc check with your primary care physician first to see if it's a good fit for you). There's a growing body of scientific evidence that shows IF really can be effective. I don't think it's some miracle cure, but what I think it does do in practice is it's easier to stay honest about not overeating if you stick to it without all the mental stress of calorie counting. I pretty much just eat two meals a day, and more or less myself eat what I want to in those two. It's a lot easier for me mentally to just do that, than try to micromanage calorie counts. I do count calories now, but at the beginning I was too overwhelmed to do that

Ofc eating healthier helps a ton too, I cut out all fast food and pretty much will only eat French fries once a month or so. But I didn't have to really do that until I lost 30Lbs or more. So you don't gotta be drastic to get a good start.

Won't claim it will solve even a significant portion of what you've been through or deal with. But every flood begins with one drop, every journey begins with the first step. Maybe that can help you some like it's been helping me some.

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#15 Posted by Efesell (4632 posts) -

You just can't be diggin' heels into a twitter joke that flops like that.

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#16 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4582 posts) -

What i've heard from one fellow that lost a lot of weight in the last year is that when you look into losing weight it sounds like quite a tall order. People upending their whole lifestyle by changing their diet & getting way more exercise then they're used to and eventually falling off from that when it doesn't show results fast enough or when it's all just too much.

But everyone is different and has their own way of achieving things. What did it for this guy was taking it one step at a time and just ignore the whole exercise part. First by being mindful of what he ate, targeting some of the obvious bad foods and trying to cut it out or at least reduce eating them. And while he felt like going to a gym was a huge barrier, cycling in front of a TV while watching episodes of a TV-show was way more attainable.

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#17 Posted by CrazyBagMan (1677 posts) -

Wonderful post. I feel your frustration immensely, though probably not specifically. You are honestly not at all a bad looking guy, and you can write extremely well. Keep on keeping on, and if you ever need to vent or anything my inbox is always open.

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#18 Posted by KevlarGorilla (64 posts) -

Her attempt at a joke wasn't funny. Needs work.

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#19 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (8956 posts) -

Before I head off for bed for the night, I want to thank everyone for the kind words. We all say or do things we shouldn't - @bakoon has called me out (rightfully) on Twitter for a dumb joke I made back in the day, for example. What matters is how we move forward and learn. I wrote this in the hopes people do that. We just all try to do better, I guess.

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#20 Edited by nutter (2394 posts) -

@onemanarmyy: I shed about 40 pounds several years after a back injury. I got down to 200, then back up to 210, adding muscle.

I’ve shot up and down since my injury, but it’s all about finding a lifestyle that works.

My first messing with getting healthy was mail order food that had me eating like a bird. I lost 20 pounds that year and put it all back on over the holidays.

Experimenting with weights was what really did it for me. I ate like shit, but my metabolism was better. As I got more invested in working out, I naturally started eating less, then eating better, then noticing that I need to eat more to fuel workouts. Now I’m trying to find time for about 40-60 minutes of weights followed by a 16 minute interval run 2 days and a rest on the third.

I’m eating 3600 calories of (mostly) good meat, fruits, veggies, oats, eggs, etc. each day. I’m getting to some good round numbers to stop adding weight, so I think I’ll cut back to maybe 2000-2200 calories each day, maintaining current weight lifting, see if I can cut some fat...

Really, everyone has things they like and don’t like. I’m eating fresh, healthy food, drinking water, lifting weights, and doing a little running as time permits, and I love it.

I’d suggest not getting married to an idea, and just make healthy changes because they’re good for you. Play around, find something you like. Stick with it. Change it up if you stop liking it. Keep yourself happy while you do it.

If you don’t like your diet and fitness routines, you won’t stick with them. It can’t be a fad, it has to be a lifestyle, something you want and love...that doesn’t mean your routines can’t evolve, but you do need a framework you can stick with, and realistic goals. Once you’re down the right path, formerly unrealistic goals will open up to you.

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#21 Posted by Casepb (775 posts) -

I also wanted to say thanks for having the guts to share this. I had some awful childhood experiences with bullies that I would never admit to anyone, not even my closet friends. Mostly because I just don't want to relive that shit. Also because I don't want people to feel sorry for me. You did have it worse than me though I will admit. When I yelled for help I somehow always got others to defend me, maybe it's because they felt sorry for the little guy? I was a real short kid. I hated myself for it too. Nobody likes a short guy. I've also been single for over a decade. I honestly have zero motivation to find a relationship though.

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#23 Posted by delrueofdetroit (87 posts) -

I'm glad somebody wrote something. This was really shitty of her.

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#24 Posted by bobafettjm (2339 posts) -

You sir are braver than I would have been in your situation. Thank you for sharing your honest, real thoughts. I hope this might make someone else think a little bit before posting something that could potentially be hurtful to someone with no real merit otherwise.

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#25 Edited by BladeOfCreation (1434 posts) -

The general rule of liberal humor is, "don't make fun of people for things they have no control over." It's a fairly uncontroversial statement in liberal circles--someone being gay, black, trans, or disabled should never be the punchline of a joke.

And yet, every openly liberal comedians makes jokes about appearances, to varying degrees. It's the type of joke I disliked when I watched The Daily Show. Despite being a fan of John Oliver's show, I have to admit that his jokes about people's appearances make me uncomfortable.

Just a day or two ago, I posted a comment on a video here in which I referred to two actors in an FMV game as "discount [famous actors]." I didn't MEAN any harm by it. The chances that the actors in this game will see these comments are practically nonexistent. Still, even as I typed out that comment, I wondered if it was a bit mean.

No one here can speak for what Abby meant with a joke, or what she actually believes. Indeed, in this case Abby hardly needs anyone to defend her. Abby is the one in a position of authority here--not on Twitter, of course, but on this site. I mean, what are the chances that she'll read this forum thread criticizing her tweet, right?

Your feelings are valid.

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#26 Edited by shorap (455 posts) -

@bladeofcreation: Power dynamics do play a role though. A minority comedian joking about the majority is definitely different than the opposite.

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#27 Posted by obcdexter (981 posts) -

I don't remember exactly what feature it was (I think maybe the Premonition Film&40s) where Abby, upon hearing Sandra Bullock was/has been in a relationship with one of the Orange County Chopper dudes, also immediately threw that poor fella under the bus like he wasn't worth the dirt under Bullock's nails.
Caught me off guard then, but I guess that's just how Abby sees those things?!
I follow Hugh Jackman on twitter because that man's feed is mostly a delight, only whenever he posts a pic of himself alongside his wife does it turn into an absolute shitshow. Loads of disgusting comments on how "she lucked out" or "must've drugged him" and way worse stuff.
Not be mistaken here: Abby's comment 100% wasn't meant to be harmful in any way. Only the thing is: whenever celebrities post photos alongside less attractive significant others, tons of folks do say the worst shit and mean it, too. A comment like Abby's, at first glance, would just perfectly fit that mold.

Just a little while ago, Japanese actress Yu Aoi married comedian Ryota Yamasato (some may know him as one of the Terrace House hosts), and sure enough: tons of appearances he's done since more or less revolved around his peers telling him how lucky he is (you know, being super ugly and all ...) and how this "shouldn't be possible" ... In Yamasato's case, him being a comedian, a lot of that is to be expected, I guess, but it's still highlighting the bigger issue at hand.
Mauro Icardi, the Argentinian soccer player, is another name that immediately came to mind. Under the guise of just being frustrated how his wife handles the business side of things as his personal manager, threads about those issues always, without fail, degrade to the same old vile bullshit.

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#28 Posted by AdamKerr (24 posts) -

Well said. X

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#29 Posted by cikame (2947 posts) -

If you lost some weight i bet you'd look like someone familiar...

No Caption Provided

I get where Abby's coming from, we live in a world so full of people and choice it's not difficult to find good looking people, an added bonus is due to confidence good looking people tend to be quite successful too, so we've got all these good looking successful people walking around holding hands we just assume it's the norm.
I'm reminded of an episode of House M.D, who can't understand why the patient's wife is so much better looking than him, and he says something about her being an 8 and him being a 4 and that they don't match up, i think she ended up only existing in his head... but anyway, i work with the public and i notice it quite often, but for the most part good looking people tend to match.
I think i'm alright looking, i've been told i'm handsome but it's not something i'm concious of, i've been single for 14 years because women scare the s*** out of me, and as time goes on i only become more suspicious of them.

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#30 Posted by SilversunZer0 (76 posts) -

Really nicely articulated post, and a very valid reaction to a pretty shit (in my opinion) "joke". Punching down for cheap laughs just isn't funny at all.

BTW, I know you weren't fishing, but I think you've got really nice facial features!! And I'm so jealous of that hair!!!!!!!!!

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#31 Posted by stantongrouse (243 posts) -

@sparky_buzzsaw Hey man, self reflection on our appearance is always a tough one, particularly when we're running low on self esteem - so kudos on raising a tough subject. It's a shame that posts on twitter and such rear their head to make someone feel that they have to address it.

One of the things comments/jokes like this one brings up from my experience was that of my Mum and Dad. My Dad got a debilitating illness in his 40s that amongst many things made him very unsure walking and caused his speech to slur like someone would at the end of a heavy night of drinking. Coupled with a few falls here and there from the walking issues his appearance became, as he put it, "a little rough around the edges." We knew he felt he had a dramatically different outward appearance to the one he'd had most of his life so did what we could to help him normalise this change.

When we were out as a family, or when he went out for a date night with Mum some of the passing comments people would make, whether they think you can hear them or not, were incredibly gross. Thing is, most of the time it didn't seem to bother Dad, he just brushed it off. It nearly broke my Mum at times though - hearing complete strangers talk that way about the chap she loved just because of how he looked and behaved. She'd sometime offer them advice where they could stick their head, or disappear off to but would usually just bite her tongue.

When Dad passed, I found his most recent diary and, after talking through the should we/shouldn't we read it with my sister, we decided to look through it. It became apparent how much more some these comments had deeply, deeply cut into him - far more than he'd ever let on. It was some of the most difficult things I have ever read. We mentioned it to Mum and she still can't bring herself to read it after more than ten years.

I partly wish he had spoken up to us about it more - we'd have done everything to ease his mind about it even more, he was a grand dude. Some of these jokes, even if they are based in raising valid points about expectations around other inequalities in society, just come off as a personal insult, and hoping people won't see or hear it ain't a great way to brush it off. However, it seems to have made for some lovely supportive messages here, so silver linings and all that.

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#32 Posted by Shiftygism (1126 posts) -

@obcdexter: Sandra was married to Jesse James (not an OCC guy), Abby's reaction was warranted in that case. He's a bit of a sleazebag.

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#33 Posted by splodge (2805 posts) -

I love Abby. Some of the best features in this site are run by her. I am an avid gbinfintite infiniteer, and will always vote for some deadly shites or deadly sims above pretty much any other content. I don't think she was being mean or nasty with this tweet, but I do think that it can come off like that and people are not over reacting when it annoys them. Women get a lot of shit in this world over their bodies, it is a relentless assault by almost every media outlet out there and it never seems to slow down. It surely would have to be one of the most difficult parts of raising a daughter today, how to make sure their self image isn't one they hate because of this endless supply of judgement in the media. While not nearly to the same extent, men get this too, and I applaud the OP for posting his personal feelings.

I relate to this tweet in an odd way as someone who has been in this situation, ie I made a comment to someone that their boyfriend was lucky to have them considering the difference in their looks. This was a long time ago when I started college and I was a little more fumbly and nervous, so I would over compliment or over apologise about everything. Thankfully I grew out of it, but it was not me at my best.

I thought I was giving a compliment. Immediately I was called out on it by her and she got quite upset with me, and rightly so. She said she couldn't stand people talking that way about him and I had no right to put him down like that. I was embarrassed and didn't really know what to say. She was clearly very hurt and annoyed so I kind of mumbled an apology and stared into my drink for a few hours. Even thinking about it now I feel guilty. Its one of those memories that sticks in a weird part of my brain and whenever I think about that time in my life I get a brief shame flush and have to quickly skip past it.

Cut to years later and I am running a bar in Germany, and one of my barmen has his girlfriend over from Ireland. He was a very nice guy, but you would not call him traditionally attractive. He would constantly tell us about her, and was excited to have her over. When she arrived, we were all having a beer and my girlfriend at the time said "wow, she is way out of your league!". It was an extremely uncomfortable moment that felt exactly like the time I did it, except this time the girl just looked embarrassed and my friend just kind of hung his head a little bit and looked sad. I knew straight away that this must be something he gets all the time from people. I had a chat with my GF that night about the time I did that, and that clearly she had caused some upset. She got quite upset herself as she was not a mean person and when she thought about it, realised it was a nasty thing to say to someone. She apologised the next day, which he accepted, and it was all fine, but boy was it an awkward and embarrassing situation all round.

Since then I really put a lot of effort into not makinf fun of people's looks in any way, no matter who they are. I'm not trying to say that makes me some kind of fantastic person, because I am not. I have some deep rooted flaws in my personality and have definitely made some awful decisions along the way which were hurtful to myself and others. But it has been one thing that has stuck permanently. Indeed sometimes I end up doing it anyway and feel shitty afterwards and have to mentally slap myself. Sometimes I have done it and not felt shitty at all because the person I was making fun of was so shitty it felt warranted. Those are the ones I look back on and think I should be better than that.

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#34 Posted by DedBeet (717 posts) -

This is an incredibly brave post! I'm also really down on myself and I haven't been through a quarter of what you describe. This is very humbling post to me. I have a lot of history making fun of people's looks; a terrible trait I inherited from my family as we were raised seeing our Mom do this over and over. It's still a problem for me, but, at the very least, the words are contained in my head and rarely leave my lips. As I actively practice shutting the hell up, I get better, but it will probably always be with me. I'm so sorry for callous remarks I've made in the past and those I'll make in the future. You are a far better person than me for taking the time to share your life with us.

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#35 Posted by hughj (93 posts) -

She's a kid, and it's not uncommon for kids to have vain and unbecoming hot takes now and then. She'll probably feel differently when she gets a little older and wiser, and shakes loose whatever remnants she has of an adolescent mindset.

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#36 Posted by splodge (2805 posts) -

@hughj: I don't think she is a kid or an adolescent, that's condescending. Adults make mistakes just as much as younger folks, you just get better at either denying it or accepting it. You are right though in that the more life you live the more reference material you have to compare things to. My own rate of personal growth is largely due to my age now and all the shit that has happened to our around me, and also the bad and good shit I have done myself over the years. But I was also an adult when I was 21 and doing good things, or things that I knew I shouldn't be doing.

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#37 Edited by Shift_andrew (46 posts) -

Thanks for posting this man, it took courage to do so and you're a great writer. The initial tweet was unfortunate but the even bigger bummer was how she doubled down on it. I thought she would have the clarity to realize that what she posted could affect people other than the subjects of the tweet, which makes the "they won't even see this" line more unfortunate.

We all need to be better about this kinda thing. Not just Abby, but definitely me as well...all of us, really. We've all said things like this without thinking about who it might affect. I believe we can be better, we just have to be more conscientious about what we say.

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#38 Posted by BisonHero (11637 posts) -

@shift_andrew: I blame Twitter. On forums, you get to be anonymous and be shitty to people. On Twitter, you get to use your real name and be shitty to people. Even with the real name stakes, you’re still just typing words into a screen and your brain often can’t generate empathy for any of the internet randos that are going to read what you type. Also doesn’t help that when there are so many people on Twitter that actively troll minor celebrities they don’t like, people develop a thick skin and become dismissive of seemingly any and all criticism they receive about anything they said on Twitter. This isn’t Abby-specific, as I think a lot of people with large Twitter followings have fallen prey to this.

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#39 Edited by splodge (2805 posts) -


Abby in particular has had at times a fairly relentless slew of assholes attacking her and it is really fucking bothersome. I can't imagine how reading that shit makes you feel. I get to be an anon snark machine but she uses her real name and it must be scary when people go after you for shit so benign as an opinion on video games (although that is most definitely not the real reason these jerks go after her.) That's part of why I don't think she meant to be mean or really meant to hurt anyones feelings, even with the second tweet. Its harder being in her position, it just is.

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#40 Posted by mnzy (3039 posts) -
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#41 Posted by Efesell (4632 posts) -
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#42 Posted by JasonR86 (10273 posts) -

@sparky_buzzsaw: I have a friend who lost all his hair at the age of 21. He then developed a belief that anyone that has a full head of hair should never be allowed to complain about their attractiveness because, yo, you got hair. And buddy, you've got hair for days.

The Abby tweet is a bummer for sure. I know its meant to be a joke and sometimes your jokes will offend people. It sucks when you are the one offended but I guess I'm also of the mindset that comedy is better off when there aren't limits to it, such as who would be offended by it. But, also, to follow up that tweet with the rationale of 'I'm not saying he's ugly, but that she's beautiful...but also, he looks like a stats teacher' is pretty lame. Either apologize or let it go.

But, sparky, bro, you've got hair for fucking days.

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#43 Edited by conmulligan (1961 posts) -

It didn't seem to me like she was calling the guy ugly, but sometimes things don't come across as we intend and it's good to reminded of that now and again. As for her getting defensive, I would probably be the same if a couple dozen dudes came out of the woodwork to criticise me every time I opened my mouth. When everything you say is picked apart, it's difficult to distinguish between actual hurt and people just looking to have a go at women on the internet.

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#44 Posted by cooljammer00 (3097 posts) -

Abby is good.

But she made a tweet that was kinda bad.

And then when people said "Hey, this is kinda bad and you're better than this", she made the very cliched comedian move to dig her heels in and make a followup tweet to say "If you're offended, YOU'RE wrong!", which was worse.

Call me overly sensitive (which she basically did with her followup tweet, I guess), but maybe implying that Cate Blanchett is only with her husband of 20+ years because of divine intervention and not because she actually likes him and chooses to be with him isn't a great look. Hell, it robs Cate of her agency and makes everybody involved look bad, even if Cate and her husband will likely never see Abby's tweet.

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#45 Posted by Aegon (7318 posts) -

Hope you find the love of your life Sparky. It's difficult being someone who just wants to be nice in a world of power hungry egotistical monsters.

With regards to Abby, I think a significant part of the problem is that she's not very good at comedy.

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#46 Posted by BonelessSpirit (53 posts) -

@aegon: I'm not sure what this tweet is supposed to prove? Looks like two friends joking around.

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#47 Posted by Higgins113 (1 posts) -

Damn, that tweet from Abby is not a good look, big oof, and it's gonna be a big yikes from me. That ain't it chief. It's a shame she blocks anyone who replies to her. Constructive criticism is part of being a comedienne.

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#48 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (8956 posts) -

@aegon: Hey, let's not be tearing people down. That kind of talking goes against the spirit of this whole post.

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#49 Posted by Aegon (7318 posts) -

@aegon: Hey, let's not be tearing people down. That kind of talking goes against the spirit of this whole post.

I'm fine with criticizing actions and evaluating based on that. Humour is not her thing.

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#50 Edited by hermes (2635 posts) -

Twitter in general is a poor place for commentaries and jokes (despite being its raison d'être), but I never believed in ostracizing people for what could be considered an outlier offense. Abby's comment (and response) was in poor taste, but I am sure we all know it is not her normal behavior, and she is better than that.

Remember when Ryan made a poor taste comment? He apologized and we all moved on. Abby has a platform, a public, a track record to keep and (unlike Blanchett) is probably quite aware of this thread. I am giving her the benefit of the doubt to see if she can acknowledge her twit might be seen as problematic and in poor taste by some people, and own it... or not, but I will save my judgement until that.

About the OP, I applaud your honesty and bravery in opening up to the community like that.