So, I can't say I've ever been a huge fan of Margaret Cho. No particular reason, her humor just never grabbed me. Shit happens. But Margaret Cho won about 867,482 cool points with me after I read her blog post Being Mad on Twitter, written after some negative backlash to some pictures she posted on Twitter of the new ink she had recieved.
First of all, I admire anyone with the guts to proudly post their ass on twitter. Second, I highly recommend checking out her post, as it is a very raw and powerful read.
Someone on the Jezebel article pointed out that out of all the positive feedback on her tats that she chose to focus on the two negative comments, and oh isn't that sad. Yeah, it is, but it's not uncommon. It is so easy to write off positive comments as 'just being polite' or 'sucking up' or 'you have to say that' but the negative chews at us and makes us doubt ourselves and feel less than. It becomes magnified in our psyche.
That is why such blatant negativity is so very toxic. Sometimes there is a time and a place for constructive criticism but sometimes there is no time and no place that doesn't make you an asshole for not keeping your damn comments to yourself.
Having once been a young girl who saw herself as fat and awkward and gawky, and being a woman who still struggles not to still see herself that way, I have to agree with Cho when she says "...no young girl should be told she is ugly. If she is, you kill her spirit..." I cannot fathom any scenario where telling some they are ugly or fat (and don't give me concern-trolling about health worries) accomplishes anything beyond kicking a chair out from someone and taking power in their suffering. There is nothing constructive to be had in binding someone, often an impressionable young girl who lives in a society that tells her hat her only worth is in her beauty, to your own personal definition of worth and stomping on them and telling them they are unworthy. It's a bullshit move.
Palpable in Cho's post is her righteous anger, and I fucking laud her for it. Even though fans may criticize her for going off on the naysayers, I say screw that. There is always such talk of forgiveness, and women especially are expected to be forgiving when others trample on our sense of worth. Even though I'm usually one to brush shit off, there is something to be said for anger, for anger can keep us from being complacent. Learning to love yourself is a tough road, even if you've been more or less supported your whole life. I had a loving family but still felt that the rest of the world was telling me I wasn't good enough.
I love the way Margaret describes her Learning to love herself as a kind of ongoing battle, defending her 'borders' and fuck anyone who doesn't appreciate or respect what she has worked for. She defends her sense of worth like a mama bear defending her cubs, and will rain down a storm of shit and hellfire on those whose aim is to degrade and belittle. And if people judge her harshly for not taking the high road, well so be it. She does not apologize for being angry at the hurt others have dealt. Nor should she.