Tuesday, June 26, 2012

All In The Family

Yesterday, on Facebook, I saw a family drama unfold that saddened me.  It really saddened me.  I don't know these people well (they are merely acquaintances), but what happened online was awful to watch.

Reflecting on it today, I believe there are some lessons we can draw from this situation about manners and even gender.  For that reason, I've decided to offer the situation for your consideration.  I invite you to present your perspective on this.  Although anyone on Facebook can view this drama directly, I'm going to use only first names and not disclose the family's last name.

The drama began innocently.  A middle-aged mother of three teenage daughters posted a picture of one of her kids.  The daughters are named Brittany, Samm and Minnie; their mother's name is Evelyn.  (That's Minnie on the left, in the picture her mother posted.)

The trouble started when the girls' uncle, Pablo, left a comment on the photo.  Rather than describe what happened, I'm going to quote the exact messages that followed (omitting a few irrelevant ones).

Pablo (uncle) - I'm sorry Britt and Samm, but she's the prettiest.

Samm (sister) - thanks, pablo..?

Pablo (uncle) - Welcome. I never said you weren't pretty, I just said Minnie is the prettiest... And I stand by it.

Samm (sister) - k.

Evelyn (mother) - ‎:(

Brittany (sister) - ouch?

Evelyn (mother) - I agree Britt!!!!!!

Pablo (uncle) - What do you want me to say? That Minnie is ugly? I'm sorry but I don't tell no lies.

Samm (sister) - no but saying that shes prettier then us. that's kind of rude. I mean yes she's very pretty but me and britt are also very pretty in different ways, one of us is not prettier then the other, we're all different. and that comment wasnt necessary, you could have very well just said that minnie was very pretty, which she is, there was no need to say that shes prettier then us.

Brittany (sister) - agreed

Lisa (relative) - Well said ladies. Some people feel the need to put others down to make themselves feel better. It's not about honestly, it's that he is just RUDE. You are all beautiful girls. Unfortunately, not everyone in this world is and which is obvious by his UGLY comment!

Pablo (uncle) - Fine, I take it back. You're all equally pretty and life is rainbows, butterflies and unicorns. Apparently I just said that because somehow that made me feel better about myself. And for the record, yes, I do think you're all beautiful girls; I never said you weren't.

Brittany (sister) - No need to take it back. Your sarcasm tells us exactly how you feel.

Angela (relative) - Please.... This is clearly unnecessary.... Beauty is in the eye of the beholder... Don't think the comment is rude in any way... You guys know your uncle very well.... And for those who don't know him please .... Words can be really hurtful if you take them out of context... There is no need for this....

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Do you share my sadness at this?  What's your take on what happened?

19 comments:

  1. I meant to say, some family members are dumb. ;)

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  2. I think sometimes our "family" gets away with things that are hurtful to us.

    I'm sad for all three girls, sad at the Mom's response, and sad that people lose any sense of decency when posting to the internet.

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  3. There are some things that should be left unsaid. I self-censor myself all the time. It's natural to have opinions, but there's no need to say things out loud that may hurt people's feelings.

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  4. Ow, that uncle is really mean and, shall we say, un-enlightened about body image or true beauty. I read somewhere that sisterhood is the most competitive relationship in a family, there's no need to aggravate that! I'm happy though about the display of maturity and solidarity shown by the two girls, mom and one relative!

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  5. Well, they say you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family.
    Happy Wednesday Hun xoxo
    http://www.intotheblonde.com/

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  6. I think that's a really tough situation. Especially when it's coming from family. We usually hold the opinion of loved ones close, so hearing that from a close relative like that would be a little hurtful. I'm sorry to hear about the unpleasantness unfolding. That's never a good thing. Especially when it's on a public forum like Facebook.

    Callie
    www.coffeeandcardigans.com

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  7. Some people have zero of this:
    TACT - Acute sensitivity to what is proper and appropriate in dealing with others, including the ability to speak or act without offending.

    Some people are just like that...for whatever reasons. You see it all the time, especially on the internet.

    Insensitive people really irk me. Like this guy...can he not see his stupidity? No. Obviously not.
    Those girls sound way more mature that he is.

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  8. Growing up as one of four girls ... been through this all before and people just don't get how much damage this does in the long run ... better yet, is when one of your sisters tells you herself that she is the prettiest of them all ... mirror mirror on the wall ...

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  9. Unfortunately, this seems to be one of the disadvantages of social networking. Hopefully society will begin to learn social networking graces.

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  10. um. id say he shouldnt have left that comment to begin with. what a bad uncle to say that to all of them. i bet he wouldnt say that to his own daughters.

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  11. I guess 'The Uncle' is someone who doesn't know what is the right and a wrong way of saying things. It just sucks coz you cannot get rid of family!

    ∞ © tanvii.com ∞

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  12. Wow, that is ugly. Sometimes people don't think before they speak - and I think it's worse sometimes on Facebook, because you're not there in person to say the words, but once they're printed for all to see, it's even harder to take them back. I don't blame you for being saddened by this, it makes me sad too.

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  13. worst part is, its on FB..i mena such spats happen in families but to do it on FB..............yikes!!


    sushmita-smile.blogspot.in

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  14. I think it's not necessary to put someone down in order to compliment another.
    Uncle Pablo is an ass.

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  15. Wow, that is upsetting. In a world where women are made to feel that their self-worth is intertwined with their physical beauty, comments like these can be really detrimental to a young girls' self-esteem. I hope the mother uses Uncle Pablo's comment to talk with her daughters about societal expectation of women and beauty and how to foster good self-esteem...

    I have a younger sister that looks so much like me, when we were kids, people thought we were twins. However, when we both blossomed into teenagers, some differences appeared and she ended up being called the "pretty one." That definitely hurt my feelings growing up--and it still does sometimes. When I start feeling down about my physical appearance, I remind myself that I don't need to be beautiful to someone else to be worthy of love. I've learned from RuPaul that loving yourself and feeling beautiful to YOURSELF is what matters. Other people and their unsolicited opinions can go eff themselves! ha!

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  16. Gasp! I have no idea why someone would feel the need to publicize their views on who's prettier- especially from a grown man- it's like a beauty contest! What a crappy Uncle that's what I have to say! :( Good for the other daughters for knowing they are beautiful as well, all unique!

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  17. I agree with Relative Lisa: "It's not about honestly, it's that he is just RUDE."

    Even if Uncle Pablo feels this way, this is something that obviously should not be said to their faces!

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  18. Oh my goodness. This is the second occasion I have heard of family drama unfolding due to comments left on a facebook photo. At least in the first one the commenter was older and did not realize their comment was visible to all. In this situation the uncle knew his comment will be seen and that is just stupid. Like the sisters said all he had to say was she was pretty not prettier than the sisters.
    I love how you find these 'great for discussion' topics. :)
    Daphne.

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  19. Haha, bad enough that the uncle had said it, they all had to latch on and perpetuate it. I think we can safely conclude they're all related. ;)

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