negative comments – a response

Today I received a lovely little gem of a comment about my “dating game” blog post from last week. Lest I ruin the sentiment by paraphrasing it, I’ll include the comment in its entirety below:

“It’s wrong write someone off as a shallow jerk b/c he or she won’t consider a relationship with a person who has a deformity/disability. You get a lot of ppl who tell you it doesn’t matter only b/c it’s the pc thing to do. But I saw one of your full body pics. So the fact that you’ve had only one serious relationship proves my theory. I even showed your pic to my little bro who said you were hot. When I revealed your deformity, he immediately wrote you off as a possibility. Unscientific, I know. But he’s not into you. That’s cool. That’s just the way he is. You can call him a shallow jerk but know that he volunteers his time at an animal shelter and entertains residents at a local nursing home by singing Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin songs to them. I know it sux b/c you were born this way, but that’s the way it is. Just play up your assets and hide your liabilities. Besides, you already found someone new.”

Normally I would ignore and delete negative messages like the above, but this one just seemed so accusatory that I thought it best to respond. This woman (I’m presuming it’s a woman because the name, which I’m 99% sure is an alias, is a female name) assumes quite a few things about me that are blatantly untrue. So I thought maybe I could clear a few things up for her:

1) I did not mean the phrase “shallow jerk” as a blanket statement that applies to all males who do not date a girl with a limb difference. When I wrote that “not all guys are shallow jerks looking for perfection in a girl,” I was being hyperbolic. I don’t actually think the world is filled with guys who are looking for perfection, which is a good thing because perfection doesn’t exist in any girl, regardless of whether or not she is disabled. I apologize if you took that as a personal affront to your brother, but I can assure you that that wasn’t my intention.

2) I’m not a fan of political correctness either. I try to keep it real and be honest on this blog, so I’m not going to sugarcoat things. I do feel that physical attraction is important when it comes to relationships, but I don’t think that a physical difference necessarily precludes attractiveness. There are a lot of physically disabled people out there who are happily married, and I highly doubt their spouses chose them out of pity or for their personalities alone.

BJM5ZilCIAADxyG3) In terms of looks, you can’t win them all. I remember watching an episode of the Tyra Banks Show years ago (yes, I used to watch that religiously after school) where she said something along the lines of ‘I’m a supermodel, and even I can’t get any guy I want.’ And that’s the truth. People have “types” that they usually go for. One of my best guy friends almost exclusively dates brunettes, and another friend only likes Latin men. I’m flattered that your brother considers me “hot,” but he’s entitled to writing me off in favor of someone with two hands. Is it a little shallow that he thought I was pretty until he found out about my disability? Sure. But it’s his prerogative to date whoever he wants to date, and I can’t blame him for that. I’m also very picky when it comes to who I date. That’s perfectly understandable.

4)¬†While my disability may have something to do with it, I doubt it’s the main reason I’ve only had one serious longterm relationship in my life thus far. I think my initial lack of a love life can probably be traced back to the fact that I went to an all-girls high school and was extremely sheltered by my parents. So for those four years, I think I can count the number of boys I knew (including the men in my own family) on my fingers. I’m not even exaggerating there. I only started dating when I got to college, and I entered into that first relationship when I was 18. I’m now 21 and, while I was single, had no shortage of dates. I turned down my fair share of guys, and I continue to do so now that I’m seeing someone and am no longer single.

5) I’ve never met your brother (at least I don’t think I have), so I can’t vouch for his character. I’ll also point out that doing charity work does not automatically mean that someone is a good person. I mean, I know it’s an extreme example, but O.J. Simpson used to donate a lot to charities. And we all know how that turned out, right? Good for your brother that he finds fulfillment in singing Frank Sinatra for the elderly. He may very well be a good person, and I wish him well. Frankly, I don’t care that he wouldn’t ask me out because I wouldn’t want to date someone who has a problem with the way I look. And who knows? He might not even be my type anyway.



Caitlin Michelle


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