A few years back, while at breakfast, a friend-of-a-friend was reading the newspaper. North West was about to celebrate her first birthday, and this acquaintance was not having it. “Ugh, I just can’t stand those Kardashians,” she complained, wrinkling up the paper in disgust.
We politely exchanged words (did I mention this breakfast was at Disney World of all places? so I wasn’t in the mood to full-on argue) – I told her some people do enjoy keeping up with their lives, and if she didn’t, she wasn’t being forced to read the article or comment on it – and she again said she didn’t like them, but the conversation ended there.
I had a solo flight home immediately afterward, though, and with the way my brain works, my thoughts didn’t. Hell, it’s three years later and here I am, blogging about that very meal.
I’ve had plenty of time to mull over why her comments bothered me so much, and Beyoncé’s announcement yesterday kicked my thoughts into overdrive.
Yesterday afternoon was the first time in two solid months that my Twitter feed wasn’t full of dread and anxiety. After eight weeks of fearing the worst, and then watching each horrible thing unfold in real time, watching my feed fill up with caps lock, exclamation points, and baby emoji? It was catharsis in the most joyful way. AND TO BE COLLECTIVELY CELEBRATING A BLACK WOMAN, right now? That’s not lost on me, and it shouldn’t be on you, either.
Amidst the excited tweets, there were a few negative ones. Tweets asking why we were all excited about someone we don’t know personally, saying that people announce their pregnancies every day.
I’ve found myself feeling the same as I did during that anti-Kardashian breakfast. Beyoncé and Kim aren’t the point here. They’re beautiful examples of people who are taking the hand life dealt them and making (more than) the most of it, but they are simply that – examples.
One of my favorite parts of the human experience is when people are excited about something – even better, if they’re passionate about it. It’s no secret that I love the Foo Fighters, and I absolutely love when my friends send me a “A song came on, and I thought of you!” text – but it’s also no secret that some people get turned off by enthusiasm. I’ve seen it first-hand, in not-so-subtle ways – the internet is not as anonymous as people would like to think.
THAT BEING SAID!! I don’t CARE if people judge me or think less of me for getting excited about my interests. I’m almost 30 years old, I truly don’t have time to be worried about peoples’ opinions of me. I remember what it was like to be a teenager and young adult on the internet, though. Being made fun of for liking the the very product/celebrity/fad that is marketed toward you sucks (I will fight anyone who uses the word “basic” in a negative way). And, more than that, being told it’s annoying to latch onto some positive news while the rest of the country is in a tailspin? There’s sincerely no reason for it.
The old adage of “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” is what I’m getting toward here… I suppose I could have saved us a bunch of time and just typed that and called it a day. Are you gaining anything by contributing negativity to the conversation? I’m always here for polite conversation and debate – everyone is entitled to their opinion and the right to share it. But, when your opinion is simply, “I don’t like this thing that other people like,” what are you really saying?
I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I would like to feel free to explore my passions, to celebrate the people I like, and to embrace the good things in my life. And in my own excitement, I fully respect yours, over the things you care about. I hope you can extend the same to the people around you.