Today I am thankful that my vocabulary is big enough that I do not need to use the R-Word or other slanderous, disrespectful words to express myself. That’s probably enough said but here I go again.
Just this week it has been at the forefront again because the lipstick and celebrity worlds collided. Really, who could make up this stuff? I might even digress to who and how they come up with the names of lipstick shades and color palettes, but I will get back to my point. Apparently some brilliant person at Sephora cosmetics company released a shade of lipstick called “Celebutard.” The shade is described on the company’s site as “nude peach beige.” Caused quite a stir on Facebook and many people signed petitions and voiced their disgust with it. Lauren Potter of Glee has been outspoken about bullying and the use of the R-word. This is a link to an article about her take – Lauren Potter on Lipstick Shade One person even said “I wouldn’t put this on a pig!” If you’ve not seen the Not Acceptable PSA Lauren and co-star Jane Lynch did about the R-word, you should.
Some days I think we take two steps forward and others I think we take three steps back. Just last week a young mom posted in one of our groups about how hurt she was that someone she knew well used the R-word rampantly. She was hurt and really didn’t know how to handle it. I still get a lot of inquiries about stuff like that. How do you handle it when someone stares at your child? Of course I just speak right up and say, “Yes we think she’s the most beautiful child we’ve ever seen too.” The R-word, non people first language and silly things like “those afflicted with Down syndrome.” That’s one of my personnel faves. My response is that we should all live lives as afflicted as Rachel. The sad thing is the media and supposedly educated people are some of the biggest culprits.
Back to the R-word though. I’ve confronted good friends about this. My husband Jonathan has had to address at business dinners. Are the offenders often embarrassed? Yes. Do many of them change their behavior? Yes. It doesn’t occur to people that it is offensive because in our opinion, they are poking fun at someone like Rachel. Most of them don’t see it that way. It’s just a word. When they realize that for us it is about Rachel, it usually makes an impact. I am not naive though. I hear it in casual settings when people have no clue who I am. I hear it in grocery store aisles, people’s homes, at the hair dresser and even at church. In fact, someone at church used it in a conversation I simply overheard. I don’t know the person and I must admit, I don’t want to know them now. Someone used it the other day to poke fun at themselves and I said, “You know we are part of the campaign to stop the use of the R-word. I really wish you wouldn’t use it.” Note I didn’t say I wish you would not use it around me. I wish you would not use it. The person who said it didn’t even realize she had said it. That’s how common place it is.
Here I am though blathering on but I need your help. Rachel needs your help. We need you to take the pledge and spread the word to stop the use of the R-word. Are you in a sorority, fraternity or club? Are you on student council or involved in FCA? What about dance class, soccer or your football team? What about your school? Can you help us? Can you help Rachel? At the end of the day, she is the one who suffers when this word is used commonplace and without thought. It still sends the message that it is okay to use derogatory and disrespectful language about a vulnerable population. So please let me know that you joined the campaign. I’d like to hear.
A little aside: Sephora apologized and said they are ceasing the sale of this lipstick line. In at least one message they said that a similar lipstick shade, please consider –
Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Naked. That’s a blog for another day.
You can probably tell by my blog name that my tongue gets me in a ton of trouble. I’m not proud of that. I will be accountable for that and each of you will be accountable for your words too. I can say that this is not one of the offenses I will have to answer for. Can you say the same?
Proverbs 12:18 says, “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing”.