Drop the Judgments and #SpreadTheKindness-Link Up #20

As I was deciding the angle I wanted to take for this week’s #SpreadTheKindness post, I stumbled upon a Facebook status of a friend which said this:

The shit that I’m passionate about is not dumb.

And then it hit me what I needed to write about today in an effort to continue spreading kindness in this crazy world. We all have things that we are passionate about. Each and every one of us is unique in the combination of our different passions. Some are passionate about music. Some sports and exercise and healthy eating. Some clothing and fashion. Others are passionate about art, books, and crafting. There are people who are passionate about gardening, bird watching, traveling, cooking, religion, politics, fishing, and hunting. And also writing, movies, dancing, yoga, and video games. I could list a million more, but I think you get the idea. All of these things are simply examples of self-expression. And no one is judging any of it, I’m sure.

But guess what? There are a lot of people who are quite passionate about other things that may not be as mainstream. There are people who are passionate about tattoos and body piercings. Some who passionately and religiously attend comic and anime conventions. Others who create art and write poetry that may be considered dark or disturbing. There are even communities of people who engage in very alternative sexual lifestyles from swingers to bondage enthusiasts to those who participate in furry fandom. Now I feel the judgments starting to rear their ugly heads.

Why? Why do we judge people based on the things that they are passionate about? If it has no effect on you and is causing no harm, then what business of yours is it to pass judgment? Just because we don’t all share common interests, does not give us free reign to criticize and judge others. Our passions are a huge part of our personalities. They make us who we are. They contribute to the fabulous, the fun, the interesting, the intriguing aspects of our selves that make people want to get to know us better. Because of our varying interests, this world is an amazing and unique place filled with endless possibilities. And that is a beautiful thing, in my humble opinion.

Throughout our lives, as we grow and change, the things that we are passionate about may also change. Oftentimes, the opposite is true. We may remain passionate about the same things throughout our entire lives. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Some may consider certain passions to be juvenile and hence, interests that we should abandon in our mature years. But why? Why deprive ourselves of the things that make us the happiest, the things that make us feel like our true and genuine selves? That’s just silly.

For example, when I was younger I was supremely passionate about my sport of competitive swimming which transitioned into a passion for coaching younger generations of swimmers. Then suddenly one day, after spending over half of my life with this passion at the forefront, I found myself completely and totally over it. The smell of chlorine can actually turn my stomach these days. I also used to be a voracious reader, devouring in excess of 100 books per year. I can’t even tell you the last time I read a book from cover to cover. It just doesn’t provide me with what I need right now. But if I continued nurturing these passions into midlife, no one would judge me at all.

Another example is how we dress and how we present ourselves visually to the world. This is all part of our self-expression. And it should be met with nothing less than respect and appreciation. There was a time not so long ago that I wouldn’t have dared to wear an outfit like the one here. Knee high socks with a short dress, looking all like a school girl? And in my 40’s nonetheless? How dare I dress in such a juvenile way in thess mature years of my life? To that I say, Hogwash! I will dress however I damn well please. Are you judging me yet? Probably not.  Because I am not completely outside of the realm of mainstream expectations…I’m just walking the line. And somehow that is still acceptable to most.

So why are we judging others? You know who I mean. The fabulously creative people who are covered in tattoos and body piercings. The gorgeously intriguing ones who dress all in black from head to toe. (I recently met a 65 year old woman who bought her clothes exclusively from Hot Topic. And she was simply fabulous!) The amazingly unique ones who wear anime and comic costumes, creating their looks with skill and an attention to detail that many “mainstreamers” lack completely.

Tattoos and body piercings, comic and anime conventions, dressing up to engage in whatever activities fuel your passions, and creating the costumes and accessories that support all of the aforementioned activities, are simply passions of self-expression. And just because they do not meet the societal norms of what acceptable hobbies and activities look like does not make them wrong or weird.  And it most certainly does not classify them as dumb.  Quite the opposite actually.  When you see what you consider weird, you are more likely than not witnessing creative genius with your very own eyes.

So the next time you pass by someone whom you may consider a freak or a weirdo and you feel compelled to whisper under your breath Why is that person dressed that way? I challenge you to stop before those horrendously judgmental words leave your lips. Stop and look again. Don’t see the weird, but rather look for the creative genius in it. I promise you will see it because it is right there at the surface staring you in the face. You just need to look past your own judgments to find it. And then maybe even take it one step further and deliver a compliment. This, my friends, is how we keep kindness alive in this mean and judging world.

And now your favorites from last week.

Jacqui of Mummabstylish shared a superbly stylish and fun post Five Over 50 Challenge where she partnered with four other over 50 bloggers to give you some amazing outfit inspiration.

And Jaymie of Shopping Your Closet with Jaymie Ashcraft shared her post Cheers to Denim. How cute is she in her denim jacket and always accessorized with her signature glass of red wine and her ever-so-lovely smile?

Have fun linking! And remember to drop the judgments and spread the kindness!


Keeping it on the edge,

Shelbee

Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups.

Follow shelbeeontheedge@gmail.com:

I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

66 Responses

  1. Very nice post.

    People are scared about anything that is outside their little sphere. They are afraid of stepping out of their little worlds. I can’t tell you how many times that I have been hooted down for what I like or believe in. It is amazing. We have created a society where free thinkers are punished because they have chosen to step outside their box and be who they want to be. I know because it is a lonely world when you do.

    A thousand years ago, I read a line in the book “Fasto”, which was the autobiography of the Hall of Fame defensive end Art Donovan and he said he took a vow in middle school and that was “Never laugh at another man’s endeavors” and I took that same vow. Over the last 30 plus years, I have tried to live up to that.

    • Patrick, thank you so much for this phenomenal comment! I don’t know that I have ever taken that specific vow, but I can say with honest to God truth that I have lived by that standard my entire life as well. My endeavors have been laughed at all too many times as well. It does make for a lonely existence. Until you find your people. And we all have our people, don’t we? Those who support us no matter what. And that is amazing. But now if we could only get everyone else on board to just be accepting and kind and supportive and respectful!

      Thank you for being your creative genius self and spreading your kindness every where you go!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  2. Shelbee this is one of the best posts EVER. I couldn’t agree more… we do tend to be way too judgmental these days and we really need to stop and think about it. Since I started style blogging, I have found myself being much more open to others whereas before I probably would have shared a look with my husband and mouthed, ‘what the hell are they wearing?’. Now though, I do love to see people being being much more unique with their style. I wish more people would do it, without worrying what others might think.
    Your outfit is SUPER CUTE!! Everything about it is cool and it really suits you!
    Suzy xx
    http://www.suzyturner.com

    • Suzy, thank you so much for this amazing comment! Now if we can get everyone else to embrace this same attitude of accepting everyone even if they are so different from us!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  3. Hear, hear! As long as it’s not hurting anyone, because yes, there are some passions that cross the line.
    I get my share of furtive sniggering looks. I no longer care. Age has its benefits.

    LOVE your look here. Sassy!

    • Anne, how in the freaking world could someone see you in all of your colorful pattern-infused glory and react in any way other than with a huge heartfelt smile? I do not understand it. I never will get it. I am glad that you don’t care, but you are like a freaking rainbow of personality and it is contagious!

      Thanks for the lovely compliment, by the way!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  4. Shelbee, this outfit looks so cute on you! Compliments from the Cardigan Queen! 😉
    http://www.over50under20.com

  5. I’m with you. If it doesn’t affect you, why get up in a fuss about it. Just let people be and cheer them on for being themselves!

  6. I have to admit that I used to be one of those people that would think—why are they dressing that way??
    But every since blogging, I’ve been more open to style & how it represents us on the outside. Now when I pass those people I try to imagine what they are trying to portray and smile!!
    We are all so interesting, and our clothing should represent that, right? How boring if we all dressed alike!!
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com
    ps..I love the knee socks—especially with this dress for some reason!!

    • I agree completely, Jodie! We would be so boring if we all dressed alike. Personal expression is the essence of the human experience. I used to dress in such a way that I was victim of the sideways glances and whispers under the breath and would I always think to myself, “But if they just got to know me they would see that I am very much just like them.” So frustrating! I am glad that blogging has brought you to a more accepting place!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  7. It’s easy to get caught into the judgy trap. I remember when I was a first time mom and put my infant on a schedule and it worked. I thought everyone should do it that way. Then I had my second child and watched my sister with her infants. I learned very quickly how different each baby, each momma, etc is, and that families should do what works best for THEM. Small, silly example but I learned a little lesson about making assumptions and judgements. And I’ll learn again. We all are guilty of being judged and judging from time to time. We can even judge those who judge! haha! I’m trying to learn to extend grace to others and even myself. Goodness knows I can be my own worst enemy and critic. Thank you for continuing to post thoughts that go deeper and challenge us to live kindly and peaceably with everyone!

    Btw, your outfit it adorable. 🙂

    • Chrissy, thank you so very much for sharing your experiences with me. I hear you on the mom stuff! I think we all do that. We find something that works brilliantly for our kids and then we think everyone is silly for not doing it our way. And I don’t pretend to be a completely non-judmental saint. That is far from the truth. When I write posts like this, it is a good reminder for myself as well to keep things in check. Judgments are so normal and so human, but kindness needs to trump it! Thank you for reading and appreciating my posts! That validation definitely keeps me going.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  8. I totally love your outfit girl! Thanks for sharing. This is Trina of Tipsy Heelz. I’ve started a weightloss blog, so I linked up today.

  9. What a great post, Shelby! I feel like it is so hard for people to be unique and who they are really are now-a-days. We seem to contradict everything by saying that it’s important for people to stand out, but then if they do they get shut down from society. It’s confusing, frustrating and discouraging. Unfortunately, people will judge either way. I think that everyone should just be who they want to be and do whatever makes them happy. The older I get, the less I care what people think. This is my life that I’m living so I’m going to live it how I want to 🙂

    Liz
    http://www.lizzieinlace.com

    • What a crazy world we live in, Liz! It is so confusing. We are supposed to embrace our own uniqueness, but not too much. Fit in but be different. But don’t forget you shouldn’t shock people along the way. Stand out but be quiet. All of that is so confusing. Why can’t we just be who we are and be appreciated for it? I get dressed up nearly every day and just today at school pickup, another mom said to me (jokingly and admiringly), “Look at you. Who dresses like that for kindergarten pickup?” And I responded with, “I do!” Then she asked if I could give her some lessons! Ha. I am going to be me no matter what others think!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  10. Amen, sister! Such a fabulous message and one that I will try to remember next time I see someone who really seems to be over the edge on self-expression. I must say that you look fantastic in that outfit and can’t imagine anyone casting shadows on it for any reason. Thanks for the kindness inspirations and for hosting.

    Rena
    http://www.finewhateverblog.com

    • Thank you so much, Rena! I know it is so easy to fall into our old judgments, but I think a little friendly reminder can go a long, long way! I think it is so important to just appreciate the way people express themselves even if it is so different from our own ways!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  11. Love your message! Let others have their passions and you can have yours and don’t judge! That dress is darling on you!

  12. Lovely food for thought here and I love your dress with those socks!

    Valerie
    xo

  13. I love this post so much Shelbee!! So much! I have been the subject of that awesome judgement, when I went through my (yes) gothicish faze back as a preteen, and as an adult I heard a lovely lady say in my direction to her friend while looking at me. ” Oh look the vampires are out today. I didn’t think they could be in the sun?” Yes, wow. At an art fest about a year ago. So yes put away the judgemnts!

    • Thank you, Stephanie! And I am dumbfounded by that comment tossed your way…at an art fest of all places. Doesn’t one attend an art fest for the main purpose of witnessing creativity? I am so confused and baffled by people! I think you are amazing and bet you were completely rocking the look that inspired that juvenile comment! I almost wish you had responded to her, “What are you talking about? I AM the sun!” Because you are just as bright, my friend!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  14. That is SO true! I think we should all love a little more and judge a little less. One of my mottos is to each their own, because we are all different. But we should definitely be able to appreciate each others opinions and passions even if they aren’t our own.

    • So true, Laura! I don’t get how so many people lack this mutual appreciation of others’ creativity, passions, and talents. It is such a simple thing! Thanks so much for stopping by and hsaring your perspective.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  15. Great post! Great points…love your heart!

  16. I totally agree with you, Shelbee, we are quick to judge people who look unconventional and not according to our views but who we are to judge. I love your look, you are really pushing the boundaries and fining new you
    https://lookingfabulousat50.blogspot.com.au

    • Anna, thank you so much for the kind compliment! I find unconventional people so interesting and creative. I am often envious of their creativity of expression wishing I could be even bolder than I am.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  17. Adorable outfit! My Ogre and I are working on our dream to open up a shop in our little town that would bring more anime and comic events – I love cosplay fashions. 😀

  18. I think we should all be able to dress however we like. I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t wear that dress with knee highs. It suits you and you look good in it.

    • Judy, thank you so much! I have definitely learned how to wear what I like with confidence. After all confidence and a smile are the best accessories to add to any outfit.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  19. In a world where everything seems so be serial, unique is so very often underestimated.
    Last week at the customs line at the airport there was this pretty black haired girl in front of me that everyone stared at because she had a dozen piercings, plenty of tattoos and I was so upset that people would be giving her these looks..
    Anyways, I love the high socks, I have a pair that i bought years ago and I have yet to try.

    • Lorena, thanks so much for your kind words. And that would upset me, too, seeing people act like that. And it was probably the people traveling in their pajama pants, too, who were passing the judgments. (Oops…I think I just judged!) I look forward to seeing how you style tall socks!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  20. I’m thrilled to be one of your ‘favourites’ Shelbee, many thanks.
    A great look today, and an interesting read – so true. x Jacqui
    http://www.mummabstylish.com

  21. Life would be very boring if we were all the same! Blogging has certainly made me more open-minded – whereas once I might have seen someone wearing an out of the ordinary outfit and thought “what on earth are they wearing?”, but I now think “well if that’s what they feel good in then good for them!”. It seems it’s ingrained in us from childhood to try to fit in but I love seeing people express their personalities through clothes.

    Emma xxx
    http://www.style-splash.com

    • Emma, thanks so much for this insightful comment! Before blogging, I was one of those people who was victim of the sideways glances and mean comments, so I am usually pretty good about keeping those types of judgments in check. But also with age, I have become a little more judgmental than I once was….so I need to work on keeping that in check!

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  22. I love your boots!

  23. Great post! I have always find that generally when people judge or at times when I have judged in the past it stems from insecurity and often times jealousy. I know I have been able to identify that in myself and make conscious decisions to realize that is the place where it comes from. As someone who is always trying to live a better life and be the best person I can be, we need to acknowledge what works for some doesn’t work for others, and just because someone doesn’t feel the same way as you might or has different passions, views, or lifestyle, it is ok. It works for them, and who are we to judge?
    Also, you are killing this look. Love the knee socks!

    xx, Elise
    http://www.sparkleandslippers.blogspot.com

    • Elise, thanks so much for this very insightful comment and for the lovely compliment! I am like you…always trying to be the best person I can be…so I need to remind myself as well to keep my own judgments in check.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  24. Because we fear the unknown and the different. It’s our defence mechanism. I must say you look different in this post and that’s probably because it’s the first time I see you a shorter piece. It really suits and works well with your style. Would love to connect at http://the-wardrobe-stylist.com/2017/05/07/work-wear-tips/

  25. If I could give you a high five, I would! This post is so spot on. We all just need to learn to respect one another! The beauty of life is that we are all unique with different interests and passions!

    Brooke
    Pumps and Push-Ups

  26. sexy look , I know what I am passionate about , would love to spread your kindness

  27. I read your post and found myself cheering. I am a woman in my 40’s who is one of those real life people who indulge in an alternative sexual lifestyle. I am in a 24/7 D/s Dominant/submissive) relationship with my husband. But there is more, I am also an award winning sex blogger, erotic author and director of operations of an international conference called Eroticon. I am one of those people I guess that you are writing about. Much of what I do is hugely stigmatised by peoples judgemental attitudes to things they don’t understand or can’t identify with and rather than take a moment to listen or learn just dismiss it/us. In my opinion it makes for a very unkind, sad and aggressive world

    Mollyx

    Ps… You look absolutely AMAZING in that outfit!

    • Molly, Molly, Molly! Yes! Thank you so much for reading my post and identifying with where I am coming from! I suppose you are one of the people I am talking about and good for you for remaining true to yourself and your passions and making a career out of it. I applaud you. And I have the utmost respect for you. I don’t get why people can’t just leave well enough alone. You do what you do, I do what I do, others do what they do. And in this cruel and unkind world, we are all only trying to find our own happiness. I am definitely intrigued by your story and will be visiting your blog more often! Thanks so very much for sharing with me here. And thanks for the lovely compliment.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  28. Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style.

  29. I’m pretty much a non-judgemental person. I believe in the French Shrug and to each her/his own. Who am I to judge when I’ve been judged for many years.
    However, and a huge however, I do question those who support the congress that is trying to do away with healthcare………Great, great post. And I’m diggin’ the knee socks so effing much. XXOXOXO!!!

    • Catherine, thanks so much! As a person who also been judged too many times, I try to keep my judgments at bay as well. And political issues can pretty much rile up anyone’s judgments, can’t they?

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  30. Have different passions is what makes us unique! We should be encouraging others to embrace being different! I didn’t know you were a competitive swimmer and coach. My daughter has been on a team since she was seven. Love that dress on you! Such a cute look!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

    • I agree with you completely, Jill! And speaking of swimming, when I was coaching, the senior swimmers would make a video saying the best lessons they learned from each coach throughout their high school swimming careers. One female swimmer said that the best lesson she learned from me was that she should “always embrace her weirdness.” I cried! I was so happy that was the lesson she will take with her throughout her life! By the way, swimming is such a great sport for all sorts of life lessons! I hope your daughter loves it as much as I did.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

  31. This so so true! Love that you post this, I felt like I needed to read this!! Loving the pop of lace to that dress, thank you for hosting,

    xo
    Mel

    • I am so glad you love this, Mel, and that I wrote it right when you may have needed it! And the lace is just a skirt that I layered under the dress. It needed a little something else! Thanks so much for stopping by.

      xoxo
      Shelbee

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