From The Mind Of Miesha Tate: Tackling Cyberbullying And Loving Yourself

ONE Vice President Miesha Tate with her daughter at Evolve in Singapore

When I was pregnant for the first time, I had to go through several physical changes that weren’t to my liking, and that opened my mind to how cruel people on the internet can be.

Nobody should shame a woman during her pregnancy, or even after it. If a woman has stretch marks or baby weight, it’s because there are so many sacrifices that go into making a human being.

Women are amazing. I’ve never been in such awe of every mother who has come before me.

Every single person on this earth has come from a woman who has made tremendous sacrifices to bring that person into this world, so we should definitely respect all the mommies out there.

However, there are some things that cannot be changed.

Some human beings can be so inconsiderate, and it makes me wonder, ‘How can some people constantly speak about someone’s physical appearance?’

Among the things I’ve heard or seen are, “Hey, you’re getting big,” “You’re huge,” “You look fat,” and so much more. It is something really difficult to deal with, and I believe people should focus less on addressing everyone’s physical appearance and start looking at themselves.

Sometimes, even saying things like, “You hardly look pregnant” isn’t going to make a woman feel good – maybe they want to look pregnant, but they can’t.

If you want to say something to a mom-to-be, then use phrases like, “You’re beautiful,” “You’re glowing,” “You look great,” or, “You look amazing.” These are better terms to use.

Fat-shaming and making fun of a woman’s appearance are pretty common these days, but we fail to realize we don’t get the opportunity to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. In general, we should just be less judgmental.

I’ve never gone to anyone’s social media page to write something negative or just hate on them. I’ve never done that, and my friends have never done that.

Remember, every time you point a finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at you. That serves as a reminder that you should take time for self-reflection as opposed to making someone feel bad about themselves.

Cyberbullying is one of the biggest downfalls of social media. It makes it easier for people to be disconnected and, at the same time, it gives an idea to someone that they’re not really attacking a person.

That is completely wrong. Saying something negative online is just as hurtful as saying something mean in front of your face.

Instead of using the space to share something negative, why not set an example? Show others the best version of yourself.

How do I combat the negativity on social media? I normally ignore these negative comments if it bothers me. I don’t respond to it because I don’t want to give it power. Perhaps, just take it with a grain of salt. I don’t want to propel more negative energy and sometimes, silence is the best answer. I try to only respond to people who spread positivity. 

Those who do not share anything positive online are people who just aren’t happy with their lives. When you look at it that way, it is so much easier to deal with stuff like this. Why bother stooping to their level? Never contribute to negative behaviors.

By doing so, hopefully, they’ll realize it isn’t working, and it’ll force them to be nice. I know I’m stronger than that, and that’s what I will continue to focus on.

That being said, I want to share another message to all the women out there.

When I posted about my physical changes on my Instagram account in February, I wanted to show everyone that it is okay to share how you look online. I wanted to take it backwards because everybody always posts about the aftermath, once they’ve successfully got their body back after pregnancy or after losing weight.

I wanted to be vulnerable for a minute. I wanted to show to the world that this is the reality – I’m gaining weight, I’m not able to train the way I want to, and I’m not entirely happy that I have to go through these changes. I wanted to let everyone know that they must accept themselves.

Just because I don’t love every change my body is going through, it doesn’t mean that I don’t love myself. Appearance is just the outer shell. I know if I want to work out afterward, or get back into shape, I can do that.

This brings me back to one of my previous columns about the importance of chasing goals. It’s totally fine to not be at your very best at a certain point in life, but as long as you have your goal set, you’ll get back on track.

Join us in the fight for women's rights and gender equality!

Join us in the fight for women's rights and gender equality! #IWD2020 #EachForEqual #WeAreONE

Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, March 7, 2020

Lastly, in conjunction with International Women’s Day 2020, I want to express the importance of unity. I’m in full support of strong women around the world, but I believe it takes two to tango.

Women supporting each other is essential, but what is equally important is the support of your male counterparts.

It’s always amazing to see what strong men and strong women can do together as a team. I don’t know a strong woman who hasn’t had a strong male role model in her life, whether it’s her father, friend, or brother.

I want to let everyone out there know the power of unity. We are the most powerful when we are together. When we work together and have a man who is not suppressing us, but rather supporting us to be the best version of ourselves possible, it makes everything so much easier.

Teamwork makes the dream work.

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