Dear Thandile Sunduza you are beautiful

96262ae5bec94feb897ea376ea4bae1c

I don’t know you and I am just a little person. Well, not in stature, as I am nearly 6 feet tall, but in terms of influence. I don’t like politics and I have to admit that before this fiasco, I did not even know who you were. While I ignore most of the political stuff that goes on, one thing I cannot ignore, is a woman being treated badly.

I think you are beautiful. The photos of you laughing are so full of joy. You obviously take pride in being a little less ordinary, and not to just blend in. As someone with pink hair, who many, I am sure, think is ridiculous, I applaud this attitude. I don’t really care what your dress looked like, or if it was a fashion boo-boo. What I care about is the way people tore you apart. The things people said and the ‘funny’ cartoon comparisons were nothing more than ugly bullying.

I think all women are beautiful, and like I said on FaceBook, I have never met an ugly woman, just plenty who do not yet know how beautiful they are, as true beauty starts inside. Pregnant woman are especially beautiful, they glow with life and love.

We as woman can’t have it both ways. We can’t moan about the media setting unrealistic expectations, by showing us photoshopped models, that we can never look like, and we can’t campaign for real life size mannequins and catalogues with real woman wearing fashion, so that we know what it might look like on someone who is not as thin as a twig, and we can’t ask not to be treated like objects and to be valued for who we are inside. We can’t right these wrongs, while we so viciously rip someone apart, for wearing a yellow (some said green) dress.

I hope one day the shape of our body, and what we choose to cover it in, will be of far less consequence than who we are inside. I hear a rumour that the stress over this incident has landed you in hospital. I really hope that this is not true. But if it is, even more so I hope we can do something to put it right. There is a power in social media. Power for enormous good. I got a coffee delivered, by a stranger, to my sister in London when she was having a bad day. I have watched support for people poured out. But with great power comes great responsibility. We own part of that power so therefore the responsibility too.

Please leave a message of support for Thandile Sunduza here on this blog, or tweet about her or whatever you can do, so that she can feel there are those that feel she is worth so much more than a dress. I don’t know if she has a twitter handle, or how we make enough noise so it reaches her. And if you were one of those that in the moment got caught up and forgot that there was a person behind the dress and a lady you were hurting, you might want to apologise. We teach our kids to say sorry, right?

Thandile I hope you and your baby are well, please don’t believe the haters.

I leave you with a motivational speaker at the TED talks. Labeled the World’s ugliest woman, she took this and turned it around, to make it the power that drives her.

Comments
  • Rene February 16, 2014 at 5:59 am

    She was all I could think about yesterday. I saw a video clip of her on Women24 and I thought she was sunny and bright and so beautiful. Just looking at her filled me with joy and I wished there was a way I could tell her that

  • Robyn Lambrick February 16, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Her confidence and love for life and light is powerful. People try and dim that with comments design to take your personal power away. Don’t let it. You are a beautiful being. You take that and only that foward with you.

  • Neesie February 16, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Thanks you for writing this blog post. I agree with you completely and absolutely. It made me feel sick the way WOMEN made fun of another woman. Projecting all their fears and prejudice onto someone else.
    Thandi, you are bright and beautiful and obviously full of life. You are entitled to wear whatever makes you feel beautiful.
    There are many of us out there, women who believe in the beauty of the inside. And that shines through in your smile.
    I am saddened and angered by the attitudes of mothers raising daughters…. paying lip service to the perils of the media and girls, but then posting hurtful, bitchy comments and tearing down other women because of the way they look. Shocking!

  • Sharon February 16, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Thandile, the first thing I noticed about THAT photo was the way your head was thrown back in a beautiful image of wreckless abandon & joy & I thought wow, how amazing to have such inner confidence & joy! You are beautiful, your gregarious joy shines like a light & makes you beautiful! As hard as it is, don’t let the ugly words of bullies steal your beautiful light!

  • Katherine February 16, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    I look at these photos and see an incredibly woman in a stunning dress, obviously hpy with her situation. What’s not to like?

  • MeeA Parkins February 17, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Well said, Sally.

  • Shadi February 20, 2014 at 7:50 am

    I too must thank you for writing this blog. I admit with shame that I also something to say about this photo, and it wasn’t all nice. I was also struck by her gorgeous laugh, and it made me think “wow, this must be a woman with quite a personality”. I was also struck by the dress and how it ‘sat’ on her, and my thoughts were not kind. I jugded her, and wondered if she didn’t own a mirror. I’m always the first to encourage each girl to be who she is.
    Thandile, even though I did not pass the photos on or make any crude comments, I owe you an apology. You really ARE beautiful, and you’ve reminded me that we all set our own standards for beauty.

  • cat@jugglingact February 28, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    I saw the pic and I thought, “she looks so happy being pregnant”. And then I realized that everybody was slamming the dress. Why do we as woman always look for the worst and not the best? Wishing her a happy and sunny pregnancy – because that is exactly how she looked – happy and sunny

  • Post a comment

    Threaded commenting powered by interconnect/it code.