If you were told that someone had a talent that only a handful of people on the entire planet had, wouldn’t you be impressed? Wouldn’t you be even more impressed if you knew that person was also a free speech advocate, had been in a few films, organizes for street performers, is a storyteller and has a radio show?
Meet Abby the Spoon Lady. This woman is talented beyond measure. She’s also intelligent, well-traveled, and dedicated. That should be all anyone needs to know about her.
But that’s not how the world works. If you check out her Youtube channel or Facebook page, both of which show you dozens of amazing performances, you’ll be enchanted. Unless you start reading the comments. Then, if you’re like me, you’ll be infuriated. While many people recognize her talent, trolls abound. They criticize her looks. They criticize her clothes. They criticize her lack of teeth.
It seems to me that if Abby were a man, she wouldn’t get this type of feedback. But being a woman in the music world, you’re supposed to be glamorous and perfect in every way, or you can’t be taken seriously. I don’t find Willie Nelson particularly attractive, but you don’t hear people discussing that to the point where his talent gets forgotten, do you?
Give Abby a break. I think she’s beautiful. I think her talent is also beautiful. I think the world is a much more beautiful place because she’s in it. I hope I get to see her perform live someday. And if I do, I hope the trolls stay home.
Heads up (literally) for one extremely biased blog post. I refuse to apologize. I adore tall men.
When I was in high school, I was very close to a set of twins, Ronnie and Donnie. They were 6’3”. They pretty much towered over everyone else at the school, and I sort of considered them to be my posse. Of course, the tables sometimes turned, like the time they lifted me up and deposited me in a large trash can. Good times.
About 15 years ago, I had a herniated disc that was proving to be unresponsive to all traditional treatment, but I didn’t relish the idea of any kind of surgery that close to my spinal cord. But the pain was excruciating. Something had to be done. As a last resort I turned to acupuncture.
I was nervous the first time I went into that office. Talk about bias. I was expecting a tiny, wizened Asian man. (I’ve seen too many movies.) In retrospect that was rather silly of me, because the man had a Polish last name. When he walked in, though, I was struck dumb, because he was 6’9”. He was also kind and intelligent and cured my herniated disc, to the utter disbelief of my neurologist, within two visits. I began to visit this man regularly for a whole variety of issues. He was a magician. He was the best doctor I’ve ever had. He could gently touch one of my vertebrae with two fingers, and within 20 minutes my whole spine was realigned. I had a mad crush on him. I still do, actually, but now he’s very happily married and 3100 miles away. Dammit.
But perhaps my best tall guy experience happened very recently. I was about to get into what I expected to be a very heated and potentially life-ruining confrontation. I felt sick. I had nightmares. But I also had help, in the form of one very lanky lawyer. I had met him before and he inspired confidence, but today he brought a coworker along with him. Each one of them was every bit as tall as my acupuncturist. Riding the elevator, flanked by these two gentlemen, I felt extremely tiny. And I’m a big girl. I’ve never felt so protected in my entire life.
Safety is a huge issue with me. I never met my father, so I didn’t grow up feeling as though someone strong had my back. I didn’t have a protector. I didn’t have an advocate. The handful of times I sat on a man’s lap as a child, it always felt uncomfortable and pedophilic and wrong.
So, walking into the heart of darkness with these two guys beside me, I imagined we were moving in slow motion (again, too many movies) with a soft breeze blowing my hair back, and the song “Eye of the Tiger” playing in the background. These towering heroes had my best interests at heart. That’s another sensation I’ve rarely experienced. If the age difference hadn’t been even more extreme than the height difference, I’d have probably fallen in love with both of them on the spot.
Yup. When I see a tall man, I often have to resist the urge to climb up him like a koala in a eucalyptus tree. So far, though, I’ve managed to control myself. There’s no accounting for taste.