When my first Huffington Post article on Why I Wore Orange for my Wedding got featured and I had sites in New York and Australia ask to share my story, I was pretty pleased! Then I got a call from a woman from an online paper who read my post on the Australian site and she asked if she could write a piece on me. She called and asked some questions and quickly wrote a piece on my experience. I didn’t really do much research on the site it would be featured in because I figured any publicity is good right? The piece about me was hastily written, but the main focus was on the pictures of my dress.
I misunderstood in thinking that the news site was from Australia, but it turned out to be from the UK, with a much bigger audience than I’d first realized. When I clicked on the link a little bit later, I noticed there were quite a few comments – way more than I’d ever had on guest posts in the past. So I clicked on the comments and discovered just how controversial an orange wedding dress could be!
In the end there were over 100 comments, some attacking our choice of dress and personal character and some defending both. For the most part, the negative comments were pretty boring and obvious. The gist of the comments was mostly that I was a liberal loonie hippie who probably smoked a lot of pot and didn’t shave my pits. Except for the pot and pits part – much of what they said was probably true, but the way it was said definitely chafed a little.
I guess if your greatest entertainment is derived from insulting people on the internet, cleverness might not be your strong suit.
Intellectually I knew these comments further proved my point about being an orange in a world of apples. I also knew the more I put myself out there, the more I would be subjected to criticism and getting big enough to be criticised by a bunch of people was a good thing all in all.
The next day, I compulsively checked the comments until it got a bit over 100, and then I realized there was nothing really new being said. Part of me found the whole thing hilarious, and the other part of me felt unsettled. Probably because, while I seek out perspectives different than mine, I avoid blatant hate speech in my social media viewing. I know it exists, (how can you not in today’s political climate?) but I hadn’t fully prepared myself to be the target - especially over something as silly as a dress.
I forgot about it for most of the next week, until I was reading Harry Potter to my son and in it, it said that Mr. Dursley was reading “The Daily Mail.” I thought, “wait isn’t that the paper that wrote about my story?” Sure enough, it was!
Turns out it was a well-known tabloid newspaper that is also the 2nd biggest selling daily newspaper in the UK! This sort of thing is so not on my radar. Apparently they are known for posting hateful and even false information – just the sort of things the Dursleys would feed on!
So in the end, I was basically trolled by Muggles!
I had a hard time figuring out why an orange wedding dress would be so controversial, but then Harry reminded me, “Other people might not understand why Uncle Vernon was making a fuss about too many stamps, but Harry had lived with the Dursleys too long not to know how touchy they were about anything even slightly out of the ordinary.”
Wearing orange to your wedding is a very un-Dursleyish thing to do, and after all, wasn’t that kinda the point all along?
I’d rather be a Weasley than a Dursley any day!