Why I’ve Never Been So Wrapped Up In Celebrity Drama Until Selena Gomez Vs. Hailey Bieber & Kylie Jenner

I was never one to be so wrapped up in celebrity drama, despite reading plethoras of fan magazines. Now, I just love inspiring stories about celebrities and the work they do. The one celebrity I’ve always admired was Selena Gomez, aside from my fifth-grade obsession with Miley Cyrus. I still remember the day I received an autographed picture of Selena Gomez in the mail, in response to a piece of fan mail I sent her. I also remember bringing it to school the next day because I wanted to show my friends. They consequently wanted to write to her, too!

Disclaimer: this is not a celebrity gossip story. This is why I am on the technical #TeamGomez versus Hailey Bieber and Kylie Jenner.

I remember when I was in middle school, majority of my female classmates looked down on me because I was somewhat shy and I didn’t wear Abercrombie & Fitch, amongst other things I will never comprehend because it was so childish. What’s even more childish is that Kylie Jenner took to TikTok to shade Selena Gomez for making a silly mistake with her makeup. Jenner and Hailey Bieber went on to make a video saying “I’m not saying she deserved it, but God works…” Gomez responded in return, “I’m too old for this.” And if you ask me, she had the appropriate response.

To be honest, this reminded me so much of my middle school and some of my high school experience. These were the ugliest times to be on social media. Everywhere I looked on social media, boys were mocking me and so were people who were older than I. It wasn’t just on social media. I remember specifically on my first day of high school, I sat down in English class. And let’s just say, my entire course schedule changed and I needed to be put in private school ASAP. I’m not even going to talk about volleyball. Needless to say, I was in hell and I was lucky enough to get out. One of my best friends told me, “you were strong enough to get out.” And honestly I agree because it takes a crap ton of strength to leave a situation that it does to stay in a situation where you are clearly suffering and your mental sanity is being compromised.

What I admire even more, is that Selena Gomez still pursued social media, despite saying she wanted to quit. The poor woman goes through enough as it is, with lupus and the consequent criticism of her weight gain due to her autoimmune disease. The fact that she had to go live on TikTok just to address her weight gain is something no one should have to do. It made me really sad, and I know I’m not the only one.

In short, I’m not saying they deserved it but as Selena’s BFF Taylor Swift sang, “Karma is a god.” I’m not the only person to say this, but Selena is a multi-talented icon, while Bieber and Jenner only have to offer the way they look and their famous families.

And can I just say, I love the fact that anti-bullying is resurfacing, or at least being taken seriously. 🧡

Karma really is a god.

xoxo,

April 💕

Being “Mean” Has Been Out Of Style

I don’t diss people on the internet because I know I’m better than that. If you told 16-year-old April that, she would’ve dismissed you and create a subtweet. Stubborn as I may be sometimes, I’ve often had struggles with saying “no,” especially when it came to bullies’ requests. I can’t believe there was ever a time that I let people walk all over me like a doormat. There is a time, however, where you have to stand up for yourself, create boundaries, and say “I am a woman/man/non-binary/transsexual.” People will crucify you, so it seems, when you stand up for yourself and accuse you of being “rude.” People will question your boundaries and try to push them. People will question you regardless of how you identify.

But never let anyone bully you into questioning your worth.

It’s easy for people to say, “just ignore it.” No. Never say that. It doesn’t work nor help the problem, especially if it’s ongoing. What I’ve learned in my business, is to definitely set those boundaries. I sometimes can’t help but think that no one takes me seriously — not even my family. I should’ve said in my promo, “serious inquiries only!!!” It’s mind-boggling to me, how people can just scam or just bully their way through life like it’s no big deal. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t “influence” anymore. Scammers.

I could’ve done one of two things: 1) wish the worst upon them 2) wish that they could just do better and have a second chance at a better life that doesn’t involve harm to others. So, I took the advice of Ke$ha’s “Praying” and took the high road and prayed.

Two verses that I came across were the following:

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.” (Psalms 143:10 NLT)

“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.” (Luke 6:35 NLT)

Being mean has long been out of style. We’re not in middle school anymore. It wasn’t even remotely cool, then.

EMPOWER NOT TOWER: Stop judging and observe.

I remember when I first got a Facebook account, I put Britney Spears’ “Circus” lyrics in my bio: “There’s only two types of people in the world, the ones that entertain and ones that observe.” At the time I put that as my bio at the time not because I was a “budding performer,” but I was constantly feeling “watched.” No, I was not paranoid. However, the unwonted attention actually fed my ego. I wrote it off as jealousy.

I was talking to my manicurist today, and she was telling me how her sweet daughter (though I haven’t met her, she seems like a true gift from God) was bullied for being both smart and athletic. This young woman earned MVP in Lacrosse, Soccer, and Basketball. Impressive right? The parents of other kids were so green with envy to the point where one parent called her a “stupid bitch” on the sidelines. My initial reaction was not just “that’s horrible!” but I did mention how in my old town in Massachusetts, the parents talked more smack about the kids than the kids actually did. And I’m NOT the first person to say that, which is the funny part. But nonetheless, what right does someone have to say such a thing about someone else’s kid?

This made me wonder: why do we live in a world where we constantly judge/are being judged. Why can’t we just simply observe?

Seriously. Let people go on about their daily business. It’s easy to be so quick to judge, but it’s a habit that you can break with ease. I learned how to do it within an hour after watching this video by Isabel Palacios. Like I said in my last post, you are entitled to your opinion without being an a-hole. There’s a huge difference.

Observe because you don’t know what that person is going through internally. Don’t judge because you’re only hurting that person’s self-image and self-love. Don’t say that’s “their problem.” You may feel entitled to judge, but that judgment is fueled by your own insecurities.

Empower Not Tower: It’s Okay To Fall Sometimes, As Long As You Can Pick Yourself Back Up Again

Remember when we were little kids and we fell down and had to endure the searing pain of scraping knees? When we were kids, we thought that we were invincible and indestructible, no matter what. So, we got up, shed a tear or two (especially if we were bleeding after falling on gravel — the worst!)

I was contemplating what to write for the past six hours since I haven’t written a blog post in well over three weeks. I saw this post on Instagram which prompted an idea:

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Do you think, when we were kiddos, that we would let a scrape define us? We may have scars that exist to this day, but hey, my appendectomy scars have faded at this point in time. But that’s just my own personal example. The fact of the matter is, we don’t know how resilient we are. The idea that originally sparked for a possible blog post today were examples of how far I’ve come despite what has hurt me, physically or emotionally. Being bullied for six years attempted to hold me down on the ground so many times that I need at least ten more sets of hands to count. Being shy and ostensibly different made me an easy target, for sure. The number of times I jokingly wrote “April Federico rocks!” on whiteboards only to have people tell me that I “don’t” was not only annoying but a tad hurtful. This is what I like to call Exhibit A. 1) I did what everyone else was doing, only to be ridiculed (that’s peer pressure, for ya) 2) I actually cared about what people thought of me. I did not have any self-confidence or self-esteem. I’ve had people try to knock me down while walking in hallways, locker doors closed on my nose without an apology, and people pointing and laughing at me when I was eating a pizza at Rock ‘N’ Bowl. At that point, I thought “seriously? They’re trying to ruin this for me too?” In fact, I thought some idiot would pull down my shorts that day so I wore a belt… on shorts that didn’t even have the loops for one. It seemed as though everything I did was subject to ridicule and mockery. Yup, that was middle school and the first half of high school.

The only person I really want to bitch-slap at this point is my middle school self for thinking she had to change because she was hurt by so many people. But at some point, I do want to sit in the parking lots of that middle school like YouTuber Katy Bellotte did in her video. For me, it would’ve been a whopping eight years later. Funny thing is, this is something I just thought of. I WILL do it someday and say, “I’ve fallen, been pushed, all these things, but I really didn’t need to change to give anyone the satisfaction.” Need a reminder of what mutilation I morphed into? Read Personas.

I also saw this one post by Katy Bellotte on her Instagram and she so eloquently said:

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Just some more food for thought. We are the heroes and heroines of our own story that pick themselves up again after we have fallen. Even if we feel defeated, we’re the ones who decide what to do with ourselves after the fact.