All Articles Tagged "judgment"

Has Fear Of Being Judged Kept You From Seeking Help For Your Physical And Mental Health?

December 14th, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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After a few months of fighting it, I finally took an overdue trip to the doctor for a persistent skin condition. It started off as something small and itchy, so I went to the drug store, picked up some over-the-counter cortisol and applied as directed. After a week, it was still there and taking up slightly larger real estate than before. I was worried about it spreading, but convinced myself that it was probably allergies or my new detergent. I returned to my tried and true detergent and did an elimination diet in hopes of vanishing this awful unwanted little situation on my body. Nothing worked. I asked a few family members if they knew of any home remedies and they pointed me in the direction of what I hoped would be a cure-all. Still, nothing was working.

You see, I was doing everything in my power to avoid going to the doctor. I had become scared of being judged for letting the situation get out of control. For not taking better care of myself. I didn’t want to hear what any doctor had to say, let alone be scolded about what I did with my own body.

Weeks passed, and it was getting too hot to wear long sleeves to cover up my malady. My desire to be cured of the rash grew bigger than my fear of being judged, so I caved.  I made an appointment and braced myself for a dressing down from my doctor for not telling her as soon as possible. I arrived at her office in a mild panic of anxiety. It was like being called to the principal’s office–but for your health.

I explained the situation and told her how embarrassed I was to show her the problem; how I didn’t want anyone to see it. And she scoffed, “I’m a doctor. You can’t imagine the things I’ve seen. Let me see.”

I showed it to her and braced myself. “That’s all?” she replied. She grabbed her medicine pad and prescribed me an ointment for the rash. “It’ll clear up in no time. Now listen to me.” She looked me in the eye sternly. She told me how she had a patient who she’d been treating. He made an urgent appointment to see her after falling off her radar for a couple of years. When he arrived in her office, she immediately noticed he had a significant limp. He never addressed the situation so she asked and he dismissed her. Her intuition told her to press on. She urged him to take off his shoe, and he finally relented. When he did, my doctor discovered that he an ulcer on his foot that was in desperate need of surgery. He went from her office to the ER, and they operated on his foot. My doctor said how the man was so fearful of being judged, he kept his foot hidden and made a bad situation much worse.

“If he had not taken off that shoe in this office, he would have lost that leg,” the doctor said. “Let that be a lesson to you in the future. We can’t help you if we don’t know you have a problem.”

I took that lesson to heart. So whether it be a skin rash, feet issues, or even matters of mental health, we should never be afraid to reach out to medical professionals who have the skills and resources to aid in our mental and physical well-being. There’s a major stigma attached to going to a therapist, but the stigma is borne of ignorance and shame. There is nothing wrong with getting therapy to help deal with stress or deeper issues. Or going to the doctor when you know you’re dealing with something you can’t handle on your own. It’s all a part of looking out for yourself. Try as you might, you cannot work everything out on your own. It’s okay to ask for help.

Most medical doctors have seen things you couldn’t imagine, situations that medical school has prepared them for alongside their real-life experiences with patients of all kinds. My rash is gone, (thankfully), but I think to myself, what if it had been linked to a major condition that could have been life threatening and I decided to let my fear get in the way of seeking help? Would it have been worth it then? I have since vowed to never let my fear of being judged get in the way of me leading the best and healthiest life possible, and I urge you to do the same.

#DontJudgeChallenge Proves That We’re All Pretty Judgmental After All

July 12th, 2015 - By Toya Sharee
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Image Source:

We all judge every day. As much as keep striving for this politically-correct, tolerant, all-inclusive world, the truth is judgment is our nature. It’s something developed through past experiences and personal feelings that affect our perception of the world. Judgment is a feeling that’s part head, part heart that tells us to make assumptions based on first impressions and appearances. It’s our way of placing people into categories that make us comfortable, and help us to understand how we ourselves fit in the world.

So it’s no ironic surprise the latest Instagram challenge does exactly what it set out to avoid. If you missed the #DontJudgeChallenge that went viral about a week ago, participants painted their faces with features that generally are deemed unattractive: pimples, missing teeth and bushy eyebrows. They then placed their hand over the camera lens only to reveal through the magic of an app like Flipagram, or what they actually look like. Although, that person usually has a face that’s beyond “beat” with more contouring going on than a pair of Nike Foamposites.

A TIME article explained how the viral sensation backfired since the whole intention behind the challenge was to send the message to not judge someone by their appearance , no matter how flawed. But it also implied that glasses, acne and missing teeth were in fact “flawed and ugly”. Personally I take these social media challenges about as seriously as I take choosing socks in the morning, and I’m sure to many it was a good way to kill an hour on a rainy day. Many participants made fun, making themselves up to look ridiculous and then placing their hands in front of the camera only to reveal more ridiculousness. Even babies and dogs got in on the action. If anything the #DontJudgeChallenge vids are pretty entertaining, even if the message was somewhat lost.

But are judgments all that bad? When you work in sex-ed you hear all kinds of judgments on people’s values and sexual lifestyles that sometimes it’s hard to not cringe on the inside. Sometimes I think it’s easier to make peace with your point of view so you can move past it. This issue I have with this societal trend that asks everyone to go around accepting and loving everything and everyone regardless, is that it’s distracting to try and relate to a person when you are making an increased effort to talk around what bothers you about them or what you don’t understand. It’s like when someone is talking to you and they have a big piece of lettuce stuck in between their teeth.  It’s easy to completely miss what they’re saying because you’re focusing so hard on that big behind chunk of Iceberg, when all you need to do is point out the lettuce so you can move on with the conversation and better yet not judge them as a whole person based on their lunch choices.  It’s the same thing if you consider someone unattractive, unintelligent, or otherwise based on their appearances. It’s not a horrible thing to have your opinions, as long as you can move past them to truly get to know a person.

The truth is it’s not just about appearance, so don’t go getting all self-righteous on teens drawing on unibrows and then bringing sexy back with the swipe of a hand.  All of us judge people by whatever they give us whether it’s the way they dress, how their voice sounds or how they appear on paper. We assume if someone doesn’t have an PhD after their name they’re not accomplished. We see a young lady on the bus with tattoos and a few toddlers in tow and a cell phone pressed between her shoulder and her head and think she must be irresponsible and taking our tax dollars in some way. But the fact is our judgments speak more on what we’ve been exposed to and where we come from than those we make assumptions about. Perhaps it’s time to get off Instagram and do some a little introspection.

Here a few highlights of the #DontJudgeChallenge

Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a  passion for helping  young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health.  She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about  everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.

14 Things You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About

August 20th, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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As a woman, I sometimes feel as though we’re constantly being criticized for everything.  It’s almost impossible for us to just be… us, without someone putting in their two cents about how we should live, or present ourselves.

With those things in mind, we’ve come across the phrase “guilty pleasure,” which is a way to sort of lessen something that we enjoy, and it makes us feel bad about liking it.  Well you know what?  SCREW GUILTY PLEASURES!  I feel that there are things that even if I don’t fully understand, or even like, it shouldn’t stop you from openly enjoying them.

Here are 14 of those things, and add others at the end if I missed any.

15 Things Women Need To Stop Judging Each Other For

July 8th, 2014 - By Julia Austin
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Women Need To Stop Judging


The hard truth behind judgment is that we judge others because, in some way, they reflect insecurities we feel about ourselves. So if you catch yourself talking about another woman for one of the following reasons, you might just be jealous or frightened over something in your own life.

Can We Retire “I’m Not The Average Girl” Phrase?

July 4th, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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I don’t have too many things that bother me, but for some reason whenever I hear/see a girl describe herself as:  “I’m not the average girl,” it has always makes my skin crawl.

Now, I’ll be open to the fact that I might be projecting, but I’m going to try to dissect this so I don’t sound as neurotic as I might be.

It all started off in elementary school.  I remember coloring when a girl went on a tirade of refusing to use a pink crayon, citing:  “I’m not the average girl.”  I couldn’t really understand why she wanted such recognition for not using a certain color.  There were many of us girls who were coloring without using that same color and we weren’t expecting any type of prize for it.

I began to wonder if maybe the reason why I felt the way I did about this phrase was because I didn’t fit into the stereotype that would be seen as “the average girl.”  I was a tomboy who would rather watch mafia movies than romantic comedies.  Now that’s not anything to feel self-conscious about, but people put such an emphasis on how my life was so outside of the boundaries of what a girl was supposed to do and like that I began to wonder if I hated the phrase simply because these girls were able to be so proud of living outside of the box and I wasn’t.

Then it was confirmed to me in high school that it was mostly because people were using that phrase in the most obnoxious way possible.  “Oh, you like wearing pink sneakers?  I don’t.  I’m not the average girl… unlike these other sheep.”  Like, really, chick?

The phrase tended to be used in the most condescending way, as if some of the people were using it as a way to exalt themselves over other girls.  They would get a look as if they were on a pedestal while looking down on all of the girls who liked watching “Dawson’s Creek” (which was my show, by the way).  It was as if the sight of anything slightly feminine had a horrible odor to them, and they had to separate themselves from it by any means necessary.

On top of that, it just seemed as if the phrase was causing some girls to do whatever they could to prove that they weren’t “the average girl,” they were “cool.”  They were trying to prove that they could hang with the guys.  These tended to be the same girls who would try to out drink the boys and then end up right under the table.  It just seemed as though they were trying too hard, and I’m pretty sure their livers weren’t appreciating it.

I guess the main reason, beyond all of these things is that when I really took notice of the women around me, we were all so strong and different in such wonderful ways.  The interests were so profound, and nothing too average about it.  A friend who taught me how to apply makeup (I was a sophomore in college, how sad is that?) is the same one who encouraged me to go outside of my comfort level and experience different cultures.  Another friend who used to be a professional model taught me the importance of not being so serious and shamelessly enjoying mindless fun.  Another friend who taught me how to cook would be my roll buddy to all of the crazy horror films that I liked to go to, and so on.  Nothing about these women were “average,” and putting them in that category just seemed to lessen them, while empowering others.

Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be you.  If you hate the color pink, heck, I hate it too.  I think that the thing I want to get across is that you can be you, without downing someone else for their interests.   Don’t look down on the girl who would rather watch The Notebook over Zatoichi, because just because you see her as “average.” That’s more so limiting your own experiences; and isn’t that what average essentially is?  Being stuck in a state of status quo, with no loss, but no growth either?

But hey, I’m just gonna keep on coloring over here…

Kendra Koger doesn’t discriminate on crayons, especially when she’s tweeting @kkoger.

I know that didn’t really make sense, but just go with it, please.

My Apology To Meagan Good: I Was Wrong To Judge You

July 12th, 2013 - By Caresse Spencer
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Dear Meagan,

I wish I were writing this letter on behalf of all those in the Christian community who didn’t look at you on stage at the BET Awards and pass judgement, but I’m not. Instead, I’m writing as one who was actually on-air expressing my concerns about your attire. In the midst of a casual, comical discussion of the BET Awards, I mentioned your dress, wanting to stop short of judgement, but nevertheless I succumbed. I tried to clean it up afterwards, but the damage had already been done. My words sparked conversation amongst our listeners who also chimed in (via Twitter) with their judgmental commentary, and although you more than likely weren’t tuned in to our little radio show to hear, I felt horrible. To know that I passed judgement on another human being and, by doing so, invited others to do the same, is shameful.

I recently read your response to all the backlash, and my heart burned. It’s a shame how easy it is for us to throw out words about people with no thought of how those words will affect them — as if celebrities aren’t real people with real feelings. I will admit, Meagan, that I think you are a beautiful woman who is in a position as a pastor’s wife to show young girls and women how to be beautifully modest, in accordance with what our Christian faith promotes. Nevertheless, no one deserves to be socially stoned as you have been.

Others might ridicule and act without compassion, but why do Christians do this to each other? When we do it, it’s in direct contrast to the founder and perfecter of our faith; even knowing that, somehow that doesn’t stop us. It didn’t stop me. And I realized today just why. I fail to acknowledge things in my life that would raise eyebrows if they were broadcasted for all to see — my thoughts alone, not to mention my actions, would be embarrassing enough. All the things which might not be on stage at the BET Awards for everyone to analyze—but are certainly still in my heart, which God is highly acquainted with—would leave me covered in a pile of stones, had it not been for grace.  I could only look at you with such a judgmental stare, because I’m not being honest with who I see in the mirror. God looks at the heart, so it doesn’t matter how covered I am when I walk around. He sees all of our sin-filled hearts that need repairing. He knows why we do everything we do, and He is the only suitable judge.  Thank you for reminding me, and I hope more people, of that.

The grace you and I both attest to receiving from God, by way of His son Jesus, is not something to be abused, so of course we must continue to allow Him to change us from the inside-out. But not the other way around.

Again, my apologies Meagan for not regarding you as a person, even more a sister in Christ, that I should speak about with compassion or pray for if I had any concerns. I want to encourage you to allow Jesus’ perfect life and reflection of His Father’s holiness to stir you to be the best ambassador you can be, and I am sure of this, that if He began a good work in you, He will bring it to completion. As He must also do for my judgmental and often hypocritical heart.

Grace and Peace

Is It True? Miguel Takes To Twitter To Rant About Judgmental Black Folks: “We Are The Most Critical Of Our Own”

May 28th, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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"Miguel Leon pf"

Not 100% sure what spurred such a soap-box speech, but while you were minding your business, Miguel was out here letting black folks know that we’re doing the absolute most. To be specific, according to the “Adorn” singer, we are way too judgmental, especially when it comes to judging our own people. Here’s what he had to say yesterday on his Twitter page:

“…yet most of these people pointing the finger wear things like “the cross” around their neck. Historically, a PAGAN symbol.

Im proud of my heritage but honestly, black people are the most judgmental people in the world. Shits sad man.

we’ve been conditioned, pre-programmed to hate ourselves

that’s why I appreciate those who choose to think and act for themselves regardless of ethnicity or culture.

the problem can not be fixed until the problem is recognized. Not everyone is the same thank goodness. And obviously, I love all my fans

Of course EVERYONE is judgemental. I just PERSONALLY believe WE are the most critical of our own

Once again, I’m not sure what pushed the singer to speak out about his disappointment with the judgmental folks in the black community. Maybe he didn’t appreciate the side-eye he was given after the whole Billboard Awards, Miguel leg-drop stuff (and the many GIFs and memes that were made in a span of minutes over it).  Maybe he was just having a bad evening. Or maybe, just maybe, he just wanted to stop singing about adorning chicks with his love and buying them drinks so that he can do so in order to school some folks. Either way, it’s all very interesting to say the least, especially since it’s black folks who seem to support him the most…ah well. But what do you think about his comments on Twitter? Is he speaking the truth?

First World Problems: Nicki Minaj Was Scared ‘Idol’ Would Make Her Too Famous

January 5th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Ivan Nikolov/

Ivan Nikolov/

Actually, these aren’t first world problems; these are rich and famous people problems.

According to Zimbio, the producers and judges recently did an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in which they discussed trying to get the show back on top.  When they asked Nicki about finally agreeing to do the show after the rumors had been floating, she said:

“Sometimes you are afraid of being too famous because it’s almost, like, is that even cool? Being that accessible, someone you see on TV every week? I never pictured myself as that type of person. I’m still surprised I decided to do it.”

Wait, I think I get it. American Idol is a wildly mainstream show and it is understandable that some artists, particularly hip-hop artists, would be a little reluctant to join a show like that which airs weekly.  But that only applies to artists who have never crossed over into the mainstream world. Nicki has been part of the mainstream world so long that many would actually hesitate to still consider her a hip-hop artist or rapper; some just call her a pop artist who also raps.

She’s worried about how collecting a check for judging singers (something she doesn’t do quite well) on a major show makes her look versus the crazy hair, facial expressions and cheesy pop songs? Well, alright then. We all have to figure things out for ourselves.

Do you think that Nicki will ruin (not in a bad way though) her hip-hop image by being on American Idol?