The Blog Post Where I Talk to The Haters

I am hardly an expert on beauty.  

I don’t know how to french braid (too many pieces of hair, not enough hands). 
I can’t paint my nails on my right hand without painting most of my fingers (my five year old son gives a better manicure).
I have never had a bikini wax.  Or had my eyebrows done. I tend to tend to my own hair related maintenance (or, perhaps as you’ve already read and sent me a scathing message about, NOT tend to it).

If you asked me guess what size jeans you wore, I’d probably be in the ballpark–plus or minus 2-3 sizes.  I only know the size of “I will never be that thin again” and after that, they all sort of look the same to me.

So imagine my surprise when I was thrust into the (very-dim, barely still lit, highly unexpected, holistically undeserved) spotlight recently by the appearance of my blog post: This Blog is Going to Embarrass My Husband on a national level.  

One day, I was poking around my blog, a few trusty fans in my corner (my dental hygenist, my husband, my neighbor, maybe an ex-boyfriend or two who was worried I would tell the world about their weird fetishes) contemplating just how much of my sex life I could share without losing my mom as a follower (and thus reducing my readership by 10 percent) and the next day I had 4 MILLION PEOPLE make their way to my blog.  

Now it’s been said before, but it bears repeating, my friends, I am not very good at math.  But if you carry the one and multiply the denominator by 14 and use that thing that looks like a long-handled checkmark, you come up with the following sum: THAT’S A LOT OF PEOPLE. 

And that is some scary shit, let me tell you. 
Because most of the time (Editor’s Note—ALL OF THE TIME) I have no clue what I am doing. As a mom, as a wife and certainly as a writer.  
I am, as most everyone who knows me and my yoga pants will attest, not an expert on anything.  (Except maybe flavored coffee creams—I’m really fluent in coffee cream). 

And I want to clarify two small points, since I can and I have nothing else really going on.
First, I had no desire in ANY way to skinny shame or fat shame or anything in between with my post.  I am pro-body, period.  And pro-acceptance.  And I am a hearty heterosexual woman who can say, truly, that I find all bodies beautiful, truly.  Truly.  If you saw my friends, my children, my family, you would see that this is how I live not just what I say.

And second, no one can convince me that healthy equals (XXXX).  I know healthy skinny people and healthy thicker people.  I think strong equals healthy, and brave equals sexy. And whatever that manifests itself to be in terms of weight or size or shape, so be it.  But those who want to say that there is some definite physical manifestation of healthy, I respectfully disagree. 

Finally, since I have received so many emails, messages, comments, I just wanted to say Thank You for reading and for being here and for taking the time to go back and browse through the last few years of my life.  

And I SO want to highlight some of those wonderful messages and emails in a blog post so you can see just how many people–women and men—have similar stories to my own.  It’s amazing and so comforting.  I can’t wait to share them with you!

But that’s a post for a later time. 

Right now, I have a pressing matter to attend to and you might want to avert your eyes, because it’s about to get real up in here.  I thought that in light of the overwhelming number of comments I have received on the post that I would take some time to have a gentle back and forth, publicly, with some of the more vocal objectors on the thread.  I tried SO hard, friends—to answer each and every message with courtesy and kindness, which are two of the rules with which I try (TRY) to guide my life. 

 And I can take a joke and make fun of myself better than anyone I know (you read my work! you know!) but there were a few comments that were just…cut throat. 

Why?  I don’t get it. 

But it seemed only fair that they should have their opinions heard.  
And it seemed only fair, in turn, that I respond.


And so here are the replies I WANTED TO MAKE and I guess…sort of did.


In my own way.

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Talking About The Prettiest Wife in The World

AKA: Nicole Talks to The Haters (Hater’s gonna hate, hate, hate, hate)** (see below)

“A Repartee of Friendly Proportions”
 
**I try my best to live my entire life in accordance with and structured only around lyrics from that maven of song, Taylor Swift.  When this proves to be difficult, I am allowed to fall back on the following and only the following other acts: Coldplay, New Kids on the Block, Destiny’s Child (NOT BEYONCE AS A SOLO ACT) and The Beatles.  In RARE situations, Heart songs can also be referenced, with the exception of All I Wanna Do is Make Love to You (because that song makes me want to gnaw off my arm). 
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From: Anonymous
“While I understand the overall meaning of this blog and agree with some points of it I think we need to be careful here about the message that is spreading. We as a people should not be championing obesity when it is a major problem in this country. Some of this blog comes across as women can just be lazy and eat what they want and their husbands will still find the sexy. As others have pointed out, most men will lie to women anyways. Also most married men are never going to turn down sex no matter what their wife looks like as it’s the only way they can get it without cheating. I’m not married but would want a spouse to not strive to be have a supermodel body by dieting all the time. With that said I want a spouse who’s also going to take care of themselves and eat healthy and work out. Not to just look better but because it’s a healthy lifestyle and that should be the most important. Women can lose weight after having kids, I’ve seen it done with tons of women who are not celebrities or famous. It takes will power and a want to attitude. If I as a man am going to keep myself in shape and try to be as healthy as possible I expect my wife to as well.”
 
Response: Nicole
 
Dear Anonymous,
 
I zoned out around the point when you wrote “I’m not married” and picked it back up around “will power and a want to attitude”.  I do SO appreciate your comment.  My only suggestion is that it is worth considering that perhaps the latter (your propensity to give advice to grown women who have birthed children–DANGER) MAY be contributing to the former (your state of unmarriedness).  

Did you know that people who are married statistically live longer than those who are not? I know how important a “healthy lifestyle is to you”!
 
 Perhaps a little will power and a want to attitude is in order to remedy that situation, it seems easy enough! 
 
All my best,
Nicole
 
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From: Dave
 

“It’s easier for men to lie to themselves and accept what they have. Sure, that Victoria Secret’s model is hot and that’s what we would prefer — but us men understand we’ll never get that. The girl in bed with stretch marks and bullet holes is real and right here…and she’ll be glad to have sex with us if we compliment her. Sex feels the same with pretty much any woman to a man, double so if the lights are out.”


From: Nicole

Dear Dave,

All of this is so wonderful, I don’t even know where to start! You have such a way with words, I would imagine you are quite a hit with the ladies in your backwards, dark, creepy and remotely isolated town. I have to say, I have met a lot of people, but I don’t know one gal with bullet holes! Yikes!

Also, I don’t know if there is any more beautiful poetry about sex than these few lines from you: “Sex feels the same with pretty much any woman to a man, double so if the lights are out.”  It’s pretty much what every woman, every where wants to hear, Dave, so I suggest you tell your dates that early on in the evening, so that they have an early glimpse of just what kind of magic love making with you will be like.

But, Dave, just one last thought, and I’m speaking purely off the cuff here, but have you ever considered that the reason sex feels the same with every woman for you is because of…you? I know all those women you’ve been with have tried to lie to comfort you by saying that size really doesn’t matter to us. They didn’t want you to feel bad.

But here’s the truth. It does matter, Dave. 
And it doesn’t all feel the same to us.

We know.
Even with the lights out.

All the best,
Nicole

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From: Anonymous

“You had four kids BEFORE you met him, you must be an awful person.”

Response: Nicole

Dear Anonymous,

Just the other day I was thinking….I can’t tell if I am an awful person, I wonder if there is some sort of barometer on how to judge that sort of thing…oh wait! Yes! The four kids! By jove, that’s how I’ll know!

I might need some further clarification from you on this system of assessing my awfulness though. For example, does just HAVING them make me awful or does having them and BEING DIVORCED equal out to awful? Could you provide me some sort of schematic or equation or maybe a rubric, like 4 Kids is to Awfulness, as People who attack someone on the Internet that they’ve never met is to…?

Anxiously awaiting your followup, a lot of my self-worth hangs in the balance.

All my best,
Nicole

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From: Anonymous (All the really big assholes seem to have the same name)

Is your husband a heavy drinker?”


Response: Nicole

Dear Anonymous,

Only from the cup of my love.  <3 <3 <3
Thanks for the comment!

All my best,
Nicole


118 Comments

  1. I read your original post and it hit me in a very deep way. I also read many of the comments and your ever tactful replies, even the ones that enraged even me. I hope you know the profound and positive impact you’ve had. Your post made me want to see myself with love, be healthy, and appreciate my husband. I can’t see a better life than that. If I was just a hole for sex, he would surely have moved on by now haha!

    Reply
    • Exactly Lindsey! Reading this line from you: “Your post made me want to see myself with love, be healthy and appreciate my husband” made me sit right here at my computer and cry. It’s those things that I struggle with too and wanted to capture in the piece. You say it so perfectly. Thank you for that. What a special way to start my day. <3

      Reply
    • Just because he hasnt moved on doesn’t mean hr isnt cheating on u with somebody better looking. All men lie about what there wive look like to not hurt there feelings.

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    • Is that all you got Dev? Do you really think you’re going to offend Nicole with your simple-minded response. Here’s an idea: Go back to school and and find an equally simple Barbie-figured woman to have a romp with….which will surely satisfy your shallow tastes.

      -Jackie

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    • Such great justification with that, I can’t even argue! Well actually, yes…yes I can. I really wasn’t going to reply to justify the response, because that is the exact point of this blog. But it ends with the fact that I don’t give a crap about what you think about my relationship. I don’t. I don’t even care to post things about my personal life.

      But I DO care to support people who are real. Support people like Nicole who are looking to help other people feel more understood and less alone. The struggles almost every woman feels, but “shouldn’t” say out loud.

      My husband will not lie to me about important things like fidelity, and he doesn’t lie about a whole lot to anyone in general. Because he has integrity, which is obviously something you, Dev, lack. He does tell me I’m beautiful even when I know I’m not. But there are times he’s hated my haircut or certain pieces of clothing, however he tells me in tactful way that isn’t controlling and never hurts my feelings.

      Because adults can do that.

      Not everyone is shallow and solely sex driven. Not my husband. He has had many opportunities to leave along the way and has never left, even when he knew “someone better looking” might be out there. As a side note, I don’t think I’m ugly by societal standards, but just because I’m aware of it, doesn’t mean I feel it.

      Reply
      • Lindsey, you are well spoken, smart and quite truly, my spirit animal. I loved every single word of this—thank you, thank you, thank YOU!

        Reply
    • Thank you—you’re a comfort to me today!!!! I debated like hell about posting it! I so wanted to take something that was making me weirdly upset and turn it into something funny. It’s my coping mechanism. LOL> Thank you!

      Reply
  2. You’re a great writer. Sharp, pointed, cogent and funny as shit. I hope you are able to monetize your blog. If you need help with that, please let me know and I can have someone from our media department work with you. Say hi to Mike. –jk

    Reply
    • I know you know your stuff, Jimmy so this comment from you has me filled with gratitude and joy. I have a brand new website in the works finally, I can’t wait–it is all so confusing (but exciting!). Thank you so much for reading and for the support–and for making my day.

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  3. You’re an inspiration to “awful” women who are divorced with kids and remarried in Oklahoma! You’re beautiful! Thanks for writing ! Love your tact with the assholes.

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  4. Brilliant as usual, darling. You’re upfront and honest about your life when, by use of Internet magic, could have transformed yours into a fairytale world and only your mom would have known the difference. We have much in common and I was touched deeply by your willingness to share a beautiful and sacred moment. You’re a fortunate wife & mom & THANK YOU for having the chutzpah to tell these naysayers how it is. You go girl!

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  5. I too read the original post & found it to be representative of my own relationship with my husband. It gave me a renewed sense of appreciation and respect for the good ones out there that love their wives & truly see the beauty in them, when we cannot! This post had me positively delighted:) You are hilarious & have a delightful sense of sarcastic humor that I completely relate too! Thank you for being you & helping give me back the courage to do the same! PS being a mother to four children is absolutely amazing and finding a man to love them too is a true blessing! Cheers to all those fabulous stepdads out there (I happen to have one!)!!!

    Reply
    • Other moms of 4 have a special place in my heart—I know you understand the wonderful mayhem of it all. I love when I know someone “gets” what I am trying to say, sometimes it feels so hard to get it to paper exactly as it is in my head. Thank you for reading and for “getting me” and your AWESOME comment. <3

      Reply
  6. You know how when your faced with a terrible person (Asshole, moron, idiot….. the list goes on) and you wish you had the quick wit to give them a big helping of what they are dishing out, but can’t come up with anything? Well you made every person who was ever bullied or belittled (by a perfect stranger no less!) Feel vindicated!!!!!!!!!! LOVE your writing! Its great to know there are people out there who feel as I do and even better when they have the balls to put it in writing to help the rest of us know we are not alone! Nothin but love for ya!

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    • MELISSA! You rock! It felt SO GOOD to write this post! I always respect anyone who has a difference of opinion and tried so hard to convey that, but these comments were truly horrible, on behalf of all women, everywhere. I was glad to do it. Thank you for that—nothing but love for YOU!

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  7. Well my original comment disappeared, but the gist was it’s great to see people out there who cn just love and accept without judging. Also if you ever get the schematic for how awful someone is, send it my way according to “anonymous” I am way more awful than you. Having a child out of wedlock (gasp), not being with his father anymore (double gasp), living with another man out of wedlock (triple quadruple gasp!) Thanks for the entertainment and brightning up my morning.

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    • I think it’s time for the schematic to be produced or I’m going to have to vote that we are indeed not nearly as awful as Anonymous says we are, Kristina. I have seen no citations, no documents—just where is the proof? 🙂 AND, it’s BECAUSE of your awfulness that I would think we would be lovely friends. So, thank you, madame and you go on with your bad (wonderful) self. <3

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  8. “Sex feels the same with pretty much any woman to a man, double so if the lights are out.”

    I’m pretty confident that Dave has in fact never had sex a day in his life. The high probability that he is in his late 40s and living in his mother’s basement probably has a lot to do with it.

    Reply
      • Dev, were you ever taught to read or write properly? I know, you were probably one of those home schooled kids who were brainwashed into believing you were somehow so special that Barbie herself would knock on your door one day and you and her ample yet firm bosom would live happily ever after IN YOUR FANTASIES! (not that all home schooled kids were taught this way, just the really weird ones) You seriously kind of make me sick and I hope you and your bullet hole lovin’ friend Dave make a go of it. Oh, and by the way I’m super hot so I know stuff! 😉

        Reply
    • Dev, I’d really appreciate if you worked on your grammar. I could deal with your deluded, misogynistic comments if you just used proper grammar. Yours, another “piece of work’

      Reply
    • I’m glad you guys had the courage to respond to Dev. I wanted to, but was intimidated by the obvious high degree of intelligence his writing conveys. :-/

      Nicole, you’re a doll! Keep doing you and don’t ever let these fools get you down.

      Reply
  9. Nicole, your writing at the very least always makes me smile, but I almost peed my panties (oops-make that UNDERWEAR!) reading this post!

    I smiled when the ANONYMOUS perennial bachelors felt the need to puff up and pipe up on a post about relationships – ha!

    I giggled when those same single cavemen actually believed that women in a relationship would care about anything they had to say – HA!

    Then I was ROFLMFAO when I realized that these singleAnonymous troglodytes were sitting at home, alone – reading a post for WOMEN by a woman – BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    And that’s when my baser, obnoxious self was elbowed out of the way by my sweeter Higher Self. Of course these perennial bachelors would be threatened by your post. They’re worried because if women reading your article actually believed what you said and began to follow your lead, these same single guys would be left whacking off with only each other!

    Why would an empowered, love filled gal want to be with an underachieving guy, whose claim to fame are the lies he tells only to get “lights out, same sex” – regardless of the (inflatable) woman he’s behind?!?

    These thick headed numbnuts cannot possibly understand that a woman who knew she was unconditionally loved by her man, regardless of her stretchmarks or bullet holes (WTF?!?) would only be too eager to physically show her man just how much she loved him back.And it’s the kind of good lovin that a perennially single bachelor can only have wet dreams about 😉

    So I can understand why the Haters had to spew their fears all over – because who’s gonna love them if we follow your lead Nicole? And that’s what they’re afraid of, deep down.

    So to all those Anonymous Haters bless your hearts and good luck with that – I have to run. This bumpy and squidgey 51 year old Mom and Nana, who is constantly loved and adored by her 53 year old man is going to show every inch of his less than Channing Tatum body just how very much I love and adore HIM also 😉

    Reply
    • Roberta, I wrote you a response to this and now it’s not here—but I just loved every piece of this comment. I read it aloud to my husband on the way to a dinner party and he was getting frustrated with me because I kept having laugh attacks and couldn’t talk. You are someone I want to know—you are fierce and made me laugh. Thank you so much for being here!

      Reply
    • Cutest, wittiest and bestest (very official word) comment goes to you, beautiful Caroline In Iowa (which is a place I hold dearly as my husband is from Ottumwa). You are adorable and we should be BFF’s (Blog Friend’s Forever). TRULY! <3

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  10. This was ur first blog I read & I loved it. I dont understand why people who disagree with someone but continue to read their blogs. If I dont like something, its simple, I just dont read it. Keep the blogs coming cause I am gonna keep reading them.

    Reply
  11. Fantastic post! I love how poised you are in your responses 🙂 The worst part, for me, about what these haters said is that they are making men out to be narcissistic, douchebags who will lie to get what they want. Is it not possible that some, or even most, of these men are being honest with their wives/partners? Could it be that for them sex is not the all-consuming narcotic for which they will sell their soul (i.e. sleep with a woman other than a Victoria Secret model)? It’s a world gone mad!

    Reply
    • It’s such an important point! If anything, I would imagine that men like my husband (and it sounds like yours) would be offended to let men like those above speak for their gender. Excellent perspective Robin!!!

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  12. Sugar, you are Hi-larious! I loved the original article and your replies are priceless! I know the struggle is real, all the skinny people out there telling us we need to lose weight…ya know what? I am 48 in 3 weeks, had 2 kids, 4 surgeries on my love belly, am just about 20 pounds heavier than when I graduated 29 years ago, still wear single digit clothes…I too am the prettiest wife in the world! My husband tells me daily and I know he means it every time!!! Rock on chika!

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  13. Oh Nicole, where do I start. Long time reader (well really only a recent reader) first time commenter. 🙂

    The moment where i realised that you’re awesome is when I was reading your responses and I inadvertently snorted and laughed out loud at work.

    Keep being awesome!

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  14. My Niece shared your original post. I read it and wanted to read more which led me here. Not sure what makes people turn into keyboard warriors ( the anonymity helps I’m sure) but it’s almost a international pastime for some to spend their waking hours attacking people online. I don’t often get to see them being called out and have their arse handed to them so succinctly.
    Totally laughed out loud at your response to ‘Dave’.

    Loved it. Mel

    Reply
    • Mel, I don’t get it either! I have reread my own original “prettiest wife” piece many times and still can’t figure out what part is polarizing—it seems like all someone has to do is either read it and decide that the ideas are right for them or pass it by. I can hardly imagine what inspires someone to ask if my husband is a heavy drinker…lol….maybe the orange in tube socks? 😉 Thank you so much for reading and for your support. <3

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  15. Found your original post on my Facebook feed this morning. Loved. It. Will probably spend the rest of my morning (who wants to work anyway) sifting through your brain as blog. Geez, now it sounds like I’m stalking you, uh, but in a good way.

    Reply
    • LOL!! Forget work Elle and read my piece on yoga. It will make you laugh, I promise. PLUS all the coolest people have a little bit of stalker in them (Lord knows I do and I am just HOPING Jason Bateman doesn’t find out).
      Thank you, friend. <3

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    • But Nicole, I do have one suggestion (a tiny one about the template of your blog…) Could you make it look more like a boring online grant application? This way, I could stealth read you all day with no compunction whatsoever. (Ha! Like I have any now….)
      Parenthetically,
      Elle

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      • I sorta did it Elle! Let me know what you think of my new duds (and if you can stealth read me any better). You are the cutest. <3

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  16. Having just found your blog via the original post, I just want to say thank you. This post is brilliant and magnificent. I cannot put into words how inspiring it is to see your replies for the not so nice comments. You are a tremendously encouraging person. I look forward to reading more of your blogs. As a matter of fact, me and a manicure are going to hang out on your blog today. May your day bring as many smiles as your blog has (and will) bring me.

    Reply
    • Jessica, if you are anything like me (and you probably are if you are here), I understand how using precious free time to read an essay is high regard indeed. Thank you for sharing your time with me.
      PS—I have been called PollyAnna a time or two…I don’t mind the nickname so much anymore. 🙂

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  17. I was having one of those “feeling lousy about my choices” kinda day and then I came across this blog post. Talk about something at the right time! It seems many (most?) of us have the same insecurities, and your post gave me just the reminder I needed…count my blessings & be happy!

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  18. My husband tells me everyday that I’m the most beautiful woman in the world and everyday I roll my eyes, until today. Today I looked him in the eye to finally see that he truly means it and thanked him for loving me for me. It may take a little longer for ME to believe it but I will try thanks to your post. Based on the comments you’ve received it seems some men obviously don’t know how to truly appreciate a woman for all that she is and can be. Thank you for showing woman that a true man will love for all that you are and will always take time to tell you how amazing you are.

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  19. I was a divorced mom of 3 when I met my current husband. 13 months ago I became a mom of 4. I also have the most amazing husband. I swear I could have written your original post, except that I lack your amazing writing skills. Thanks for making my day once again.
    Also, what’s up with these loser guys on here responding to comments? Obviously they don’t have anything better to do..
    Sending love, Holly Moseley

    Reply
    • Aw, Holly…being a mama to 4 is THE BEST, you gave me chills. I’m so glad you get to live it too! I’m so grateful that you are here!
      PS—I think we scared Dev away. Thankfully. <3

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  20. I came across your Prettiest wife blog on Facebook and I loved it. I felt like you could have been talking right to me. My boyfriend tells me all the time that I am beautiful and I discount it because obviously I can see my flaws, so he must too, right? I showed him your Prettiest Wife blog and his reply was “She hit the nail on the head! YOU are going to be the prettiest wife and I can’t wait to call you mine.” I got very lucky when I found him and I am going to try to keep your blog in mind when he compliments me or when I am trying on clothes in the dressing room and feeling unpretty. And as a divorced mother of two, I share with you in being an awful person 🙂
    Thanks for your blog!
    –Sarah

    Reply
    • It’s funny, but the ones who are the “most awful” seem like the people I want to surround myself with. So cheers to our awfulness! And to being loved and loving back—you deserve it ALL Sarah! <3

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  21. Love your honesty. Please don’t ever stop that part of your writing.

    Best regards to your blessed home!
    Another overdone mom of 4, Starr

    Reply
    • My poor husband, Starr! The whole world knows his secrets. And I couldn’t stop being honest if I tried (poor him again!). Best wishes to you, my gratitude extends to you deeply. Thank you so much!

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  22. Goodness! I had no idea you were so popular with 4.000,000 viewers! I shared your post on my FB page because it struck so close to home. My husband (possibly you can hear him snoring in the background?), has never once, not even a little bit, in twenty years made me feel anything less. I am much more so in the lukewarm range on the Fahrenheit scale but knowing he believes this with such firm conviction provides me with the security I need to love him back with a little bit (ok, a whole lot) more enthusiasm. Knowing he still peeks around the shower curtain or pauses to watch me change my bra and shirt gives me a smile and a feeling of desirability. I have friends that haven’t had that kind of shared moment in years. What a shame.
    The responses you received were definitely off kilter. Bullet holes? Really?
    And, is this just not the best Christmas present you could have ever received?

    Reply
    • Deb, it is! I feel like pinching myself half the time that something I wrote got to be shared with so many people. And now I am sitting here, with my laptop out before bed and reading wonderful, kind and inspiring messages like yours—it seemed impossible a year or two ago. And we are both so lucky to have someone in our lives that does those things, it’s amazing how easy it was for me to shake those words from my husband off. But once I started to listen, it changed everything for me. I think it even gave me the confidence to write with honesty—knowing that no matter what he would see me as I am.
      I’m so thankful for your message, for your time reading the piece, for sharing it—-I hope that appreciation comes through in these words I am writing. Have a wonderful holiday, Deb! <3 <3

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  23. Nicole how did I not find you sooner!

    Unfortunately, I can’t say that I found you at all. My husband saw your “prettiest wife” article, shoved it in my face and said read this. The title seemed a bit ominous, so I asked him if it was true (before I read it) and he replied “every word.”

    Even while reading, I kept thinking to myself how amazing your husband was to do that for you every day. It wasn’t until reading your “haters” blog that I realized that mine was one who insisted that it was all true.

    Take that to the Anonymous of the world. They are not going to be the voice of all men. I know for an absolute certainty of one that will disagree with them.

    I do hope one day they are able to find the integrity and self-esteem necessary to make someone other than themselves happy. The people who bark the loudest are often the most insecure. Until then, I hope they can at least keep that mess to themselves and stop trying to keep a good woman down.

    You go, Nicole. Love your humor and blog. Can’t wait to come back for more!

    Reply
    • What beautiful affirmation Evonne—for you (because he loves you just as you are and deserve to be loved) and for me, because those like Anonymous that want to speak otherwise are being drowned out by the voices of husbands like mine and yours.
      That’s powerful stuff, friend. Thank you to you–and him. I am so so so grateful. <3

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  24. I (and seemingly not alone) did not feel your post was ‘skinny-shaming’ in any way. I felt it was inspiring and reminding me to look to my husband on what is ‘attractive’ after all I only really want him barking up my tree (wait does that saying work here..?.. I’m rolling with it)

    Trolls are gonna troll, and I love all of your responses to these trolls. usually trolls lash out simply because there is something missing inside of them so they try to hurt others. Most didn’t even have the guts to use their name so that tells you how confident they really are 😉

    Reply
    • Cheers to all of this, Jessica. I read the piece so many times and wondered how/if I had come across as trying to define any sort of beauty (or skinny shame, or promote bad health, etc), but you are right—-sometimes if someone is looking for a reason to stir the pot, they will find it even in the most benign words.
      And totally laughing at him barking up your tree. That’s something I would totally say and probably will now. So let’s both go with it and never look back. <3

      Reply
  25. Nicole,

    I, too, came across your “prettiest wife in the world” post on Facebook. It was so real and witty, and it resonated so much, I clicked through to your blog and wound up here.

    I am an almost-53-year-old woman who married young, had two babies, divorced by 27, had a 3rd child out of wedlock at 29 with someone who was a LOT younger & who was supposed to have only been a fun, NSA, summer fling to get me back in the swing of things… talk about an awful person… all before meeting my wonderful husband of the last 17 years (well, we’ve been together since my youngest was 1, so make that 22 years).

    When we got together, my brood instantly increased to 4 – nope, not ever any step-feelings in our house! She blended right in, perfectly spaced in age between my middle & my youngest. He never once flinched at taking on an insecure, untrusting, battle-scarred woman who had 3 children by 2 men… not even when she tried to chase him off before she got too attached (and hurt again). He loves them like he made them with me, as I love her. Even better, he always managed to be very present in helping me raise them – even when they fought him by saying things like, “You’re not my REAL dad!” (kids can be sooooooo cruel!). He WAS and IS the only REAL dad any of them has ever known. Thankfully, as they’ve grown up, they have come to realize that fact and appreciate him for it (they are now 30, 28, 26 & 23)… but, I digress.

    When I met him I was a tight, compact size 4, even after giving birth 3 times (a few stretch marks and some chicken skin on the belly were the only signs of childbirth, thanks to being blessed with some very good genes-please don’t hate on my extreme good fortune! ☺)… yet slowly, surely over these years, my body has softened, spread, drooped & sagged… Time, gravity & shifting hormones have taken a toll on my face & body which, while I never believed them to be “ideal,” did provide me with a measure of confidence despite my internal relationship scars. I am now a short, small framed, pudgy size 10/12 with a slight waddle & 2 rocks-in-socks (mine aren’t as round as oranges, darn it!), or bullet-boobs, as I have also been known to call them! I have gray roots, rarely wear makeup or “do” my hair (it’s usually tied in a school-marm knot on the crown of my head to keep it out of my face) and, like you, my usual attire is what we Texans regret to as a “wife beater” along with yoga pants or capris & some ballet-style Dearfoam slippers. I put on a bra only when I will be seen by someone other than my dogs, my cats or my hubby. Lovely, right?! Absolutely alluring – a siren (NOT)!

    Yet, every day for the last 22 years, my hubby has awakened me with a kiss and a gentle tease & squeeze to one of those “rocks,” as he pulls me to him to spoon & nuzzle my neck, while whispering, “Good morning, Beautiful.” He also peeks around the shower curtain, watches me undress while making, “mm-Mmm!” sounds, runs up behind me to cup a “cheek” whenever he sees me from behind, bent over at the hips, doing some chore or scooping something of the floor.

    Until I read your post, I was among the eye-rollers, not believing him when he extolled my beauty… after all, I’d seen the ladies who turned his head (I’ve never been one to think a married guy couldn’t or shouldn’t look – after all, I appreciate the beauty of the human form, too!), I knew what his “type” was – and it certainly wasn’t me! I have even been known to puzzle over how he could be attracted to me and to them at the same time… sad but true.

    I do believe that guys are genetically programmed to want to have sex with fertile, nubile young things… they can’t help it; they are born that way. I also believe that I would feel physically & mentally better, have more energy & less pain if I could lose about 30 more pounds (lost 10 in the last month, yay me!) – but that doesn’t mean I believe that anyone MUST be “ideal” in size and shape to be desirable! Confidence makes a person sexy! I do not believe that guys think that “any hole will do” – nor do I believe that all guys lie to get what they want…. in general, I don’t believe ANY gross generalization!

    Your article did convince me – I mean it really drove home for me – that my honey really does think I’m beautiful. He really does desire me just as I am, just as he did when I was a size 4, just as he did at every size in between. It made me want to let him know that I get it now, finally, as well as exactly how much I appreciate him for persisting in trying to convince me by continuing to say it – and mean it – despite my reticence to believe it.

    So…. Thank you, Nicole! Keep writing & keep affirming! You’re amazing, just the way you are!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!

    Reply
    • Awww Robyn! You’re wonderful. You “got” all the things I so desperately wanted to convey with the piece–the idea that size can be what YOU want it to be (or accept it to be) but that it’s about knowing that ascribing to the ideals of someone who doesn’t matter won’t change much. But hearing our partner when they say “You are perfect to me” can change everything! I love when you said “confidence makes a person sexy”—it gave me goosebumps. Rock on mama for 10 pounds down and Rock on mama for the amazing and thoughtful comment—you made my day better just by being here. Happy New Year, friend!

      Reply
  26. The amount of pure awesomeness in your responses..well…it just can not be measured. Not by anonymous, not by rubric nor mathematical equation alike. You rock, and yes, haters…that’s what they do, gonna hate, hate, hate. But your words in response to the almighty “anonymous folk”…Oh how they charm the shit out of this perfectly imperfect mamma. keep spittin’ it Nicole. xo Kris

    Reply
    • Kris, this perfect sweet note was a terrific way to wake up and start the last day of 2014 for me. Thank you for sharing my “imperfection” and embracing it along side of me. Hoping 2015 is a rockstar year for both of us! Cheers to you! <3

      Reply
  27. I shared your original post on facebook today with the following comment:

    To all those who have trouble believing their significant others when they tell you you’re beautiful…read this!!

    I know what this is like. I have a wonderful man that thinks my size 24 self is
    gorgeous. In fact, that’s what he calls me all the time. I have always had a terribly negative body-image, but being a forty-something overweight woman with a disastrous marriage behind her really ramped up my insecurities. I am blessed to now have a man who sent me this blog post with a comment that said, “Hmmmmm, this sounds familiar”. I am blessed to have a man in my life that forced me to look in the mirror, fresh from the shower, and told me all the things about me that he loved while he insisted that I tell myself that I was beautiful. You know, I may not be every man’s ideal, but MY man thinks I’m a gorgeous, sexy, wonderful woman……and in the end, who else’s opinion matters anyway!?

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with everyone. It is inspirational and candid…and I appreciate you for it!

    Reply
    • Filled with joy, for you Whitney. For the fact that you have this love in your life, that you can see it as honest and pure and important. That you shared it with me and helped me to hear back my own thoughts/words/feelings in a new and beautiful way. Thank you for reading the piece, for sharing it. For being here. Cheers to liking ourselves and listening to who matters in 2015. <3

      Reply
    • Why would you say something like that….I guess take a page from Taylor Swift…Haters gonna Hate Hate Hate Hate Hate…Shake it Off Nicole…we can’t please everyone….

      Reply
    • @Tom Leykis. . . How can you say that to another human being??? Nicole, just take Taylor Swifts advice….Haters gonna Hate Hate hate hate hate…just Shake it off, you are Awesome!!!!

      Reply
    • Hmm. I’m thinking that you, Tom, need some therapy. What is wrong with “uhmerka” is closed minded, neo-nazi, neo-xtians who think that the world revolves around them.
      ….oh, and people like you.
      You obviously have some kind of unresolved issues that you bravely take on from behind the safety of your keyboard in your mom’s basement. There’s a name for people like you ( actually, there are several. “Little Bitch” comes to my mind). You are a troll. You obviously have run out of viable free porn sites so you are flaming a blog. You do understand the concept of “blog”, don’t you?
      I’ll elucidate for you.
      “blog
      bläɡ/
      noun
      1.
      a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.”

      Basically, this “BLOGGER” ( SEE ABOVE DEFINITION) is talking to the world about her thoughts, feelings and observations. We, as her community, READ her blog, laugh, cry, offer commentary and support, or just enjoy her words.

      YOU, on the other hand as probably a sexually frustrated, religiously zealous member of GOP who feels women are nothing more than a walking incubator for someone like you to spawn their offspring. Bullies in training.

      In short, you are nothing. Really, truly nothing. Once in a while, people like you make me laugh, because your “go-to” argument is to swear and call names – just like a school yard bully. You do this to try and make yourself feel superior. Sadly for you, we all see how pathetic you really are.

      That’s why no one likes you.

      Reply
    • If she was a loser she wouldn’t have the support of all these lovely commenters and wouldn’t have gone viral. She also wouldn’t have four lovely children, a loving husband and a great relationship, something you obviously don’t have or understand.
      You’re clearly what’s wrong with America. Obviously leading a sad life trolling on the internet. Go and take your pathetic comments elsewhere, they’re not needed nor are they wanted.

      Facepalm

      Reply
  28. Tom Leykis,

    I think you may have accidentally posted on the wrong Blog!

    Nichole is obviously Beautiflul, Funny, accepting, and intelligent. She is EXACLY what most women I know strive to be like…
    How embarrassing for you! Ops

    Reply
  29. Nicole, don’t let this cro-magnon piece of sh*t bring you down. He is everything that people like us are evolving from. This Tom person is nothing more than a pathetic little man who uses potty mouth and chauvinism to justify a small penis/Oedipal issues.

    Reply
  30. Is Tom Leykis someone who matters? Did I miss that he’s famous or somehow otherwise important? Just wondering because he sounds like a less than average boy with the education of a three year old. I find it funny that he thought so highly of himself and his opinion to share it with anyone other than his pet hamster from the smelly basement of his mommy’s house where he still resides and oogles swimsuit model posters and plays the XBOX all day while mommy yells at him to take a shower.

    Reply
  31. Tom Leykis, this is clearly meant to be a joke or to start an argument or backlash against you…. It isn’t funny, entertaining, valuable in any way. You are in fact what is wrong with America.

    Reply
  32. Leykis is just looking for attention, laughing at himself because no one else will. He isn’t funny, cute or smart. I would suggest he go back under the rock he crawled out from where he will do the most good for society. You hear me Leykis? No one wants you here. I doubt you even have enough intelligence to direct a turd down the toilet bowl.
    I very much enjoyed this article. Keep on writing Nicole. As you can see most everyone gets where you’re coming from.

    Reply
  33. For all the close-minded, narrow viewed expressing their negative views in the most atrociously framed and grammatically incorrect manner- thanks for the entertainment…I feel so much better about myself now. 🙂

    Nicole…keep rockin’ on…love your insights and your writing is on point!
    xo

    Reply
    • Amen to this Sandra! I debated on whether to comment on the comments at all—but there was just sooooooo much to work with here. I had to! Thank you!

      Reply
  34. If laughter is the best medicine, your replies to the haters have further enhanced my pursuit of healthy living…keep up the good work!! 😀

    Reply
  35. Nicole…you rock….I have spent hours reading your articles…I think you are phenomenal and beautiful. Like me, you are laughing at the negative responses. You are very talented and make my days better….ROCK ON Buttercup…..ROCK ON 🙂

    Reply
  36. I came here before for the Green Bathing Suit, today I just came back to do that weird thing where you can just fall down a rabbit hole of someone’s writing and pretend you get to know them and say things in their comments because you really, really loved the things they said in their blogs.

    There is nothing odd about commenting on blogs AT ALL. Nope.

    I love your responses so much. If strong = healthy and brave = sexy, I’m pretty sure you are the square root of Boom.

    What on earth am I talking about? Anyway, carry on with your excellent self.

    Reply
  37. Friggin awesomeness. Wish I had your balls. Actually love you quite a bit right now. It’s getting creepy, this is the second comment in ten minutes in the middle of a dark rainy English night. Do 4/6 kids make you an insomniac too? Default mode tired, but always on standby….

    Reply

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