I bet this post title really got to you or at least caused you to open the link. Hopefully, you are fuming. What is it that pisses you off the most about this title? That makes you cringe? Certainly not the "baby girl toddler" part. Maybe the "ugly"? How about "retarded"? BAM! R*tarded.
Today, I am not going to go on my soap box about the r-word. I have done so on many occasions on this blog and you can read those posts by clicking on the :stopdisablityslurs: label on the right column.
Instead, I am just going to lay it out like this: a google search will bring up the following picture if you type in "ugly retarded baby girl toddler".
Yes, that search brings up Ellie's picture. Is she a toddler? Yes. Is she ugly? Not in my opinion. Is she retarded? Yes, in the medical sense of the word, which has now respectfully been changed to intellectual disability.
Chances are, this blog was stumbled upon with that horrendous search term because I have discussed the r-word many times and because I call my Ellie a baby girl or a toddler. You throw those combination of words together and there you have The Chronicles of Ellie Bellie Bear on the google search results.
Why on earth someone was searching for a "r*tarded" baby girl toddler, I do not know. What I do know is that 1.5 years ago upon checking my blogger stats, I was hurt by those search terms. "Ugly R*tard Baby Girl Toddler". I cried. I cried for my little girl and all of the others out there who are viewed as "less than". Because, after all, people fling around the r-word as a means to say "less than". That is so retarded as in that is so lame. I am so retarded as in I am so stupid. As in something is better than what is termed r*tarded. R*tarded meant as an insult. Use to degrade. Whether you say it to my daughter or as a means to poke fun at yourself, I do not care. It still hurts.
I believe Special Olympics and Down syndrome advocate John Franklin Stephens got it right in the NY Times Article: A Word Gone Wrong "people can be thoughtless and cruel, or well-meaning, and never know the damage their words can do."
I hope whoever stumbles upon Ellie's face by searching the above is startled by what he/she sees. For when I look at my daughter, I see a beautiful little girl who is perfect.
Ellie Bear's Spread the Word To End the Word video
March 6, 2013 is the national campaign day to Spread the Word to End the Word. The word being the R-word. Take the pledge now.