Many of you have seen the above video and hashtag #CashMeOutside that has gone viral in one form or another. I currently shared a version on Facebook where a comedian inserted himself into the scenario and pretended he was conversing with this young lady which I admit I found very funny. But after watching numerous clips, reading some comments from strangers and some of the additional videos circulating of this young lady responding to her new found viral fame I started to see this through “Mom eyes”.
This young girl is spinning further out of control as seen in her video responses. She has become a meme, the brunt of many jokes and attacked online, threatened with harm and she is only 13! She has been told she should be beaten, in fact there is a video showing her getting as she calls it “dragged” out of a car by her hair and punched repeatedly.
On a clip of the show, the fake doctor probes the girl with obviously very sensitive questions to get the reaction he needs for television ratings like “Do you know your father?”, “Does he have another family?”, “did you ask to meet that family?”,”Have you been hurt along the way?” and it’s like watching someone poke a bear! You watch this young girl start to unravel and her mom speaks up and says “This is exactly how you act with the therapist…you don’t talk” and that is when I facepalm! Your daughter won’t talk in a safe, controlled, private environment of a therapists office so you decide National Television is the next best course of action?!?! I try really hard not to parent judge and for the most part I am successful, but when a child’s safety is a concern I proudly where my judgment hat. This is one of those times, cause Mom to Mom you chose 15 minutes of daytime television fame and now your daughter is paying the price making things far worse.
We forget that the people we see on the internet are people. And this person is a 13 year old girl. A child still. A child who’s parent exposed her to something that she is not ready for. This child thought she was big and bad and she could handle it and she would show her Mom and the audience and that fake doctor, because she is a child. A child whose mother screams at her like an adult but wants her to obey her like a child should. A child who is trying to assert her “power” by not enunciating properly and thinks that it makes her sound more tough. A child who has dealt with losing her father and dealing with her mother’s cancer twice. A child who is spinning out of control and instead of getting the help and security she needs her mother chooses to thrust her into a spotlight she is not ready for; during which even the fake doctor took jabs at the young girl to get a reaction from the audience. A child who may crack under the enormous weight of such scrutiny and do the unthinkable to escape it.
And don’t get me wrong, I admitted from the jump I watched, I laughed and I shared a video I thought was funny at the time, so I participated. I too forgot this was an impressionable 13 year old girl and that not all of this was her fault. I can also concede that all though the mother does hold some accountability it is also not all of it is her mother’s fault as well.
I can honestly say I don’t know what I would do in this mother’s situation. It is so easy to say “She needs a good spanking!” or ” I will ‘cash her outside’ with my foot” or my favorite from the comedian “I will whoop your ass into your 14th birthday!” (which I fully admit I still find funny). I am sure none of those things will help her, but they will make us feel better about her attitude. But what I do know is I would never willingly expose my child’s worst time to the world so that they can help make it worse with hurtful words and actions. I am also going to try and remember my own points in this blog the next time I see something like this going viral in the future.
In the age of anonymity it’s hard to be kind and remember there is a person on the other end of what you are seeing. 🙂