Oh, the angst of being the lovely Sam Steele Ponder.
The ESPN college football sideline reporter and wife of Vikings QB Christian Ponder has taken to her agent’s website, prothirtyone.com, to whine about you meanies on Twitter. You’re making her mom cry and her sister want to hurt someone.
“I remember life before Twitter. I know, it’s only been a few years but sometimes it feels like a different lifetime. I was a pretty confident kid. Somehow, I avoided the desperately insecure years that many of my peers experienced in High School. [sic] While the common school of thought was that ‘fitting in’ was what made a kid confident, being different was the key to my self-esteem. What’s so different about a white, blue-eyed, blonde-haired girl growing up in a middle-class american [sic] family? When surrounded by friends with dark skin and dark hair growing up in government housing, a lot.”
For example, she didn’t care about clothes. The biggest problem with her hair was friends marveling at how long it grew. Because she was athletic she could eat the same unhealthy lunch every day. And “The Phoenix sun kept my skin tan. Whenever it appeared that my confidence was affected by something trivial, my dad would say something like this: ‘Sam, if you’re gonna live your life trying to be the prettiest, smartest or most athletic, you will never feel like enough. There will always be somebody else you think is better. If your confidence is based on something subjective, you will never be truly confident.’”
Ponder then goes on to sound very insecure, in this well-written piece that does make a few salient points.
After her first foray into Twitter, she wrote, “I checked my phone to see what people were asking.
“‘Your scarf is hideous.’ ‘What’s wrong with your eyebrows.’ ‘You’d be a 10 if you got a boob job.’
“‘You’re the worst sideline reporter in history.’
“Wait, what? First of all, I didn’t ask,” she wrote. “Second, I have weird eyebrows? Third, since when is a 50+-year-old stranger telling a young woman that she should get surgery to visually please him not incredibly creepy and perverted?”
“It doesn’t matter how many positive things are said, the constant reminders of what’s wrong with me … you know, the things God missed, forgot about, or didn’t like me enough to include, are what continue to linger,” she wrote insecurely before vacillating into deeper thoughts. “Here’s the lie: that our worth as humans is dependent on what any other human says, does or thinks.”
I should send Sam some of my e-mails to toughen her up for Twitter. When you’re born with a natural tan that prompts some people to openly and covertly express hate, you learn not to care about the opinions of strangers. Strangers. Ponder seems not to know that’s who most of the people on Twitter are.
I saw Sam Ponder up close when she came over to introduce herself. Didn’t notice her eyebrows (which look lush and wonderful now that they’ve been called to my attention). Did observe that she’s angel gorgeous and whip smart with a biting vocabulary.
She didn’t seem ridiculous. This glaringly disingenuous screed is laughable, however, for not mentioning the fact that Sam’s traded on her looks.
“For reasons I still don’t fully understand, I was able to experience relative career success at a very early age,” she ruminated.
Honey, if you looked like Phyllis Diller, you wouldn’t have. You also probably wouldn’t have caught the eye of an NFL QB. Most of the men you cover are eager to talk to you because you are extraordinarily beautiful. They’ll never notice what may well have been a hideous scarf choice.
If Sam Ponder had confidence and a sense of well-being before Twitter, maybe she should tweet and not read what others write until she becomes less thin-skinned.
And by all means, stop listening to Keri Hilson’s “Pretty Girl Rock” while navel-gazing about a side of social media that’s not changing.
C.J. can be reached at email@example.com. and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.”