Dear Freelee Banana GirlDear Freelee the Banana Girl,

I’m a relatively new health and wellness blogger with a humble following. Many of us, including the uber popular, have started our blogs, vlogs and businesses because we have learned great lessons, transformed ourselves and started to be asked “our secrets” by friends, family, and sometimes strangers; this includes you. You have transformed, found something that worked for you and wanted to share your advice in hopes of helping others. The difference between us is that we don’t cut down others to do so.

It looks like your channel started as recipes and workout advice and somehow took a turn into making “critique” videos about other youtubers, fitness personalities, and celebrities. To me, that’s someone trying to monetize their views on the backs of others and you also don’t seem to care what your words do to those people. The beauty of being human is that we’re all different. We have different journeys, different goals, and different bodies. I completely understand the vegan movement and it is a noble one, but you cannot force your lifestyle on others or command respect for choices you make. Your lifestyle is a personal choice and if people connect with you that’s wonderful, if not, move on.

What I see is someone that puts more focus on others than she does on herself and her own mission. Sure, you can say I’m taking time out of my day to address you, but what I have to say is coming out of a place of love. You need to cool it. Relax. Why? You’re tarnishing the reputation of vegans by being pushy and unapologetically insulting to others that don’t share your views. To make matters worse, you are more than fine with your followers then turning around to harass people that respond negatively to you. My favorite lessons in life are “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all” and “Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it”. It seems that make you have forgotten these most important childhood lessons.

You allow women to throw insults, body shame, curse, spew racist remarks and death threats at other women simply because you cannot take the hate you dish out to others. You’ll notice that most health and wellness figures do not allow negativity in their social media forums, yet you open it with open arms. Why? Do you really think it helps your cause? Remember, you catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar. What we do is all about personal connection and being different is what is so great about being in the health and wellness industry. We are not meant to connect with everyone, but when you do find that perfect coach, magic happens. The best coaches do their thing and are not influenced or concerned with what others in the field are doing. They focus on their mission, philosophy and lifestyle in order to help people seeking help from them. When you solicit advice, you become a bully and that doesn’t help anyone.

Let me bring up goals for a moment. I was always heavy as a child and into my adult life and I knew I wanted to change. I lost a significant amount of weight but became so obsessed with the number in my jeans and the number on the scale that I lost site of what was truly important… health and happiness. The glimpses of the videos I’ve seen of you, you are always half naked and talking about being skinny. It is clear that you think that your body is what everyone’s goal should be, but guess what… it’s not and that’s ok. What’s not okay is allowing young girls to think that health and happiness comes from a size zero because it does not, nor is it okay for you to think that your advice is king and everyone else’s is garbage. Again, we’re all different. Embrace it.  This is a case of “I’ll do me and you do you” and everyone gets on with their lives… peacefully.

My letter to you is not to cut you down, but make you realize that words do have consequences and to maybe help you realize that positivity is key in everything you do in life. Karma is real and she is a bitch. Trust me, I was a hateful little Jersey girl that got smacked by Karma more times than I can count. Tread softly and spread love. Stop talking about people and shift your content to recipes, advice on how to make changes, workouts… anything that addresses your mission but also raises the vibration. Don’t allow your followers to harass people on social media. Be a positive leader, not one that needs an army of minions. You have a nice sized platform, so use it for good instead of inciting drama. But if you continue down your same path, be prepared to deal with the fallout and backlash yourself. You reap what you sew.

The world is a big place and there is room for all of us to do what we do without stepping on each other’s toes. I hope that people whom choose to go vegan continue to seek and get the information needed to make the change in the healthiest way possible and I also hope that people who do not choose that path are allowed to live their lives without criticism or harassment. At the end of the day, what works for one person may not work for another and we need to accept the personal choices of others. It’s called respect. Plain and simple.