Tony Tone
Tony Tone
Tony Tone has worked as a radio personality in Muscatine and the Quad Cities since 2006. He currently serves as Muscatine Community School District Communication and Community Outreach Director and writes Talk of the Town with Tony Tone for the Discover Muscatine newspaper.

Muscatine Living

A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me if I was growing a Santa beard. I laughed at first and said that was not the plan, but that I had been growing a beard since the spring and figured having one over the winter wouldn’t be a bad idea. Then I realized that they made that comment in connection to my weight, and that was not okay.

Listen, I’m about as level-headed of a person as they come. I don’t let things get to me, but at that moment, I felt I could provide some constructive feedback to the person who made the remark. Yes, I am overweight, and I know that is not good for my overall health. Yes, I also lost 100 pounds in 2018 via the keto diet, and yes, a lot of that weight came back once I got off the diet. Yes, over the years, I have donned a Santa suit for a few different events. No, it is not okay to comment on others’ weight. Maybe if it’s a loved one or a close or best friend, there’s a time and a place for it, but, not in the experience that I had.

I also know that my beard has several gray hairs in it; I’m 39 years old, and unless someone finds the fountain of youth, I’m not getting any younger. I don’t have any plans to change the color of my beard, nor do I think I would ever grow it long enough to justify a proper Santa beard.

This reminded me of how powerful words can be, whether they be spoken, written, or shared on a social media outlet. I also took time to reflect on the words that I use in my home around my children. It’s true what they say; children are like sponges, and they soak up everything that we say. Better yet, they will more times than not repeat or echo the words they hear at home.

I’m not a perfect parent; I know that, and I’m not afraid to take the time to put in the work to improve. The last thing I would want is for one of my children to grow up and feel that they could talk to a stranger the way that person did to me. I’ve also worked really hard to become a better listener and be sure that I am hearing what others are saying.

I’m also hoping that when you come across people that say things to you that are not okay that you’re able to speak up for yourself. It’s not easy, and it’s only amplified when you live in a small town as we do. I share this story with you not out of a position of looking for sympathy but just as something that happened to me.

I love the outlet that this column provides and the variety of things that I am able to share within these 500 words. Thank you for taking the time to read this each week and for the feedback you give me.

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