Saturday, December 10, 2011

The little open letter that could. Happy Holidays!

This past week as I was designing, I thought to myself - I wonder if I will ever make a difference in the world. I know, sounds a little dramatic, but it's true.
Then, last evening, I received this note :
I just needed to thank you again for connecting me with Christina. I can't believe my little letter made it all the way to H&M... And to so many other readers and potential shoppers. That's all because of you. It's so important to challenge the Goliaths of this world... And today you are proof that one person can make a big difference.
I hope you're having a wonderful evening!!
Natalie xo
I cried. 
a lot.
I love this story.
I joined twitter a few years ago, and I love it. I follow roughly 300 people and there is probably a handful who I always look forward to reading. One is Christina Binkley of the Wall Street Journal in LA. Christina goes to every major fashion week, tweets and writes about it all and overall simply writes the best pieces on style. Christina has clout, when she writes, people read, she's big. She is also incredibly approachable and generous and I say this all from knowing her on Twitter. I read, whatever she writes. Voila, c'est tout.
The other person is  Natalie Karneef, a writer here in Montreal. She writes for various magazines and newspapers, but it's her blog that I read and love. Whenever she posts anything on twitter about a new blog post, I click, I read and I usually cry. She writes about her life, her in- laws, her feelings. I adore the way she writes, she doesn't have a big super fancy high traffic blog, but she should. Her writing is so heartfelt and honest and real. 
Last week, before going to bed, Tess was watching one of her shows on TV and I was flicking through twitter on my BlackBerry, squinting and trying to read. I saw a tweet from Natalie, it said something about an open letter to H&M, with a link. I clicked, (as I always do), and there I sat, desperately trying to read the post on that teeny stupid screen with my 44 yr old, (waiting just a little longer to get glasses) eyes and a loud kiddie show in the background. The letter was in regards to H&M's new line launching, based on the character Lisbeth Salander from the book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. 
Here is the letter.
I was moved by the letter, I thought about how insensitive H&M was and Natalie and I sent a few tweets back and forth wondering how the mass merchant couldn't have thought of who they might offend...Blame it on the teeny screen, the kiddie show or maybe fatigue, somewhere along the way, I had not understood that the letter was in fact written by Natalie, that she was the rape victim. I don't know why I hadn't understood this...I was sure that Natalie had re-posted the letter and that it was something that was circulating on the internet or in the fashion/style bloggisphere.
Fast forward to 2 days ago and there I was, on my larger, more readable computer screen and up pops a tweet from Christina. It was something about how she was writing about H&M's launching of their new Girl With the Dragon Tattoo line. I quickly sent her a private message saying that I am sure she has read about the open letter to H&M, but if not, there was one out there definitely worth reading.
She responded that she hadn't seen it and asked me to send her the link.
I clicked over to Natalie's blog and as I was copying the URL I decided to re-read it.
That's when I understood. The letter had been written by Natalie, she was the rape victim. I clicked through all her links in the post (which are just a visual nuisance when reading on a postage sized smart phone screen) and the story started to come together.
I quickly started frantically messaging Natalie, apologizing for my oversight the previous week and what must have seemed so nonchalant in responding to her story, I felt like such an ass. I also told her that I was sharing it with Christina Binkley of the WSJ.
Then I started to frantically message Christina (remember, you only get 140 characters per I sent a string of tweets to both of them!) telling her that this open letter was not what I had thought, but in fact, written by my twitter friend and not something circulating (at that point) widely.
I quickly got a message from Natalie telling me not to worry, that she was touched I was writing back and thrilled that I had passed it on to Christina. I also got a note back from Christina thanking me for the link and telling me that she would be writing about it. Ah, nice!
Well, this catches you up to last evening, and the sweet note Natalie sent to me.
From the note, I had assumed (and god knows, I am really in NO position to be assuming!) that Christina had been in touch with Natalie and that she had probably told Natalie that she would be sending her link to H&M. 
I just love when this stuff happens, don't you?
But wait...
Look at this .
I told you Ms. Binkley had clout. Not only did she write one of her great pieces, yet again, but she clearly put Natalie's letter into the right hands and there is a response! (Just wait, I guarantee this whole story is only starting to get legs now!)
Maybe it's that magical time of the year. 
I love and have always loved to connect people but this connection just feels different, it feels so much closer to home. I haven't worked out all that I am feeling inside, but I am so very grateful on so many levels; that Christina brought Natalie's letter to a much  larger audience. That Natalie has never given up or backed down in her fight for justice. And maybe somehow, on some level, because so many of  the most special people in my life have been hurt, abused and molested, maybe somehow, this connection is for all of you. Thank you all for being so strong, amazing and special to me. And a special thank you to the person who's abuse hits the closest to home, my perfect daughter's daddy. I will always be your witness. And I will always be grateful. 
Happy Holidays everyone, from the bottom of my heart.

1 comment:

  1. Nadine, that is a very nice tribute. Natalie is a wonderful writer. I too look forward to each of her new posts.