Patrick J Adams is clearly a person with feelings. And being on television does not make him immune from the sting of criticism.

I don't know anyone who would disagree that what this woman did at an airport is an example of disrespect and poor manners. Her belief that she is entitled to body shame a man and his wife, perhaps on the basis that they live in the public eye, is unacceptable no matter how you look at it.  

Can you remember the old saying, “respect is earned” Maybe it should be more accurately recounted as, “respect is a given”.

In this era with a cultural code that makes it acceptable to ‘say what is on your mind’, we need to apply strong ethics when speaking out, and basic respect grounded in the ‘do unto others’ approach should be at the forefront.

My grandmother always taught me that if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.  So is it too much to ask for a person to treat another person – a stranger no less – with a modicum of respect and keep their nasty opinions to themselves?

It is easy to forget that an enormous responsibility comes with the spoken word, as it can take a split second for something to leave our mouths that can live in the heart of a person forever.  

But there are some real fundamentals here that are not being addressed. Firstly, little seems to be done to discourage body shaming, (lookism), as part of our daily discourse; and secondly, for anything to really change we would need greater self awareness, recognising that this type of disrespectful behaviour is the result of someone’s inability to fully understand or appreciate their own differences.

Anyone who knows my story (as told in my first book, The Balance of Beauty Explodes the Body Myth), will recognise that these strongly held views come from being beaten, spat on and called names everyday of my school life in South Africa for being identified as ‘different’ from the other boys.

Lookism’ creates separation, isolation and hurt. This is why I believe that it doesn’t matter who you are - a model, movie star, mother, father, a teenager or a child - no one has the right to judge or shame another individual based on how they look. 

This isn’t a small problem and it will take a collective approach to fix. In short we need to set the example and role model the values that we would like the next generation to embody. 

As for Patrick J Adams response, it wasn’t ideal, but it is only natural to retaliate when we are hurt or attacked.

What was admirable is that he apologised and raised the bar with some quality commentary worth following. We need more people to set this kind of example and highlight that when we know better, we can do better.