I have a four month old child with special needs and I have experienced my first episode of being really upset at another person’s insensitivity…..

The more the day has gone on…the more irritated I have become…trying to work through the forgiveness part is hard….it was not a personal offense directed at me personally or at Neely specifically….but that doesn’t mean it’s any less painful….

I love Instagram….I love seeing the sweet faces of my friends’ little ones….catching a glimpse into the precious parts of other’s lives…it’s a neat escape without all the drama of Facebook….besides, the pictures are always my favorite part of any social media….

Today Jon Acuff, who I really find hilarious by the way, posted a picture from Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership event.  The picture showed one of the speakers, Shay Carl Butler.  In the picture, he had on a t-shirt that partially read “HAYTARDS”….after asking, I learned that the full text was “SHAYTARDS”.

Apparently Shay is a YouTube sensation and has million of viewers who enjoy watching his daily vlogs about his family life, wife and four children.  In an effort to learn who this Shay guy was, I clicked over and checked out a few videos.  Not my cup of tea for entertainment but he has a beautiful family and I can imagine that lots of viewers enjoy the funny glimpse into their family life.

Here’s the issue…immediately upon seeing the word “SHAYTARD” my mind immediately thinks it is a reference to the “R word”.

How can I not?

That word is thrown around so lightly by our society with no regard to how it may hurt others.

When I questioned the info behind this t-shirt, a friend texted me and let me know that it is a reference to him apparently wearing his wife’s leotard/unitard in one of his vlogs.  I believe the word my friend used was “harmless”…..

I continued to do a little research myself so that I could have the facts about this obviously very influential YouTube personality.

Just to give you an idea of his circle of influence:

  • He has over 3 million youtube subscribers.
  • His videos have had over 640 million views.
  • He has 290, 000 Twitter followers.
  • He has 240,000 Facebook likes.
  • He has 90,000 Instagram followers.
How did the Name-tard idea come about? And I wonder if you’ve received any negative reaction to that?
Shay answered:
“The name shaytards was a name that really stemmed from me wearing my wife’s uni-tard on more than one occasion. I once had a contest with a couple of my friends to see who could stay awake and constantly be streaming a live show on Blog TV for the longest. I ended up staying awake and broadcasting live for 42 hours and winning the competition. At one point during the whole ordeal someone in the chat said. “This is so exciting! I’m getting SHAYTARDED” Then all the people who were on my team who wanted me to win started calling themselves the SHAYTARDS! It just seemed to fit and wasn’t meant to be offensive at all. It was a name we were proud of. Some people claim their eternal allegiance to the SHAYTARD REBELLIONITES ARMY! After the competition was over, I decided to start a new weight-loss channel in October of 2008 and named it SHAYTARDS.” 

Shay may not have started the name “SHAYTARDS”….

But he continues to feed the fire….

He has nicknamed himself Shaytard….

Nicknamed his wife Mommytard…

Nicknamed his children Sontard, Princesstard, Babytard and Rocktard…

Maybe he never intended for it to be a reference to the “R word”….

but Shay….


My sweet little Neely Jane has Down Syndrome, most often that comes with a diagnosis of learning disabilities….

Years ago, most often called “mental retardation”…

That is a diagnosis….

But it is not my Neely.

Call her beautiful…
Call her precious…
Call her a gift from God…
Call her a miracle…
Call her a blessing…
But don’t call her the “R word”….

When you use the “R word” in any form or variation,



it spreads HURT






It is not harmless…..

Until next time,

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