Sonya Lennon has urged people to think before they make assumptions, after her daughter experienced “judgement” while buying pregnancy tests.
The fashion expert took to LinkedIn to “broaden [the] awareness” of people’s actions and to explain the situation in a post that has now reached a quarter of a million people.
Sonya explained that her 17-year-old daughter, Evie, has to submit a negative pregnancy test ahead of taking anti-acne medication Roaccutane, as a side effect of the drug is that there is a high risk of birth defects.
Sonya said: “For eight months now, our smart, self-possessed daughter has gone into pharmacies to buy these pregnancy tests.
“Every time without fail, someone, usually a customer smirks, makes a disparaging comment…or does something which leads to her feeling like she has to explain herself, which she does not.
“This month, the side head nod and involuntary laugh came from one pharmacy staff member to another. That was too much.”
Sonya explained that she had had enough of the judgement and went to speak to the pharmacists.
“I asked them to suspend judgement and to think twice before making assumptions. They were very embarrassed and apologised unreservedly. They are good people who fell victim to society’s basic instincts and predisposition to snap judgements.
“Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we stopped judging people based on the tiny bit of the iceberg that’s visible above the waterline and practiced kindness and tolerance and humility.” she added.
Irish television presenter, entrepreneur
Sonya Lennon is a Dublin-born fashion designer, TV presenter and tech entrepreneur.
She has worked on TV shows, owns her own clothing line Lennon Courtney and is the founder of many Irish initiatives, such as charity Dress for Success, which helps empower women through providing professional attire.
A career highlight was when Sonya was awarded the Arthur Guinness Fund to support her endeavours.
Born: In Dublin in 1969
Lives: Fairview, north Dublin
Partner: Graphic designer David Smith
Children: Sonya has twins with her partner David - Evie and Finn.
In a bid to make the world a better place without unreserved judgement, Sonya spoke to the Irish Examiner about changing our actions.
She said: “For me, the important part of the post was to just start to question the judgements we make, through the lens of empathy and understanding and not knowing all the facts.
“It’s not about one individual. It’s about how we behave on a day to day has an impact on other people.”
TV presenter and fashion designer Brendan Courtney was the first openly gay host in Ireland, and made his debut to the screen alongside Sonya Lennon.
The pair have been close friends for over a decade since they started co-hosting RTE One’s Off The Rails - a fashion magazine show- in 2008, which ran for seven years.
They continued their success with their own fashion brand called Lennon Courtney which is sold in Dunnes stores, as well as a podcast named The Lennon Courtney podcast to empower women.
On their friendship and business ventures, Sonya told the Irish Examiner: “Brendan and I always say that when it stops being fun, we will walk away. We still have a laugh and really enjoy each other. Shared humour is everything to me.”
The Irish television presenter, model and former Miss Ireland presented Off the Rails before Lennon and Courtney took over hosting duties.
Pamela rose to fame when working on the RTE show from its pilot episode, however amid axing rumours was replaced.
There is no bad blood between the hosts however, as Pamela told The Independent she was focusing on family life.
Pamela said: “As it was finishing, I was working on Who Do You Think You Are and Marry Me, so I was busy for months afterwards…they were strange times but again there’s always something to distract you and at that stage, we were trying for a baby and that became my focus.”
Sonya and her graphic designer partner David have been together for nearly three decades and share twins, Evie and Finn.
The tech entrepreneur has spoken to many media outlets about how the pair have no interest in getting married, or have never felt the need to.
Although Sonya travels extensively for her job, the pair moved in together in 2003 to a red-brick Victorian home in Fairview, and renovated it with the help of their friend Emmett Scanlan and Studio Red.