The day my “friend” called me fat on the playground in fourth grade was a day I will never forget. The embarrassment and the shame that came with that moment was so intense that right then at 9 years old I wanted to disappear.
I remember the boy in sixth grade who made fun of my acne. I was positive then that I was ugly.
Thinking back to these two situations, where at such a young age I felt horrible in my own skin, I recall times when I’ve been hurtful with my words to others. I remember times when I’ve devalued other people because it was easier or because it made me feel better about myself.
At point do we realize that what we say only reflects on who we are not anyone else? You would hope that it gets better in life, as people mature. But there are bullies everywhere. Don’t be one of them.
I see bullying happen in elementary school the little girl I babysit tells me. I see it happen in middle school and high school through my involvement with Valley Dance Productions, and knowing and talking with the girls there. I’ve seen it happen in college where people have been categorized into “cool” and “uncool” (what does that even mean anyway?) I’ve seen it among people with many more years on them than me – gossip and slander are common place for some people.
Are you a bully?
Do you make people feel small with your words and your actions?
Do you exclude others because you think you have a right to?
Do you spread darkness in this world where you could spread light?
To those who have been or are being bullied:
I have been called fat, ugly, annoying, dumb, nosey, know-it-all, too loud… (just to name a few). YOU are not alone. And, remember that everything anyone says about you reflects more on them than you. YOU are beautiful just the way you are. YOU have strength no one else does.
I Stand for being YOU.