Don’t Be THAT Girl
Your hair is so ugly! Did you gain weight? Have you heard some of these or other worse things uttered in the hallways? Were you the one who said some of those nasty things? A recent article from the New Zealand Herald found that 85 per cent of teenage girls have experience some sort of bullying. The most shocking thing is that when it comes to girls, some of this bullying is coming directly from their friends.
If you’re the victim of a friend’s torment you may be blaming yourself first and bringing unnecessary doubt and confusion to yourself. Rachel Simmon, author of Odd Girl Out, found “one of the chief symptoms of a girl’s loss of self-esteem is the sense of being crazy, of not being able to trust one’s own interpretation of people’s actions or events”. If you don’t understand why your BFF is turning on you, it may be her problem – not yours.
Now, if you’re on the other side of the equation and are part of bullying, please think about your actions. It’s a false position of power to be the bully. Girls may form cliques and have their own way of dressing, talking or sharing of a secret. Leora Tanenbaum states it simply in her book Catfight, “the ironic thing about being included is that it necessarily entails exclusion”. Bullies need to ask themselves why they are excluding others. There isn’t a guarantee that you’ll stay in the exclusive clique forever; you may just end up being the outcast.
Some would tend to think that bullying would involve violence, but this isn’t always the case. Getting a group of friends to ostracize, say hurtful things and spread rumours about you are all forms of bullying too.
The one thing someone being bullied should do is also the thing they will most likely avoid: it’s important to talk to your parents about what you’re experiencing. If you’re too scared to do that, you should talk to an adult you trust. Sometimes, it’s beyond your own control when it comes to bullying. It’s important to let someone in a position of authority know what’s going on. High school should be a place that will give you four years of great memories, not something you should dread.