Thursday, October 4, 2012

PYHO: October Is National Anti-Bullying Month . . .

There's been a video making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter.  If you haven't seen it, you should check it out:

Can I just say, this woman is my new hero.  I LOVE HER!  I want to BE her.  I literally cried throughout her whole video.  She is the person I wish I could be.  

You see, I've been overweight most of my life.  So I've also been bullied about it most of my life.  Only when I was growing up, it wasn't called bullying, it was called "teasing" or "making fun of".  But let's be clear, it was and is BULLYING.  When you laugh at someone on a daily or weekly basis for their weight, color of skin, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, etc, it's not making fun of them or teasing them, it's BULLYING.  When you whisper behind their back, but point to them, so they KNOW you're talking about them; again, not teasing, not making fun of.  BULLYING.  When you stop talking when they walk into a room or up to a table.  BULLYING.  When you make them feel like their opinions and feelings aren't important because of how they look, dress, or otherwise.  BULLYING.  When you encourage others to join in with you.  BULLYING.  When those people you're "making fun of" cry when they get home at night because they think no one likes them.  BULLYING.  When they worry so much about pleasing YOU, that they lose sight of who THEY are.  BULLYING.  When they question whether life is worth living.  BULLYING.

In case you can't tell, bullying is my hot button.  Nothing gets me more fired up than hearing about someone being bullied, or doing the bullying.  Probably because I've dealt with it my whole life.  Probably because I KNOW how it feels to be judged unfairly.  I'm a pretty okay person.  Not as great as my brother, (but in all fairness, there's only one Scott Kremer ;) ), but I still think I'm a pretty likeable person.  I tend to keep my opinions to myself, (except on here of course); I listen to other peoples ideas; I offer advice and help when needed; I volunteer at school; I try not to be judgmental; I try to give people the benefit of the doubt; I make my own decision about others and not let someone else's opinion cloud my judgement; I speak up when I see someone judging others unfairly; I try to teach my children to respect other peoples ideas, even if they don't agree with them; I try to teach them to respect other people, PERIOD; I try to teach them that everyone is different, but we're all special in our own way, and we need to see that uniqueness in others.  So yeah, I think I'm a pretty decent person.  

But if you just met me on the street, chances are you wouldn't take the time to get to know me.  You know why?  Because I'm fat.  Always have been.  And because I am, most people think I'm not worth much.  If I don't care about myself, how can I be expected to care about others?  If I can't take CARE of myself, how can I be a good Mom and take care of my kids?  I obviously don't know much about overeating and excersizing, so I probably don't know much about anything else as well.  And guess what?  You'd be wrong.  Do you think I don't KNOW I'm overweight?  I'm not an IDIOT.  I KNOW.  And I DO care about myself.  And I happen to think I'm a pretty good Mom, although depending on the day, my kids might not agree with that assessment!  ;)  But KNOWING something, and being able to CHANGE it, are 2 different things.  I WANT to be thin.  Do you know how envious I am of my friends who can eat whatever they want and not worry about gaining weight?  Or the ones that can wear anything they want to?  Who don't worry about people making fun of them because of how they look?  Who can walk into ANY STORE and find something that looks good on them?  You don't think *I* want to be that way?  If you REALLY think that, then YOU'RE dumb one.  Not me.  I AM a good person.  A good person that's been bullied her whole life.  So yeah, I tend to get a little upset when I see it happening to others. 

October is National Anti-Bullying Month.  And it's important.  We have kids KILLING THEMSELVES on a daily basis because they're being bullied.  And it doesn't matter if they're being bullied because of their size, their sexual orientation, the clothes they wear (or can't afford to wear), or the color of the skin.  It's still wrong.  And if you think it's NOT wrong, then chances are, YOU'RE the bully.  And you're likely teaching your kids to be bullies as well.  And that's NOT OKAY. 

Today, more than ever, it's easier to bully someone, because you can do it anonymously.  And you can do it without looking them in the eye.  Or standing in front of them.  You can start a rumor on Facebook or Twitter.  Text or email them.  Text or email OTHERS about them.  We hear stories EVERY DAY about someone being bullied.  Some, like Jennifer, stand up to their bullies.  Some suffer in silence.  And some, way too many, choose to end their life rather having to deal with it.  And I'm NOT okay with that.  And you shouldn't be either. 


Joy Phillip said...

Thank you for opening your heart and sharing this post! Like you, bullying is my hot button. I have a son (now 23) with an autistic disability and he suffered ALL the way through school in special ed with his peers laughing at him and some teachers criticizing him. It was very difficult for him, and for me, as a single mom. I wasn't at all surprised when he quit school when he was of legal age to do so, but after two months, he went back and graduated as a 'super' senior. I was so proud that he went right back into that situation and chose to overlook those people to better himself with a high school diploma. I have no tolerance for bullying. Also like you, I have struggled with weight and it's true that people look at us differently. I'm finally getting a good handle on my weight now that I recognize it has nothing to do with food and everything to do with my thoughts and emotions. We have to remember to practice extraordinary self-care -- we're worth it! I just want to tell you that you are much more than your body -- remember that -- you are a loving soul and kind heart. :) Thank you for sharing this blog post!
-- Joy

Shell said...

I hadn't seen this video- I love it! And I love that the station allowed her to use this as a platform to talk about bullying.

Rev. Stephen B. Henry, PhD. said...

Bravo. Great topic. Great post. You nailed it!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Excellent post. I am fat, or as my friend calls herself....fluffy! I watched that video the other day and she did an amazing job.