There’s not a day that passes where I don’t see an ad for bullying. From the nasty comments in middle school and high school, cyber, physical and so much more, it’s everywhere. Bullying is real and dangerous in all forms, but there is a certain type of bullying that constantly affects girls, women, and even men. It seems that society is almost too afraid to address this form of bullying. Maybe we don’t notice it? Maybe we don’t want to admit to it? What is this type of bullying? A certain form that many have fallen victim to: self-bullying.
This form of bullying didn’t truly get my attention until the end of middle school, right before entering my freshman year of high school. Getting ready for school dances with my friends meant doing each other’s makeup, sharing and picking out outfits, doing each other’s hair and taking a lot of pictures for MySpace and Facebook.
But this prepping process never included compliments about us. Instead, all I ever heard were phrases like, “My thighs look huge,” or, “My hair is terrible,” or even, “I hate myself.” It was almost like that scene in "Mean Girls," where the girls would look at themselves in the mirror and point out their flaws and imperfections.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we always feel the need to put ourselves down? I’ve come to one single, simple answer. We’ve been constantly told for our entire lives that we aren’t enough.
"Oh? You didn't make the team?," easily translates to, "You weren't good enough." We are so close to this six-letter word we don't realize how much we obsess over it. We constantly crave it in order to feel confident about ourselves.
But we can end this. We don’t have to keep living up to these constant expectations because we are MORE than enough. Keep this in mind next time you want to insult yourself. Because without this reminder, we’ll lose our value and our self-worth.
We shouldn’t let society define who we are and how we should look and act. The only person in charge of changing who you are is yourself. Take a moment and don’t pay attention to your flaws. Point out the things you love about yourself, whether it’s your good taste in music, your freckles, or even your ability to nap at any given hour. Truly love yourself.
There’s a line from the movie "Secret Life of Bees" that is my daily reminder of how important I am. As cheesy as it is, these words represent something more.
“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”
To all you self-bullies out there, remember this quote next time you want to say something bad about yourself. Go out and tell someone that they’re more than enough, that they’re awesome or even that they have cool shoes. The best way to shift negativity away from us is to radiate positive vibes towards someone else.