Friday, 22 November 2013

Anti Bullying week 2013 "banter or bullying"

In the press recently  there's been a lot reported about the swimmer Rebecca Addlington, and her insecurities and it really got me thinking to how especially in the world of social media how banter is potrayed and often banter is one of the most damaging forms of bullying. Especially if someone may be experiencing other forms of bullying in the real world. It often goes unoticed or percived as just descrete banter. It can come in many forms but mainly in the way indirecting, maybe a sly dig about someones looks, or a misunderstanding about someone's actions or personality traits. To the person at the recieving end it can have an effect on confidence, self esteem and a knock on effect on mental health and I think it's an issue that people really need to open their eyes about. A lot of people go along or laugh along because they're scared of being judged themselves. But sometimes you have to take a few minuites and think, has what has been said or worse even still interpretated about a person got a negative connotation, how will what has happened effect that person in a negative way. Of course on social media and the internet in general  we all have to be careful who to trust and there are people who we see are untrusting. It's so easy on social media to think you know someone just by say their face book updates or instagram posts or the tweets they do, sometimes you really have to step out of that bubble and properly get to know the real person. I think this is especially the case in the world of the "fandoms" it's quite easy to associate a person with just an interest in a particular artist or group. But properly getting to know someone and finding out about the real them, before you judge or assume a situation is so crucial. There may be a reason why someone struggles in social situations, they may have a hidden condition, or be struggling with mental health, they may just simply be shy.

Reading all the stores about Rebecca Addlington and how her looks are percieved made me feel quite angry, society may not see her as "pretty" but it's as if that emphasis is placed on higher importance than being a good role model and the fact that she inspires lots of young people. Some of the comments which I saw were disgusting, just because someone may not be "perfect" doesn't make them any less attractive. Cheesy as it sounds I always beleive all women are beautiful, everyone has something beautiful about them wheather it be lovely eyes, or hair, or legs or even just simply a warm lovely personality. Beauty comes from within, and someone could be seen as the most beautiful, skinniest, flawless woman in the world but personality wise be cold and judgemental.  Same goes with men, you could have the most stunning gorgeous man but he was really arrogant and up himself. Sometimes we all have to just think and think what else someone might be experiencing in thier lives which we have no idea about, take a few minuites to be kind and make someone feel good about themselves, it might be the only positive thing they've heard all day. As someone who has personal experience of this and know how damaging this kind of bullying can be to mental health, self esteem and confidence an incident once had me in bed for 3 days as it made me feel so low about myself and my self worth and left me unable to smile properly in pictures because I was told my teeth were too ugly and that it would make people run away from me if they saw them and nobody wold care if I dissappeared. For a while I felt very ashamed and blamed myself leading to incidents of self harm and a negative spiral in my mental health. But looking at it now as someone who is a lot happier and in a lot brighter place I can see it was't my fault and that's why I've written this blog so others feel that they can speak out and hopefully the message will get out that bullying is not acceptable. Please think of your choice of words not just in anti bullying week but every day. If you are being bullied in any shape or form please remember you are beautiful and there ARE people out there who care and love you. Don't be ashamed to speak out, don't be a sheep and follow on just because other people are doing or laughing along with something. Have the confidence to be yourself. I'm here to talk to anyone who may be experiencing any bullying please please don't suffer in silence, you're worth more than that and there IS light at the end of the tunnel, experiences in life make us stronger people and I know for definate my experiences have helped shape me as a person. Thank you so much for reading this blog if it helps one person than it is a job well done.

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