I saw a video today that I really liked. It’s part of the It Gets Better movement, which is a collection of messages from people all over the world, including celebrities, aimed at gay teenagers who suffer at the hands of bullies.
I love this video because it’s funny, it’s cool and it has a great message. I also love it because at the end she takes the time to make the point that it’s not just gay teens who get bullied, something I think a lot of people forget. Kids get bullied because they are too fat, too skinny, they wear glasses, their clothes are weird, their friends aren’t cool enough, or any number of reasons that seem completely absurd when you look back on them as adults.
I was picked on a lot as a child because I was bigger than the other kids. Some of the kids were merciless, others were just young and stupid and had no idea how hurtful the things they said really were.
I remember a boy in elementary school making jokes about my score on the Richter scale when I was doing gymnastics in gym glass. I didn’t even know what the Richter scale was, so when I found out, not only did he make me feel fat, he made me feel stupid too.
I remember being on a soccer team when I was in elementary school and the boys teasing me and calling me ‘Bubbles’ because I developed breasts before the rest of the girls, which they assumed was because I was fat. Maybe they were right… that didn’t make it any less embarrassing.
I remember when I was 14 and the first boy I ever really liked called me a whale after we ‘broke up’.
I remember a lot more instances when people said or did things to me because I was overweight, more than I care to list here.
I am 35 years old and I still remember them all like it was yesterday. What does that tell you?
Even though the majority of us make it through and move on, these moments stay with us for a lifetime. There are tiny scars that we carry with us as we get older, behaviors that form because of the hurt we felt as children when people tell us we aren’t normal or there is something wrong with us.
I love this video and love the It Gets Better message, because I think it’s something ALL teens need to hear.