Bullying is unacceptable. With today’s mass media, online bullying is rampant. It’s the “worst kind” of bullying because these cowards feel invincible behind computer screens. It’s the worst kind because victims have no opportunity to respond. Victims are left soaking in what they’ve read and just dealing with it. It’s time to say no more.
Yesterday I came across a photo that seemed innocent at first. I searched “eczema” on Pinterest and most things that came up were normal like: medicines, home remedies, photos of skin… Then I saw a picture with an odd caption that read, “Eczema couch.” The photo showed an old, dirty, beaten couch, discolored with areas of lighter and darker brown. Then I realized the derogatory meaning behind the caption and I was furious.
The couch is dirty, blotchy and discolored, suggesting this is how people with eczema are. It was a subtle kind of bullying that made me feel worse because I didn’t immediately recognize it. I felt stupid that I didn’t comprehend the negative connotation right away.
Bullying people with eczema through the use of this photo is outrageous. Some will say I’m overreacting, some will say it’s not a big deal, but others will agree this picture and its caption are just not OK. It’s an example of ignorance, negativity and an inability to feel compassion for others.
It’s one thing to think negatively of a particular group of people. It’s another thing to outright say negative things to someone. But it’s a whole other thing to put your feelings of hatred on the web to share your horrible thoughts with a mass audience. When you think something negative, you internalize it. When you say something to someone, they internalize it. But to put it on the web, leaves no room for escape and what you say can harm much more than just one person.
I had to take a stand and put this on my blog. Besides having eczema, nothing else is “wrong” with me. I’m normal in every other way. I’m just like every other college student who struggles financially and hates waking up early to go to class. I’m someone’s sister, someone’s girlfriend and a good friend to many. My skin does NOT define me. I am NOT eczema. I am NOT someone who is dirty, discolored and blotchy. My skin makes me a little different, but that’s it.
To degrade people online is such a cowardly thing to do. It’s disrespectful on many levels. Have the dignity and self-respect to keep your harmful words to yourself. Take a hard look in the mirror and point out the flaws in yourself and in your character to better understand why you feel the need to say negative things to people. Take a look at your life and analyze why you’re so unhappy that you have to criticize and emotionally abuse people with your words. Define your own insecurities, so you don’t have to point out flaws on others because you don’t know how to deal with your own. Learn to be graceful and have some respect. You are a bully and that’s why are alone. It’s just you with your words like knives, staring into a computer screen.
- Why Bullying Needs to Stop (lorensworld.com)
- BEAT100 Starts An Anti-Bullying Campaign To Support Talented People (prweb.com)
- New website allows students to report bullying anonymously: B.C. gov’t (metronews.ca)
- A Bullying Awareness Message (stmarysschool.typepad.com)
- Bully Project: Reformed Bullies (myfox8.com)
- Amanda Todd’s mother excluded from anti-bullying forum (blogs.vancouversun.com)