I’ve recently experienced a few incidents of being bullied. I’m here to share my insight.
Even the most perfect lives aren’t perfect.
The world we live in today is practically revolving around a sun we know as social media. Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat to name a few. We all have one or the other. It seems that people take a quick ten minute glimpse into a strangers life via these social channels and instantly assumes their life is, well, perfect.
We all fall down. We all get sick. We all fight with our significant others. We all cry. We all fart (hehe). We all get pimples and have breakdowns and our families aren’t all perfect. All of us girls have periods and have days where our temper is so outrageous all we want to do is crawl into a ball and scream and cry. We have days where we don’t feel as beautiful.
But we also have days where we feel really, really amazing. Like everything is so perfect you wish you could just hit repeat during these moments. But then again, these moments wouldn’t be so special if they weren’t staggered with downs. The blissful moments are typically the moments we share on social media, so we can always go back and relive them in some way. Think about it, how many disposable cameras did our parents buy to take on vacation in the 90’s? We certainly didn’t buy cameras to document our worst days. Families don’t (usually, maybe some do?) have photo albums from their worst days (could be illness, drug addiction, loss, break-ups) around the house. Because that isn’t what we want to be reminded of.
Social media works almost the same way as a photo album.
I am writing this post with the hope to spread awareness. Social media is here for us to use to share special moments, artwork and self-expression. In some cases artwork can be negative or not as peachy, and that is each individuals choice which is why self-expression and social media can be really beautiful. Sometimes a very serious photo to bring awareness is necessary and that is when the power of social media is really wonderful. I personally grew up drawing, painting and taking pictures. I’ve always been into art and creating beautiful things with colors that I love. That is why my Instagram is filled with happy pretty things. As an artist that is what I like to create.
I just hope that no one looks at my Instagram and thinks “her life is perfect”.
Those moments I typically share are pretty perfect. There are aspects of my life that I am extremely grateful for and I do feel super lucky to have this amazing job known as blogging. I love my family, boyfriend and cats. I live in such an amazing city. Overall my life is better than I could have hoped for.
But I fought and worked really hard too.
I wasn’t handed anything special. My parents didn’t buy me an apartment in Manhattan. I moved out of my families house in Michigan when I was 17. I’ve rented 10 different places since then on my own. My family in a lot of ways did help me financially at that time to get on my own two feet and establish myself with work and school. I am very grateful for that because it allowed me to really find who I was and what I wanted to do with my life.
My first job was bagging groceries at 14, which is the first legal year a child can begin work in Michigan, for $5.50 an hour. I began college while working a job in Michigan, only being able to afford college with the help of my dad and my minimum wage job. Barely scraping by. In 2009 I started this blog as a way to keep my thoughts, it then turned into a fashion blog after joining Lookbook. I ended up transferring two years later to Columbia College Chicago. While I was there I worked full time hours at Topshop. I was new to retail, at the bottom of the ladder. Just thankful to have money to be able to keep my utilities running while my student loans paid my rent. Thankful for that sweet sweet employee discount too 😉 That helped a lot with making new outfits for the blog. Between that, thrifting and Forever 21 I was able to post enough outfits to keep people interested.
There were plenty of times when I didn’t know how I was going to feed myself. Lots of ramen noodles were devoured. I had many breakdowns and sleepless nights attending class from 8am-4pm and going straight to work on a bus from 5pm-11pm some days later. Fitting in papers, photography assignments and homework was a hard, hard task. I was lucky if I had time for dinner. But I made it work!
My point here is not to cry baby about how I’ve had it. Because I have been pretty darn lucky with the cards I’ve been dealt. I honestly wouldn’t change a thing because it has shaped the person I am today. I can really appreciate and be grateful for my success, that honest was completely unexpected. I am leaving out many personal family details because I do not want to share my families business on the internet. My point is to simply say, never ever judge someone without really getting to know them and their past. People these days meet someone briefly or look at their life on the internet and make severe judgements which are most of the time false. And that’s where the bullying begins.
If you are being cyber bullied, harassed or stalked… congratulations!
I applaud you because this means something in your life is going well enough to have captured the attention and energy of someone else. Cyber bullying is usually fueled by jealousy, never take it personally. You’re really on one’s mind and it’s bothering the hell out of them to the point they invest real time and energy into the immature, disgraceful act which is cyberbullying, a huge problem in our world today especially on social media because it is so easy for one to hide behind a screen and type away.
Cyber bullying usually happens among teens and younger people, however on occasion an immature adult may join in on this awful behavior that sadly leads to suicide in some situations. We can guess boredom or jealousy to be one of the causing factors as it usually is. Maybe something unfortunate happened in their lives that they fully haven’t recovered from. Maybe they themselves were bullied. Unfortunately bullies are usually short sighted, narrow minded people that do not even stop to consider the damage their intentionally hurtful words are inflicting. Instead of keeping their negative thoughts to themselves they feel the need to take others down with them. That’s pretty darn evil. Not to say that everyone feels damaged by cyber bullying but for many, especially younger adults it is a difficult thing to handle which is why I am here!
I have encountered my share of bullying. Ladies and gentleman, no one in this world is alone! A high percentage of people have been bullied or harassed in some way or another throughout their life. I want to share some of my insight that I have learned over the past few years based on my experiences.
How to handle a bully
There is no real good way to completely end bullying, as most of us are aware. However there are some steps you can take to lessen the blow.
Ask why there has been a misunderstanding or ignore the bully completely. Maybe the bully is someone you know, if they aren’t this step probably isn’t going to be successful. There is a slight chance of reaching a resolution. Most bullies aren’t going to try to come around and reason with you because they are already acting immature, but it’s worth a try! If it’s someone leaving negative comments on an Instagram, do not respond. Just delete and move on with your life. Responding to a bully online is basically pouring gasoline into a fire. They are not on your team to begin with so that probably isn’t going to change.
Try not get mad or let if affect you. They more than likely don’t personally know you. Every single time I have been bullied it is by someone I do not know and obviouslythey do not know me. So really no one should let someone they don’t even know or that doesn’t know them effect their life in any way. Who cares about a strangers opinion anyway? Move on.
If the bullying is taking place online, delete their comments. Keep it for documentation (screenshots) incase it gets out of hand and requires police intervention. You can also report any form of bullying on every social media site and they will keep record of it.
Block the bully from everything. Don’t allow them to be able to see your personal life, especially if they don’t know you. It’s best to end all forms of possible communication to sort of make the bully stop in their tracks and realize they are doing something wrong. It may not make a huge difference in their future actions and in some cases the bully may even make alternative accounts to harass, but this is a good step in the right direction. Just keep blocking! Don’t even give them the satisfaction of being able to say hurtful things.
That is about all you can do! If the bullying is excessive of course be sure to make your friends and family aware and if you feel threatened, file a police report. It’s always best to have everything on record and have important people aware of the situation.
I really wish we could put a stop to this for once and for all. If anyone out there is reading this, and possibly some people that are bullies even are, just please try to keep your negative comments to yourself. Lets make this world a better place. It’s a new year. It’s always a good time to be a better person for yourself which contributes to the community and the rest of the world. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but if it’s one that is hurtful, please keep it to yourself.
I’m sorry if any of you have ever been harassed or bullied, it is no fun! But again, you are never alone. Feel free to comment if you guys have any questions or just to chat about your experiences. I’d be glad to help in any way! Love you guys very much!