Is it okay for me to be me?
Good Morning dear followers, this morning I have a question for all of you. Do you remember the first time you called yourself — fat, ugly, disgusting or any adjective that described you in a manner which offended you? The first time you ever mocked yourself? Remember what insinuated it?
Well, I remember. I was only 10 years old, and I can clearly remember thinking how fat my calves are. What had insinuated that thought was a friend of mine who just felt she needed to comment on how fat my calves were even though I practised the art of ballet.
So, this case was 10 years ago… how do you think those comments have evolved to now? Nowadays a ten year old has access to media, if not a 13 year old does. How have these comments become such a normal occurrence in today’s world? I mean, I still experience it nowadays. The difference, I couldn’t give two shits about what anyone else thinks of myself or my body, for that matter.
Has social media made us prone to more judgement? Have we opened ourselves to a new day narcissist who only thinks about themselves? How common is it to find a comment which is, to say the least, offensive to someone?
Has our identity developed a narcissistic complex where we feel that for us to feel better, we should put down others? I mean come on… have we gone so low?
Well all of these things are in some way or another bullying. Now before we discuss this further I want to define the word ‘bully’, because we hear it a lot, and, we visualise it a lot on media such as TV shows etc.
The first thing that pops to my head is intimidation. A person who intimidates you to the extent where you try to avoid him/her. Intimidation comes in different shapes. This person, may not even know you and still somehow gets to you or he/she might even be your so called ‘BFF’ who always tells you how great he/she looks, and yet, you need some fixing to look as good as them.
This means that the bullying occurs over the World Wide Web (Internet). Now being a bully is already a cowardly act, but cyber bullying takes it up to a whole new level of badgering. Not only are you offending or harming someone online (which by the way you can ignore) but some do this anonymously. Yet, somehow, we feel threatened by someone who is so weak, he/she does not even acknowledge his/her name.
Now what kind of self-esteem do you have to let someone control your life in real life, let alone online. Believe it or not this is a real issue which is increasing by the minute. Social media has made it so easy to create a fake account where anyone can be anyone and pretend to be god. Your identity is totally revamped online and with this power in hand bullying becomes way easier.
So today not only do I want to focus on the project assigned to me by discussing such an issue. Today I want to promote something through this project thanks to a fellow friend who reached out to me.
Claire is involved in the Malta Girl Guides Association, which is a movement found worldwide, designed to promote a movement where each and every single person is valued, empowered and given a voice. I suggest to anyone reading this to encourage girls and women of any age to join in such a collaborative and innovative group. When my friend Claire saw the themes given to me for this project she shared with me ‘Free Being Me’.
The World Association for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts has come up with this programme to boost body confidence and advocate on such issues, which, as mentioned above, has increased extensively through social media. You can find the link below to the project. http://free-being-me.com
Statistics drastically show how much pressure they feel to ‘look good’ which means deemed fit by society. Social media is one of the highest sources listed causing body image pressure for girls. I find this very distressing and concerning. Is this what we are teaching our younger generations? The younger generations should be empowered to the promotion of one’s own well-being and to stand up for oneself when one feels taken advantage of.
We preach about empowering and doing what’s right and what feels good. Yet how much of us practise this? We need to empower one another and not just bully each other into such a deep whole that no one would know of your existence. Speak up and ignore all comments, it is what you think of yourself which is of most value and not what others think or say about you!
***Statistics mentioned below can be found in further detail here: *** https://www.wagggs.org/en/what-we-do/u-report/girl-guiding-and-girl-scouting-polls/poll-9-self-esteem-and-body-image/
This blog is a project for Study Unit MCS3953, University of Malta.