I had to leave the room during work at my day job today.
A few of my co-workers were watching this video of a girl (my guess is that she’s in middle school (see edit at bottom) singing Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream”. Apparently it’s become quite a nice little “hit” on facebook.
And by “hit”, I mean “people saying shitty things about her“.
I won’t repeat their comments. They were mean, bullying things. They were the comments of small people trying to make themselves feel better by condemning another person’s efforts.
And they’re wrong.
This is a bit personal for me.
Last school year, before his voice started changing, my son had volunteered to complete an assignment by making a song for it. The day before he was to sing it, some bullies in his class made fun of his voice for being “high like a girl’s”.
He forced himself to throw up instead of singing in front of the class.
It took me a while to find this girl’s video. I first found it reuploaded by someone else who had titled it “ugly girl sings katy perry.” And I found that making fun of middle schools girls singing is something of a popular sport.
To the bullies – especially those of you who have already survived the hell that is USAian middle school – shame on you all. And thank you for letting us know that your self-esteem is such shit that you have to try to tear down a young woman’s self-esteem to make yourself feel better.
To all the rest of us: I’m asking three small things of you.
1. If you feel comfortable doing so, link, post, share, or otherwise spread the word. Write your own post. Let the bullies know that we know they’re bullies, and there’s a hell of lot more of us freaks1 than there are bullies. At best, they’ll realize they don’t have to be so scared that they have to pick on others.
I’m serious. She’s a beautiful person. Look at her responses to formspring comments. This young woman is responding to some seriously hateful crap with grace, poise, and kindness. That’s a hell of a lot better than I would be able to do.
3. When you run across another video – hell, make a few moments a week to find another video – especially one where bullies are trying to make some young person’s life worse – take a second to tell them they’re beautiful and courageous and a wonderful person.
Because it does get better – but only if we make it so.
[Edit: On Formspring, she says she’s 20. Dunno if that’s true or not. ::shrug:: It doesn’t matter, does it? While looking for her video, I found plenty of videos of other girls – who SAID they were 11-15 – getting bullied in the same way.]
1 And I claim “freak” and “nerd” and “geek” with pride, thank you.