In the news this week…
“What the hell has happened to Renee Zellwegers face?”
“Our favourite chubby singleton denies plastic surgery”
Now firstly, I never received the memo for when Renee Zellwegers face became public property, and I wasn’t aware she had to apply for permission to have surgery (or not as the case may be!). I’m also not sure when it became ok to refer to her as our ‘favourite chubby singleton’, presumably referring to ONE character she played in her substantial career.
What sits uncomfortably with me is that newspapers and magasines everywhere deal with the issue of feminism and talk about women standing together, as well as expressing concern over the figures that show an increase in younger girls (& boys) suffering from eating disorders, and yet this load of tosh can be printed without even a slight hint of irony. We’re encouraged to ‘share’ and ‘like’ articles questioning what she’s done to herself. Sorry, where was the bit in feminism that made it ok to drag other people down to make ourselves feel better?
You may think I’m being over sensitive about this issue, but it being ok to discuss, share pictures and ridicule a person, makes it ok to do so across the board, makes it ok for those insecure ‘popular’ girls to pick on the kid with acne, makes it ok for groups at school to ridicule someone’s outfit. It’s not ok, none of it’s ok. It’s bullying.
And it leads to articles like the one pictured below to be released…
In what world do we live in that it’s ok to look at pictures of couples and judge who should be with who; or decide who is unattractive & therefore doesn’t ‘deserve’ the pretty person they’re with. It’s disgusting. I’ve always had quite bad skin and sometimes carry a little extra weight, should my husband divorce me because his skin is so much nicer? Should he trade me in for a skinnier model around January time if I put on a few pounds over Christmas? Are we allowed to be together based on how we look? Or are we equally attractive or unattractive enough to be together? See how gross it is as a discussion point?! So why is it ok to talk about celebrity pairings as such? It’s not. And any publication or social media site that do so are saying it’s ok to bully others. To slag them off behind their back. How can we look in children’s eyes in schools and tell them not to bully, if they can’t escape magasines, newspapers and TV shows making it clear it is ok?
I for one don’t want to stand for it being ok and instead of just posting a Facebook status about how bad I think it is or clicking ‘like’ on a bullying page, it’s time to make a stand. It’s a plan that’s in it’s infancy so far so please excuse the rough timeline of events.
But here is the plan so far, firstly, I’m getting involved with an anti bullying music video (more details to follow), secondly I’ll be contacting my local MP for support as it’s an issue that affects every single town, city and borough and it’s an important enough issue to be taken seriously. Communication also needs to go out to magasines, newspapers asking them to stop printing things that condone a society that mocks one another and puts people down based on their looks. Bullying is not ok and it’s time to take a stand. My baby girl will not grow up in a world where it’s ok to be bullied for how you look or who you are. Friends, comrades, please join me, if you feel as I do about this issue, why not write to your local MP, or tweet your favourite magasine, but please do something. Together, we can achieve anything we want to, but action needs to be taken. For all the kids in the future who shouldn’t have to put up with being made to feel worthless because of their appearance, for all adults who make excuses not to go to the office so they aren’t made to feel ugly by the office bully, for the well known people who for some reason are just supposed to roll over and take what’s said about them because ‘they’ve put themselves out there’ (a pathetically cowardly argument in my opinion). We as women, should be encouraged to push each other up, not pull one another down. We as a society should celebrate one another, bonding over similarities and celebrating our differences.
Do I expect to eradicate bullying completely? Do I expect newspapers to totally cease in printing embarrassing pictures and poking fun at the subjects? Sadly no, I’m not as naive as I am idealistic. But if one child walks the school corridors with their head held high instead of crying in the toilets, or if one person stops and thinks about how their words and actions could affect another fellow employee, then it will be worth the fight. And it’s one fight I’m more than ready for.