My blood has been boiling lately regarding the disgraceful public words directed at Olympic champion Gabby Douglas' appearance. Floored by what we were hearing about her hair and her teeth, my family and I were perplexed. Huh??? What we saw each and every time we watched her compete and interview was an adorable, talented, hard-working, talented, bright, talented teenager. An incredible inspiration to every other child. Who were these people seeing something else? What was happening in their heads that even allowed space for such garbage? And garbage it was/is, garbage that also goes by another name: bullying.
Whenever I land on an internet page that invites public comments, I recoil at the trash (usually anonymous or via pseudonym) directed at others. Nasty words about being ugly or "too" fat or "too" thin, to name a few, safely hurled from behind the coward's anonymous facade. I've said for years that those remarks are bullying, plain and simple, a stark reminder of just what kind of example we as a society set for our children when, ironically, simultaneously, we are rallying against child-to-child bullying, ramping up workshops and trainings to fight it. Are these people jealous? Do they hate their own lives, their own hair and teeth? Their own inability to shine in some aspect of their lives?
How on earth can we say to our children, "You must not bully" when we adults do the very same thing? How can we effectively crack through the psyches of bullying adults so they look in the proverbial mirror and truly see themselves? How do we inspire kindness and character in human beings who've already, theoretically, grown up? I can tell you this: until we do and our children see adults behaving well toward one another, bullying between children will continue. No amount of words will make the difference - only behavior. The number one rule of teaching children is to lead by example - they watch us closely, taking it all in and then they follow the leader.
Time for us to lead better.
Until then, I say to Gabby Douglas, "You ROCK! Go out there with that beautiful head held high and grab your future the way you grabbed that All-Around medal. I know my family and I will be cheering your every step! Go, Gabby!"
You are so right, Susan. I would bet the proverbial farm that the people who made those statements are actually mirroring how they feel about themselves -fat, ugly, unattractive. It makes them feel empowered to put others down.ReplyDelete
Those of us who are empowered with the truth can be of great service in helping those who need to discover the truth about themselves, and the truth is that we all have a wonderful light and natural talent within.
We need only to go beyond having potential to proactively turning that potential into reality. This will allow us to learn first hand that when we put out the effort to accomplish our dreams and find our own brand of genuine happiness, high self-esteem results and we will no longer allow ourselves to be bullied and there will be no need to bully others.
Thank you, Susan, for being a stand and a voice for those who may not feel empowered!
The same to you, Carole! You are so right on with your observations and I appreciate you taking the time to share them here.ReplyDelete
Keep on writing and speaking out!
I don't know about her hair but like many kids her age, she does need braces. Her top teeth have an overbite and the mandibular teeth need to be straightened. I work with dentists so I guess I just notice this stuff. She has a pretty smile that can be improved is all.ReplyDelete
She did a great job representing herself and the U.S., congratulations to her.