We’ve all experienced bullying in some way, shape or form. Whether you were the victim or the bully, we’ve all experienced situations in which someone is making the other feel worse to achieve some sort of upper hand. We were always told that this wouldn’t last forever, that good will trump evil. But why are so many adults still experiencing this kind of emotional trauma, and why are so many celebrities getting away with publicly committing it?
We saw Khloe Kardashian blast the internet with an inappropriate picture of Chloe Grace Moretz’s exposed butt after Moretz put in her two cents about the Taylor Swift vs. Kim Kardashian debacle. Regardless of whether or not it was her (Moretz says it wasn’t), it still took things too far.
Dani Mathers posted a horribly offensive Snapchat photo of a random woman getting changed in a gym locker room, accompanied by a caption that read, “If I can’t unsee this you can’t either.” For many, this photo was evidence of body-shaming by Mathers to her large audience of Snapchat followers.
These situations make us question not only how people can be so heartless, but how they can be so clueless ?
Oftentimes, we think that bullying is just reserved for pre-teens, or it’s portrayed in the movies as a group of “popular” girls monopolizing on the insecurity of others. In reality, bullying can be a lot more subtle than any of this. It can be coworkers excluding you from an office lunch, your roommates talking about you behind your back, or even something as outward as Taylor Swift calling Kim Kardashian’s actions “character assassination,” with the intent of shaming her.
Either way, someone is fighting for superiority in a bullying situation. Someone wants to make themselves look better at the expense of someone else. Why is this so common in adulthood as well as in adolescence?
Bullying remains common in adulthood because insecurities are not something we grow out of as we age. There is always something we will feel insecure or self-conscious about, and there will always be someone out there who makes us question our adequacy, abilities or appearance. We may grow more mature and experience bullying in different and more sophisticated ways, particularly in the digital age, but the underlying principle remains; Someone is insecure and needs to take someone down in order to feel better.
There is no right way to handle these kinds of situations, there is only knowing when to check yourself and be aware if you are the bully. Know when you are feeling insecure and know how to channel your feelings into more productive ways. If you are the victim, you have to choose whether you want to address the mistreatment head-on or whether you want to ignore it.
We frequently hear cliche sayings about how it’s against or counterproductive to modern feminism to pit yourself against other women. One repinned quote on Pinterest reads, “Confident women don’t hate on other women.” This is entirely true. Once you are secure in yourself and who you are, you won’t feel the need to take someone else down. If you call yourself a feminist, then you won’t be a bully. It’s as simple as that.