I’ve recently watched a movie called Cyberbully and I couldn’t help but think, thank goodness I grew up during a time where social media wasn’t a huge deal. Bullying has always been around, however there are so many more outlets now that people can spread rumors or make fun of someone on. While watching this movie I couldn’t help but think how many people have committed or thought about committing suicide from being bullied. How do people get joy out of making others feel miserable about themselves? What happened to them that they feel the need to do this?
In a previous post I have admitted on being a victim of having rumors spread about me. I have to say in this case it wasn’t a malicious attack. I liked one of my guy friends, someone said we were dating, he stopped talking to me, and my friends started to ignore me because they had a crush on the same guy. Did I get depression from this? No. Was I pissed? Hell yeah! That’s middle school for ya! So and so said blah, blah, blah, and everyone believed it instead of going to the source for the truth. You know what….it’s still not okay.
When I was young I went to a dancing school outside of my city at the age of seven. Shortly after I was asked to be on the competition team and all anybody could think was that I got on because the director knew my mom. Instead of being welcomed I was blatantly secluded during practices when we were asked to go in the other room and run the dance or moves we just learned. Its tough when you become a fourth person in a tight trio. My love for dance helped me push through, but as the years went on more people were added to the group and welcomed with open arms by my “teammates”. I get that I didn’t live close to hang out on the regular and they did include me in dance outings, but they always grouped in a corner and whispered. No matter how much I tried to be friends, it just felt fake or forced. One year for my birthday they made it out to seem like they forgot it, when usually we’d get a card and balloons. I felt stupid and insignificant. I always chipped in on their birthdays, what the hell did I do to be overlooked? After class was over they finally revealed balloons and a card, saying something along the lines of, “we got you.”
Was I supposed to be relieved? I felt like screaming. I hated feeling like a project they were semi interested in. I didn’t have that popular gene in my body like the rest of them had. I wasn’t trying to impress anyone, I just wanted to dance. I remember getting into my mom’s car one night saying, “I don’t know if I want to dance anymore”. She couldn’t believe what I said and immediately asked why and what happened. I told her the team made me feel like an outsider and I hated it. Being the loving mom, she said it was up to me. The more I thought about it, the more I’d get pissed that I’d let people come between my love for dance. I ultimately decided that I wouldn’t let them get to me and if they kept shutting me out I’d just work harder. That seemed to get them off my back and start to make an effort in being friends.
Soon after I got them off my back, their next victim came walking in. I noticed right away how they excluded her and I made it a point to get to know her. She was different from everyone, just like me, so I understood her. Unfortunately they got to her worse than me. She isolated herself and seemed to start a spiral into depression and an eating disorder. I graduated shortly after leaving all that behind. Or so I thought…
I went off to college and joined the dance ensemble and dance team my first semester. The people were extremely nice and I thought I finally have a dance family that I’ll feel included in. The girls I became close to left after a couple of semesters and I was left with the new tide rolling in. I went from one of the loved dancers to being pushed out again because of my love for dance. I didn’t make excuses, I did whatever the choreographers wanted me to do without question. That’s what I learned, so I couldn’t believe how many times I heard, “I can’t do that, you have to change it, I have bad (insert body part here)”. If you’re not going to give 100% than don’t be in a dance ensemble. That sounds harsh, but it was how I felt at the time. Certain dancers thought I took it to seriously, well yeah this was my life, my career.
I graduated and went on to a program in the city where another student auditioned and got in also. I was livid because I wanted to experience something by myself without drama. I became just like my teammates in thinking she didn’t deserve to be there. I somehow became a bully and made smart comments under my breath when she made a mistake. Who am I? Why was I doing this? I think I just didn’t get how she got into the same program when my dance technique was clearly better than hers. Better than hers. What the hell was wrong with me?! My competitive nature got the best of me and I made a few enemies in the program. I couldn’t wait for it to over.
With my certification done I got asked to be apart of a company with other dancers I had danced with in college. No brainer, of course! I couldn’t wait to keep dancing and see everyone again. With rehearsals underway and everything flowing smoothly I thought this is great! Finally a place to just dance. After the first show we did another, this time I saw that specific people were being picked for specific dancers no matter their talent. It became extremely biased on friendship and I was only picked for two or three numbers out of ten. Am I that difficult to work with? I know its not my dance ability. I started to feel secluded and after three shows decided to withdrawal from future shows. I wasn’t going to let people get to me again and get in the way of dance. I wasn’t going to feel unworthy.
When I found out that Lady Gaga became an advocate for bullying, because she herself was, I was ecstatic! Finally someone who made herself into something when everyone said she’d be nothing. She proved them all wrong and her fan base are a bunch of little monsters who are all different types of weird. A perfect fit for me. I’m a weirdo, I know. I enjoy singing and dancing where ever I can and I am a goofy goober. I don’t want to be perfect or want to impress everyone. I don’t feel the need to love the latest trends and I grew up with a diverse group of family and friends. I don’t discriminate against anyone because I believe people should love who they want to and be who they want to. Gaga’s music tells a story and she is 100% a true artist. She struggled, but still keeps it real. She was a victim of sexual assault, multiple eating disorders, and bullying throughout her life. She is not afraid to speak up for those who can’t and her Super Bowl performance was definitely top three of all time.
Which brings me to today, political correctness is ruining this country, people feeling the need to tell others who they can or can’t love is ruining this country, and coming in hot for round two: sexism is ruining this country. Why can’t we all get paid equally? Why can’t men be stay at home dads without their egos getting bruised? Why can’t people let others be themselves without judgement? This world needs love and understanding that everything doesn’t need to be understood. Stop bullying people you don’t get and give them a chance. The world would finally be able to breathe and that is all we need.