Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sticks And Stones

There is a picture that has shown up a lot on my newsfeed on  Facebook  this morning. It is a picture of celebrity Kim Kardashian in a black and white dress next to an Orca with the text "Who Wore It Best". It is obviously an unflattering picture of her. Had it been a more "lovable" star like Julia Roberts or Jennifer Lawrence would people stand up and say.."That's wrong"? If it was YOUR daughter, YOUR sister, YOUR friend, wouldn't you be infuriated? Wouldn't there be comments dripping from your Facebook filled with anger and echo the words, "Take it down." And, "That's horrible."? But because it is a person that we have seen only snippets of her life and we feel that it is enough to make a judgement from, it's ok? "She had a sex tape she's a whore." "She got married for 72 days, she's an attention-whore." A person is not allowed mistakes in her life? Even when she has a spotlight and a camera in front of her?  And even then, do we know the whole truth about her, really?  Out of everyone who had put up that picture, who has spent more than a day with her? Who has gotten to know, not only just her surface, but her soul?
It is no wonder that 1 in 200 women suffer from Anorexia, and 3 in 100 suffer from Bulimia. How may young girls saw that picture and now have a fear in their sub-conscious that they too will have a picture slapped on social media. 
The message of this picture has expanded from this one person. It has leaped off our computer screens and cell phones and has echoed off the walls off schools. It has been implanted into the ears of those too young to understand it will get better. In June 2012 The New York Daily News put out a terrifying article. With data collected over the last three years, it has been found that 1 in 6 high school students seriously considered suicide. 1 in 12 attempted it. And it's not only the school yard bullies they have to worry about now. It's the bullies that reside in their computer, it's the bullies that reside in magazine covers and the entertainment channel. It's the whispers that speak louder than screams. The whispers of, "You're too fat." "You're too stupid." "You're ugly." And the thing is, that these whispers don't just go in one ear and out the other. No, they take residence in their brains and it grows, and it grows so big that it now lives in their heart. And these horrible whispers grow more and more until it has nowhere to go but to settle in the soul. And once it gets there, no eviction notice can be served. It stays. And for some kids, they'd rather destroy their soul then try to destroy the words themselves. Whether it be numbing the pain with a substance, or permanently numbing the pain with a rope or a gun.
Many of you at this point is saying "it's just a picture, it was just for fun." How many times have you heard that from a bully? How many of you have had your child come running home crying and when you go to investigate, the bully has looked you in the eye and said, "it was just for fun."? And when has it been ok to laugh at the expense of others? I am guilty of this too. Why don't we find an unflattering picture of you and dissect your life? Let's put this picture next to a Rhino, or a Hippo, or a Pig and allow the internet to laugh and point? Let's see how you feel.
I am in no way saying that the people who posted this are bad horrible people. Just like most school yard bullies, we just don't know better. We have become so desensitized, that we forget. We say to our children, "sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you."
The thing is, a broken leg and a broken arm is fixed over time. Words sometimes are never healed.

South Carolina Department of Mental Health, Eating Disorder Statistics,
New York Daily News, Meghan Neal, 1 in 12 Teens Have Attempted Suicide,

No comments:

Post a Comment