Victim of Bullying Laments Mean-Girl Behavior

The movie Mean Girls is the perfect stereotype of how a female bullies someone. Girls are not typically known for physical bullying, but rather relational bullying. The goal of relational bullying is to ruin someone’s reputation and to tear down the appearance of someone to make those bullying feel better.

I am one of many girls to experience this first hand. I’m not quite sure if I like the term “bullying,” but I would describe it as trying to hurt someone else to make yourself feel better. Growing up in this day and age is hard. Everything is constantly changing, and the media influences the way people act. To add to that, being a teenage girl is hard. There are always pictures, ads, commercials, models and clothing that make girls want to be a certain way that appeals to the public, more specifically, the male gender. The problem with this is it results in competitiveness, insecurities and, just simply, mean-girl behavior. Unfortunately going through middle school and continuing through my time here at Notre Dame, I have been a victim of this.

I am the type of person who tries to see the good in everyone, and I’m sometimes oblivious to what goes on around me because I try to think of it being a perfect world where everyone respects one another. However, in middle school I began to realize that wasn’t the case. In middle school, I started recognizing bullying and I thought, “How could girls be so mean?” Sometimes my mom would ask me, “How was your day at school? How did everyone treat you?” It would always be the same answer and me crying saying, “I don’t know why they don’t like me. I never did anything to them.” My mom always told me that girls didn’t like me because they were jealous that I was cute, played sports and was smart. I didn’t really believe that girls would act this way until I experienced it again in high school.

The past four years at Notre Dame have been great thus far, but if I could change one thing about it, it would be how the girls treat one another here. I’m not sure if there is a day that goes by where I don’t get a mean look, or I don’t see or hear someone talking about me, or have things posted about me on social media. I’m sure not many people realize what I go through because I don’t like to talk about it or make a big deal about it. It has just been one of those things I’ve learned to deal with. I find it sad and I wish girls loved themselves enough that they wouldn’t have to try to make others look bad to make themselves look better. It’s something that’s a big problem in today’s world, and I hope it isn’t like this one day when I have a daughter. No girl should ever have to experience being bullied, but sadly it’s something that does happen, especially at this time in our lives.

From the experiences and feelings I have felt the past few years, I’ve learned not to worry about what others think of me. I am most proud of not reacting to those who have hurt me; I continue to just be myself. It has definitely been one of the hardest things to go through in high school along with all the other demands and responsibilities, but it’s not something to hang my head about. It has taught me a lesson that no matter how someone treats me, I should always be kind to them because you never know what someone is going through.