The word “bullying” gets judged as soon as it is heard. Many thoughts come to mind when you first hear it, and if you’re anything like me you probably think of something along the lines of “corny guidance counselor”…but I promise you I am not your guidance counselor…corny however, I may be…no promises there. I, among almost everyone else, have experience, and been a victim of bullying. It is not something anyone should be ashamed of as it happens to so many people. This is an issue that needs to be discussed, but so many people are afraid to speak out about it because they feel embarrassed about it…so let me break the ice.
Bullying came into effect when hormones did. Around sixth grade is when it started for me. A new school, new classmates, and many new opportunities. I wanted to be popular so bad I thought I would have done anything to fit in. I made some bad choices, such as choosing the “popular” friend over the true friend, and my priorities were all out of line…but hind sight is always twenty twenty and we all learn from our mistakes. Im not proud of my choices, but I am honest about them. In seventh grade is when my life drastically changed and I began filming The Naked Brothers Band movie. I was so excited about the movie! I remember being so proud of myself and telling my “friends”. I was dumbfounded when my friends reactions were mean and belittling instead of proud and supportive. Long story short, these girls began to pick on me for everything, what I wore, my hair, my short height, how young I looked compared to them, my ethnicity…and the lowest blow of all…they made fun of me for not having a father. I remember hating my life in middle school. I would complain to my mom and all she could say was “Oh sweetie they are just jealous” but no person getting picked on wants to hear “they are just jealous”. It feels like a lame excuse that doesn’t explain anything. I came to realize that I didn’t really care what they said about me. I was happy “doin mah thang” filming the movie, working hard to get good grades, and making friendships that still stand to this day. I had made it through what I believed was the worst.
Transitioning from middle school to high school is like making the transition from your towns tween park and rec. softball team with the girls who are just there to have fun and play a game to playing on the high school softball team with the girls whos arms are double your size and their arms (which are the size of your legs) throw pitches that scare the life out of you. High school scares the life out of you. Everything comes a lot faster, stronger, and meaner, similar to the pitches these men dressed as girls are throwing.
I would say “I remember my first day of high school” but I can’t because I wasn’t there. I was on set filming for the first season of NBB (Naked Brothers Band). Great way to start my new high school…as a naked brother. I knew no one either. I arrive at school mid october and had a really great freshman year. I made friends with almost everyone, even the upper class men, joined the JV cheer team, attended most of the football and basket ball games, and made memories to last a life time. Many people asked me why I didn’t make the choice to be home schooled like other child actors do, but I responded with the reasoning that I wanted to maintain a normal high school life. I didn’t want to miss a thing. Well I didn’t… especially not the bullying that comes with it. I began getting bullied in my sophomore year. It was this year that I got my first boyfriend. I remember liking him so much! I got criticized for not “doing anything” with him by the other girls who were “doing stuff” with their boyfriends. They made fun of me that I wanted a boy “friend” who was my companion, someone to complain to, and just someone I knew was going to call me before I went to bed. I didn’t want anything physical because I wasn’t ready and I believe that teenagers rush into things these days. At least some bullying was reasoned for. I developed relationships with girls that didn’t care for me to say the least. To be honest, I am not sure why. I think it was maybe because I don’t smoke, drink, fool around with guys, and neglect my responsibilities in school. It could also be that I was an actress, always missing school. Again in high school I got made fun of for my ethnicity….let me repeat…in HIGH SCHOOL I got made fun of for my ethnicity. Take a second to just listen to that. In high school I expected everyone to be mature, but I was wrong. I can understand making fun of me because I didn’t want to drink, or smoke, or have sex, or even that I was afraid to fail a test. But to make fun of a person over something they cannot control is just trivial. What did they expect me to say “Oh I’m sorry I’m a quarter korean…I promise on Monday I won’t be”. Lets all grow up here. Anyways, these girls antagonized me for the rest of my high school days at my private catholic school. What irony that I met these girls at a catholic school. You would think I would be upset, or jaded by them, but I honestly am not. Through them I realized that I am a strong, determined, and powerful girl. I love that I am made of a billion different heritages, I love that I am short, I love that I was on a TV show, I love that I stuck to my morals, I love that my mother wouldn’t be ashamed of anything I have ever done. And most of all, I love how I dealt with bullying.
I rose above it. didn’t get on their level and make fun of them back. I didn’t take low blows at them. I didn’t talk badly about them, spread rumors, or get all my friends involved in my problem, and for this I am truly proud. I never thought I had it in me…but I did and so do all of you.
Bullying is serious. It can lead to depression, self infliction and even suicide. The company “To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) has been created to raise awareness of teen suicide and depression. Did you know that bullying is a leading cause in teen suicide? Don’t let yourself become a statistic. If you are being bullied…REACH OUT! It doesn’t have to be your parents, your guidance counselor, or anyone you think you should go to but dont want to. You can talk about this issue with anyone you trust, it can be a friend, a cousin, an aunt…you can even come to me! If you are being bullied YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Everyone goes through it, but not everyone does something about it. If we all speak up together we can put an end to bullying.
I promise you Im not your guidance counselor, but instead your friend.
Spread the Love.