Bully Apologizing Sucks
Last week, CNN ran a story about a little boy who wrote an early (very early) letter to Santa asking him to help is twin sister, who is bullied in school.
The letter was sweet and heartbreaking and it included a picture of the third grade girl next to her brother, who is half her size.
What I’d like to address today is the comments section of this story.
I knew when I scrolled down, they were going to be brutal. In my experience, sometimes when people who aren’t dealing personally with the problem at hand get handed the anonymity of the internet, they can be brutal. They are particularly brutal when there is no social barrier to a particular brutality. There is no social barrier against being mean to fat people. That’s why grown people feel like it’s okay to judge a mother based on 500 words on CNN and make comments about a child’s body as if they had some insight that they clearly don’t.
Here’s a basic truth: there is never a reason why it’s okay to bully another human being. Not ever.
Every single instance of bullying, from school yard bullying to CNN comments bullying, is a deficiency in the bullier. It is never the fault of the person being bullied.
Even if that person literally wears a sign around his or her neck that begs for bullying.
Guess what, though? Being fat is not a “Bully Me” sign. Saying “that girl’s mother should put her on a diet because if she lost weight the bullying would stop” is not only bully-apologetic, it’s short-sighted. It assumes that this little girl has to meet some kind of beauty standard to deserve the basic dignity of attending the third grade without crying every day. It assumes that the only reason anyone ever gets bullied is for being fat. It places all the blame for bullying on the bullied by claiming that it would stop if only they did something about the part of them that the bullies find unacceptable.
Bully apologizing sucks. Every time. No exceptions.