The last Wednesday of February is known as Anti-Bullying Day in Canada. This is a day that everyone is encouraged to wear something pink to symbolize that our society will not tolerate bullying. All hot pink apron jokes aside, this is a cause I believe very strongly in.
Through public school and attending 3 different high schools (because I couldn’t even fit in with my own family), I have been “jumped”, beaten up, spit on, publicly mocked, had things written about me in tables and walls and have been labelled a whole variety of nasty names. Most of which are due to just being different.
I know what it is like to be bullied and I certainly know how it feels to consider that you just weren’t made for this world. I went from the buck-toothed chubby kid to the big boobed prepubescent, or “Double D Dana” as I was more commonly known as in those days. When the physical stuff grows old, they move on to your personal preferences: your music choices, clothes, hair, sexuality, friends, etc.. Those who want to bully, will always find something to bully you about.
My heart goes out to any younger readers dealing with these realities right now. It hurts like hell and you’re likely sick of the saying, “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger” but, please, trust me, it’s true! In the daylight of the adult world the bullies become weak. Their own insecurities become realities and they no longer have you to dump on. The day will come that they accept you, all you have to do is be yourself and plan for it.
At 16 I fled to the city and found a very welcoming home with musicians, artists, writers and other misfits just like me. 14 years later, this tattooed freak of nature is living a dream life, with a perfect partner, amazing kids, great friends and a list of dreams conquered and those in the works. It gets soo much better.
Some of those painful memories never go away but fortunately for us the world bullied some very gifted minds as well and we can simply pick up a book and relate to Holden Caulfield, press play on a Nirvana album or bake a bundt cake from an awesome blog 🙂 and be reminded that we’re not alone. Remember, the whole world turned on John Lennon in 1966 when his words were misinterpreted and he still managed to sell a few records after that. The world loves a misfit as long as everyone thinks that misfit is cool. (How’s that for a mind bender?!!)
I’m proud to be decked out in my hot PINK apron today and everyday, representing myself as an unusual misfit and supporting anyone and everyone who has ever felt like they just didn’t fit in. Commit yourself to you and it will get better.
Here is a trailer for a documentary to be released later this year, titled ‘Bully’. The trailer alone causes my water works to pour.
This is an extremely moving music video from Rise Against. Great song, incredible awareness.
You certainly cannot discuss anti-Bully awareness without mentioning the brilliant Lady Gaga. This video was sent to a student at The Etobicoke School of the Arts when he wrote her, explaining his pledge to put a stop to bullying.