Teenage Cruelty (Blog for Journalism)
From the locker-filled hallways to the loud cafeteria, quiet classrooms, and now the World Wide Web - bullying seems to follow someone everywhere.
Teenagers, in general, just aren’t the “precious little angels” most parents describe them to be. Some of them sneak out of their houses late at night or party when they are supposed to be sleeping over at a friend’s house, and others lose their virginity or engage in drugs and alcohol. However, now there’s something else added to the list: teenagers are getting meaner.
The definition of bullying has changed and expanded over the years. The stereotype of a bully remains as a large boy or girl who steals innocent people’s lunch money, forces them to do their homework, and stuffs them in lockers if they disobey. Now, ordinary name-calling and texting naked or exposing pictures of someone to hundreds of people are categorized as bullying. However, what is becoming the biggest problem is teenage girls calling each other “sluts,” “whores,” and “losers,” and threatening other girls for their own personal gain.
It is difficult to believe for those who have never experienced any type of name-calling or teasing that bullying still exists today, mainly because stereotypical bullying has shifted into something more extreme. High school females, for example, are now willing to do anything to inflict pain and humiliation to others by turning the entire school against their victims or constantly harassing them on their social networking sites. In the end, this extreme bullying seems to come down to competition. Whether it is being the prettiest, skinniest girl with the high-end clothes and perfect hair or the one with the most attractive-looking boyfriend, all girls seem to stop at nothing to get what they want. Perhaps that is why girls feel a need to step on someone else in order to reach the top of the social ladder. If they feel threatened, they will do everything in their power to feel secure again, even if it means losing their class, or their minds, for a moment.
Despite how long bullying has been around, reasons for this extreme behavior are still pretty vague. Bullying could well be a stress-reliever, a hobby, or revenge for once being humiliated. However, some believe that movies, shows, and reality television play factors in bullying. In films and programs such as Mean Girls, One Tree Hill, Real World, and Jersey Shore, girls are seen to utter vulgar terms such as “sluts,” “whores,” and “bitches” quite frequently, start physical fights, and humiliate another by spray-painting “dyke” on their locker or writing negative comments about others in a “burn book.” Like all parents say to their children after they watch a horror film, “it’s just a movie.” However, in reality, people see what is on television and believe that is how life should be and therefore, that is how they should act.
Being verbally and mentally abused can cause too much of a pain to even escape, especially when the tormenter is a friend. Unfortunately, girls feel too ashamed to share what is happening to them and eventually turn to suicide to erase the humiliation. However, attempting to get help from an adult or counselor is much better than ending life altogether. In the end, it’s not about making someone else happy because the only person that truly matters is the one who is getting bullied and stands up to say “no.”