Melinda W. Washington

Bullying Within Social Norms

Within our corrupt society today, many girls are pressured into fitting in with the social norms while benefitting others. Young girls are getting bullied verbally and physically by their peers for not being similar.

Dear Future President,

Within our corrupt society today, many girls are pressured into fitting in with the social norms while benefitting others. Young girls are getting bullied verbally and physically by their peers for not being similar. Their not only pressured by their peers but what are published on magazines and posted on social media, wishing or hoping they’ll look like them; skinny, tall, another figure that represents beauty. Girls can’t help but to feel insecure and to question themselves as a person. Asking themselves: “Who are you?”, “Am I really that fat?”, “Should I go on a diet?”, “Should I start wearing makeup?”, “What would help beautify me?”, “Would I be accepted?”. Girls start thinking, pondering, and wondering if changing who they are as a person would help them be accepted by changing our appearance and personalities to be like others with the fear of getting bullied. I am very passionate about this topic because I have experienced first hand how it feels to be bullied and then changing my appearance and personality to stop the bullying.

The word POPULAR is what affects teenage girls mindset into believing that we should also have the same clothes, color hair, and the latest IPhone. The word is very impactful because it helps make choices although it stops us from thinking for ourselves. Not being popular lowers majority of girls self esteem based on appearance. “Over 70% of girls age 15 to 17 avoid normal daily activities, such as attending school, when they feel bad about their looks, “ ( Being pressured and afraid of what others think prevents girls from doing everyday activities. According to Girls Inc, The Supergirl Dilemma, 74% of girls say they are under pressure to please everyone. The pressure of pleasing others is effective because we do change what is “wrong”about ourselves. NYC Girl’ Project says “By middle school, 40-70 percent of girls are dissatisfied with two or more parts of their body, and body satisfaction hits rock bottom between the ages of 12 and 15.” At a young age, girls are already feeling dissatisfied with their looks because they're being compared by others and how others perceived them. However, girls shouldn’t have to feel this way. They should be able to appreciate and accept their body and looks rather than trying to please others.

I went through a change where I didn't act liked myself and I had change the way I dressed. Starting at a young age when I was started ballet at the age of 7, we were told to keep our weight a minimum if you exceed the weight limit you wouldn’t be able to dance. Me being the co-leader, I had to of course be the same weight already being compared by the other captain. Going into middle school not doing much activities, been called fat multiple times. Being compared to celebrities on magazines as if they didn’t get photoshopped. Getting hit by the top lockers multiple times on purpose. Feeling insecure about my looks wanting to lose weight so others would accept me. Taking modeling and acting class brought up my self esteem for awhile.

Going into high school, someone close to me texted me for a year and also told me in person: “You're a fat a**”, “Lose Weight Bigfoot”, “I should hire someone to kill you”, “Or wait let me kill you”, “You’re so ugly it makes me sad”. Of course my self esteemed dropped. I really did feel and believe that they were right.

As our President, I really hope you’ll look more into this issue. Also know that not only girls are being affected but boys are too. Please stop societies norms and create a balance between the “popular” and the “outcast”. Advertise often that we shouldn't change ourselves for the benefits of others. Create a campaign that would help girls feel more comfortable about themselves. Offer more available help so girls will able to talk about their feelings and how to overcome them. In doing so, it would help gain self esteem back and have girls slowly be accepted.

Many girls are expected to look like everybody else. Expected to have the same hair color, clothing style, body shape, etc. If not exceeding those expectations girls are put into a category called “outsiders”. Being bullied and traumatized by hateful comments by their peers, lowers their self esteem. As someone who first hand experienced being bullied, I'd wish this issue hadn't occurred. As our next president, I hope you make the right decision in dealing with this issue, to create a better environment for young girls where they're able to be themselves.


Melinda W.

Foster High School

Nohl's 1st period Civics

First period class.

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