Natasha MacBryde and Phoebe Prince – the world lost 2 beautiful school girls to vicious bullying. Both committed suicide at the tender age of 15, unintentionally breaking their families and friends hearts, because of suffocating insults hurled on a daily basis, by a group of malicious school girls. Evidently, bitterness and jealousy compelled a group of malicious school girls to pick on vulnerable and kind girls to satisfy their own alter ego.
What a shame! This is a stain on society’s conscience: despite all the anti-bullying campaigns, we’re not fully acknowledging or acutely hearing what these fragile, delicate voices are trying to say: Phoebe and Natasha probably tortured themselves every day and night, struggling with their own internal demons of not being beautiful enough, when lo and behold, it was confirmed to them by their own classmates. I’m sure these girls were surrounded by loved ones who constantly assured them of their beauty – however, it wasn’t enough. Sadly no one taught these girls how to tap into their own unique inner beauty.
When I Googled Natasha’s and Phoebe’s photo, I saw these girls were beautiful in their own way: cherub faces and sparkling eyes full of hope – sadly they doubted their own potential, feeling they couldn’t live another day: Their dark isolation swallowed them up. So far down in the pit they had reached, that a noose and a speeding train were the ultimate remedy to their daily torture.
The pressure is on: Who do we blame? Action is required, boundaries are needed. Luckily, Phoebe Prince’s case brought world wide attention to cracking down on bullying as Make A Noise To Save A Life (run by the Samaritans charity) hosted a charity music event in Boston.
Charitable events certainly deserve an applaud. But, how do we teach teenage girls, who in their awkward adolescent years, interpret rolling eyes, cold silences, or worse off, behind-the-back sniggering, as signals of their wavering popularity? At their worst,these girls can easily spit their venom at whoever they consider weak and vulnerable – so much so, that the cases of suicides, amongst girls, are continuing to soar.
Today’s education system reeks of glitter, glamour and false eyelashes, rather than of bookish wisdom and knowledge. Competition of whose the prettiest has now seeped into the education system; its lip gloss at dawn, rather than pencils. Most girls are at the mercy of rigid rules that demand “if you have spotty skin, unkempt eyebrows or an awkward fashion sense, then get out of the way love, you’re of no use”. They’re far from worried about failing exams; they’re concerned whether they can get through their day without being brutally picked on. No wonder girls are becoming increasingly self-aware and insecure to the brink of self-hatred. After all, if they can’t get it right in the school ground, then do they stand a chance in the “real world”?
Liberate, a cosmetic surgery group, found 48% of women (who were bullied) would consider plastic surgery to soothe the sting of insecurities. In the case of Natasha MacBryde, a cruel message was left for her on social networking site Formerspring: “You’re a f***king sl*t hiding under all that make-up. You think you’re pretty and that all the guys like you. Start acting nice to people or you will lose everyone”. Unfortunately,it was us, society, who lost out on a nice person….
There is no clear solution, neither can we control other people’s actions – but we can monitor our own. The conclusion to weathering the storms of insecurity is learning what your inner beauty is and understanding how to harness it. Make it your buffer. I believe this is a technique, a power, a belief, could help save the lives of many girls.