Muslim Girl in America

I'm an American girl, born and raised, and a Muslim.

Refuse to be Homogenized—Beauty, Bullying and Media “Mean Girls”

on January 9, 2014

One of my favorite bloggers is Kristen Lamb. She’s a great resource for writers (and I HIGHLY recommend her classes as well). But she seems to have lived a life parallel to mine at times. Her recent posts (and the other 2 recent ones referenced in her blog) deal with bullying. She talks about bullying that writers endure on sites like Amazon and Goodreads, but she also talks about her own experiences.

I didn’t have the easiest time growing up (as you may have gleaned from my blog from time to time). I have blocked out most of my high school (which I like to call my “Dark Ages”) and I have thus far avoided my reunions and most of my high school classmates (except when I head home to visit my parents and inevitably run into one or more of them). Being the only, shall we say, tan-colored, person in school (except for my brother) for the majority of my experience, it’s not hard to imagine what happened.

I got off pretty lucky, though, overall. The hatred, the comments, the just plain meanness of folks was still tamer than others received. I was really depressed through high school, but I kept my head down, studied and worked hard, and I made the best of each situation that I could. I had to go to high school, so I just muddled through.

I completely agree with Kristen that bullies grow up and become adult bullies. Several adult bullies were my bosses through the years, coworkers, and even, while I worked retail or at a coffee shop, my customers.

And, just like the blog below, my looks were also apparently up for criticizing. I even had a recent suitor tell me that I didn’t look good enough for him. Why should we put up with it?

I recently posted a video from Upworthy (I strongly recommend watching it – see my post “How much space should I occupy?”). Letting others decide how much space we should occupy and how we should look is ridiculous. To quote a recent video with actress Jennifer Lawrence, “What are you going to do? Be hungry every single day to make other people happy?”

I AM ME. And I’m pretty darn amazing, thank you very much.

What experiences have you had with bullies?


Kristen Lamb's Blog

Last week I wrote two posts Brave New Bullying: Goodreads Gangs, Amazon Attacks—What Are Writers to Do? and Are Some Humans Born to Bully? Born to Be Victims? Can It Be Changed?. The first post was my own story of enduring hoards of Mean Girls and bullies in school (I switched schools 18 times).

Many people in the comments seemed perplexed as to WHY bullies acted the way they did and how to handle them. Thus, the second post offered even more tips and my Armchair Neuroscientist explanation as to what FEEDS bullies what they CRAVE (and tips to shut bullies down).

A Culture of Control

Since these two posts, I’ve received hundreds of comments and loads of messages and links shared on Facebook. This prompted me to speak a bit more on this topic. My opinion? I feel we live in a culture of bullies. We see it…

View original post 1,710 more words


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