What Mean Girls Really Think: Confessions of a HS Bully

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Self-esteem means self-respect. Self-acceptance. Um…self-confidence. Knowing yourself. Knowing your weaknesses and your strengths and striving to manipulate them to serve you best.

Presenting an image is important. Like big time. You portray this image to the world of what you WANT to be. The image that you put out to everyone else is what you ASPIRE to become, not necessarily what you already are.

My mom pushes me hard to be the best. She’s like a total Asian tiger mom. I love her but it’s stressful sometimes. I have high expectations for myself too. I think I should be good at everything. Like I’m not the best at math but I would never admit to that. You wouldn’t hear me talking about how I had a math tutor and stuff. Since I wanted all As and I’m kind of dumb at precalc, I dropped it and went to the easy math. Now I’m one of the best in that class. I’ve maintained that image of perfection.

Me and my friends all have high expectations of each other as well. They’re tough on me and I’m tough on them. Like I’ll ask a girl, “Are you really going to where that to my party?” ‘Cause I don’t want her to give me and my friends a bad name. Or if a girl is slutting around, we let her know. We’re not exactly nice about it. We’re like, “You’re acting like a desperate hoe, so stop. Otherwise you’re not hanging out with us.” We gang up on her, like five on one.

We totally have each other’s back, just not in the nicest way.

Bullying IS real. It’s like the bitchy girl talking to the freshman, saying: “Why would you wear shorts ice skating? It’s cold in there.” And it’s true. Like, why would you? That’s what makes the bully so likeable. She’s totally honest. She’s not making it up; she’s just telling the truth and it’s funny.

I was given a hard time when I was a freshman too. Like every freshman, I was totally retarded. But I learned from that good hazing not to be dumb, how to have street smarts, what to wear or not wear, how to coast through high school, stuff like that.

So if you’re a freshman girl making out with your boyfriend in front of the school, you’re going to get shit for that. That’s honestly unacceptable. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re going to get bullied for doing stupid stuff.

And if you’re one of the strange girls wearing strange clothes, you’re going to get shit for that too. Like, the one who walked out of the locker room to go to a concert wearing a black tulle tutu thing. I mean, come on. A black tutu?

And me and my friends were like: That outfit is offensive. You need to change.

And she was like: Assholes.

And we were like: No. We have your back. If you walked down the street like this it’d be bad.

Don’t get me wrong, even the weird girls are perfectly nice. We just don’t hang out with them. You’ll often hear me and my girlfriends say that we don’t hang out with ugly people either, which is a really mean thing to say when you think about it. Like that’s a REALLY mean thing to say. But it’s kinda true. I don’t spend a lot of time with people who are, um…yeah. Ugly. It’s not like I’m trying to be a total bitch about it. It’s just that’s not who I find myself with.

Some girls may try hard to be the better person, but when the doors close in the locker room, they’re still like, “What the hell? Did you see what she was wearing?”

Excerpt from my upcoming book: Girl Talk: Boys, Bullies and Body Image. 

Overcoming Bullying: One Teen’s Story of Bullying and Survival

I believe being comfortable with myself will make me happy regardless of my situation.

This belief could come from the fact that I was bullied during the fifth and sixth grade. I had been friends with a girl for maybe two or three years, but then I decided to hang out with my other friend more than her. She felt betrayed, but I didn’t really notice what I was doing to her and she never brought it up. Then the bullying started. I figured that eventually she’d get over it or she’d get tired and stop. But she didn’t.

My former friend would pull my hair, punch me, and kick me…she even stabbed me with a pen once and broke my skin. I think my other friends tried to intervene as much as they could without getting anyone in trouble. It just wasn’t enough. I try to analyze why I never said anything and I guess it’s because I didn’t want anyone to get in trouble either. Even though she clearly was not acting like a friend anymore, I still felt loyalty to her from our past history. I also thought that if I didn’t acknowledge the situation, then it wouldn’t actually be real. Obviously, that wasn’t the case. The situation got to a point where it was really unsafe. I don’t know what would have happened if my mom hadn’t finally found out.

I guess she had noticed these marks on my body, but I’ve always kind of been prone to bruising so she didn’t think anything of them. Then one day she was walking me to school – which she rarely did – and she saw my friend pull my hair. She forced me to tell her about the bullying, and I broke down crying. She told me to talk to my teacher – which I did – and then the principal got involved too.

It was really awkward for me because we were a small class of about 30 and my former friend and I ran in the same clique of only five girls. I was nervous about what would happen to the friends I did like. Would they get angry at me for snitching on someone or would they stand by me? Surprisingly, the whole clique continued to hang out even though it was really awkward. My former friend and I just avoided each other completely. I’m not sure how we did that considering our group was so small…I guess that’s what made it so awkward.

On the positive side, I finished that year with a better sense of who I was. I learned from the experience.  I’m not going to ever let it happen to me – or anyone else – again. I swore that to myself. Since I was able to beat my problem and grow from it, now I know that I can handle anything.

Top Ten Stressors for the Average Teenage Girl

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The top ten stressors for the average teenage girl come in many forms. Some may surprise you and some may not, but what they all have in common is a damaging effect on teen self-esteem.

Body Image— How she sees herself, how she compares herself to her friends, and the complications of eating disorders.

Boys/relationships–Wanting a boy or girl to like her, but not necessarily understanding how to go about it a healthy or positive way. Romanticizing the concept of a relationship.

Bullying— Wearing the scars from being bullied in middle school or junior high that never seem to fully go away. Worrying that she will be bullied again.

Friends— Wanting to be popular and having a group of friends, yet still worrying about being fully accepted by them.  Fitting in and knowing how to conform, but wondering about individuality.

Gossip— Worrying about being judged by others, but at the same time judging them. Worrying about rumors that may or may not be true & people cutting you down.

Media Beauty Ideals— Scanning magazines and websites, teens take cues from what the media considers beautiful. This in turn causes self hate if they don’t meet those physical ideals set by society.

Parents— Expectations put upon them by their parents, having a poor relationship with one or both of their parents and/or being compared to a sibling.

Peer pressure — Wanting to be part of the group, but not wanting to drink, do drugs, shoplift or have unwanted sexual encounters to be accepted.

Perfectionism/self-image— Setting unrealistic expectations for themselves. Unsure of how others actually see them and of  how they want to be seen in relation to school, culture and society. Always questioning who they are and striving  to be “perfect.”

School— Getting good grades and getting into the college of her choice, wondering if she’s smart enough, and comparing her grades to her friends.