Bullying – If you have never been bullied, watch Big Brother 15 to learn what it is like as Amanda demonstrates

30 Aug

Bullying has always been a topic that interests me.  I had some rough times in elementary school and a few run ins with a couple bullies  – a girl named Mickey and in middle school a girl named Danielle.  The elementary school events were of a greater impact since I began to gain more confidence in myself in middle school and thankfully by high school I felt confident in who I was and went to a school where I witnessed no bullying (it was a catholic school).  However, bullying does severe damage to many children and has lasting impact on their lives.  Parents of these children often don’t understand to full impact of bullying because they never went through it or they are just a more confident person.

What I found so very interesting was watching 20-somethings on Big Brother 15 on CBS this year have a severe case of bullying.  For those that don’t understand bullying or have never been bullied, it might be useful to watch this show (even if it isn’t your thing) just to fully understand what bullying is and the impact it can have.

In the Big Brother house, a “showmance” as they like to call it emerged between a gentle pizza boy, Mcrae and a bully, Amanda.  In the beginning, it appears that Amanda is just potentially a good “player” as the goal is to manipulate people to do what you want so that you don’t get “put on the block” and voted out.  However, as time goes on, we begin to see how Amanda uses threatening behavior to scare people not to put her or her boyfriend on the block.  When she gets angry at someone, she calls them terrible names and gets right into their face.  At this point, she has taken bullying to a level that I imagine children at school go through.  She has decided she is going to bully Elissa.  She follows her around constantly to intimidate her, she calls her names, she threatens her, she says rude things about her, she tells her to “go hide from her,” and on top of that she cries saying that it is because Elissa is evil is that she gets referred to as being a bully.  She clearly doesn’t even understand what bully behavior is.  Her boyfriend, who honestly seems like a nice guy, is always trying to calm her down and shut her up.

Elissa, being a married 27 year old woman with a child is able to ignore her, take the high road, and act maturely most of the time.  However, you can still see that it gets to her.  It would get to anyone but she is a grown woman who is confident in herself so she has skills to handle this situation in a way that a child who lacks self-confidence would not.

Imagine, if you will, this scenario playing out in school – especially middle school or even high school.  Imagine a child who feels unsure of themself, is a shy, not very confident, and some may not feel attractive or popular.  Now, take another teen that is acting like Amanda, a girl (just for this example but it could also be a boy) that follows her around all the time, torments her, calls her names, makes fun of her, threatens her safety, destroys what little sense of self she has, and just want stop.  She does this day after day and laughs about with others and enjoys this type of “power” she thinks she has over this other child.  If you can see how Amanda is doing it to a woman who is not even a self-conscious person who lacks self-esteem and it is so awful, I hope you can imagine what it would be like with children in this alternate situation.

I hope this show can actually bring to light what bullying is and help people be better able to understand and recognize bullying.


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