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Stand Up To Bullying Day: Bullying And Body Image

Stand Up To Bullying Day: Bullying and Body Image

As it is International Stand Up to Bullying day, I wanted to share some of my experience of bullying at school and how it has impacted my body image.

My Experience

Growing up I was very tall, I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb. At school I was bullied for my appearance. At the time I don’t think I recognised I was being bullied despite how upset comments and inappropriate questions would make me feel.

At school I would get changed for PE in the girls’ toilets, wear long sleeved jumpers and make sure my legs were covered during the summer months. I quit sport because I was embarrassed of my body because of comments from bullies. I dreaded non-school uniform days and I sat with other year groups on the bus often to avoid other people my own age.

“I didn’t want to acknowledge I was the person being bullied as I just wanted to fit in”

It felt easier sometimes to laugh along with what someone had said then to stand up to them. It felt like I had two choices to laugh with them or to hide away. The isolation I felt because of bullying made me feel very depressed and lonely.

As a young adult I still have issues with my body image which continues to impact my physical and mental health as well as my relationships with others. It is important we stand up to bullies and don’t be bystanders to bullying.

What has helped me?

I like tuning into other people’s stories through documentaries, podcasts, or YouTube. I have learnt a lot about having a healthy relationship with my body and growing to self-accept my appearance through online sources of information and growing my understanding of mental health. These are a couple of my recommendations:

ExtraGrack (YouTube) – Within Grace’s vlogs you get a sense of her relationship with family and friends. She is a positive role model of how to have a positive relationship with your body and food

I Weigh (Podcast): Hosted by Jameela Jamil – Some of these discussions I find difficult to listen to, I was recommended by my therapist as they discuss body image frequently on the podcast. I would recommend to a friend

Jesy Nelson – Odd One Out (Documentary)– I think most people have watched this already but if not, I would highly recommend. Within this documentary Jesy talks about abuse she suffered at the hands of cyberbullying

 

If you are being bullied , it is important to report bullying to a trusted adult such as a teacher, parent or carer. 

If you would like to talk about your experiences or feelings please see our talking services for Children and Young People: Services ⋆ DMYH Dorset Mind Your Head

If you know someone that is being bullied talk to a trusted adult and be kind to the person being bullied. Try to include them, so they don’t feel isolated. 

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