When children watch celebrities on stage or in a movie, they often think that these people are the luckiest in the world. In reality, many of them have suffered the same way or even more during their teen years. Rihanna was bullied for not being “black enough”, Chris Colfer was stuffed into school lockers and Jusitn Timberlake was constantly called a sissy for choosing music over sport.
Unlikely the above mentioned celebrities, our generation is experiencing a slightly different problem – cyberbullying. And although it is pretty much the same, there is one difference. Kids don’t see each other, there is no face-to-face contact, which makes them a sort of immunity. This article is dedicated to those parents wishing to inspire their children to stand up to cyberbullies though the stories of the today generation teen celebrities.
Multi-platinum recording artist and the youngest judge on “X-Factor” is one of the most active participants in anti-bullying campaign. She admits to be heavily bullied in school because of her weight. She suffered from both bulimia and even anorexia. In her latest interview she shared her bullying experience: “I was changing clothes after gym, when one of the older girls accused me in stealing her clothes, which I didn’t. More girls came, the “bully type girls”, who were bigger than me, who were ready to fight. I ran out of the locker room and hid in the bathroom while the girls were still chasing me. Fortunately I had a cell phone to call my mom and ask her to pick me up”.
She also underlines that cyberbullying is even worse as there are no teachers or parents to help. “These things should be monitored with a help of parental controls or even manually” she says. According to her words, the most help bullies victims are seeking is to be heard and supported. She says that anyone who stands up for a victim in a real life or online can become a hero for that person.
A scandal celebrity and a famous singer/actress has suffered from bullying as much as other children or even more.
She says: “I went through a time where I was really depressed, I even locked myself in a room so my dad had to break my door down”. She also confessed that her bullies were girls only, challenging her to fight by pushing and calling her names.
Right now, she takes an active part in “making Twitter a better social media for celebrities to stop negativity cyberbullying brings”. She also says that while it is understandable that people who hide under their computers cannot be taken seriously, it should be prevented in any possible way. Miley is not afraid to speak out, although she has been bullied by a great number of people. She managed to ignore negativity, by writing a book “Miles to go” where she tells all about her school years and bullying experience.
There is probably no point in saying who Justin Bieber is. Today teen-star, singer, dancer and as we see an active anti-bullying activist. He firstly reached out to the audience concerning bullying and cyberbullying problems on the Ellen’s Show in 2010.
He said: “You should help out because you can be next”. He also admits to be bullied at school because of his sport achievements: “Whenever I was better at something than others, I was bullied, they called me show-off. And I also didn’t have many friends ever since I can remember. You just have to support others, don’t ignore when notice others being bullied, stand up for others”.
Big part of Justin’s concert program is dedicated to teen’s problems. He even asked Casey Heynes, a YouTube hero who stood up to his bully in Australia, to join him on a stage. Justin admits that he is constantly experiencing all types of bullying, the latest being “Men Health” magazine with Justin being on the cover. The article opens with words that Justin is only famous because he has managed to steel attention from girls by becoming one of them.
Selena is a famous teen actress/singer who has shared a lot of personal stories about bullying and online bullying. She said that ever since she was a kid she was bullied by the elders because she was in show business. Things got only worse when she started dating Justin Bieber- an icon for teenage girls who were screaming with hate and jealousy towards Selena. The comments she receives cannot but shock anyone who still believes in something.
The latest message she received on Twitter was from a girl who said:”I hate you, I hope you and your family have cancer and die”. Conversely to other celebrities who have been bullied, Selena’s suggestion is not to retaliate and stop bullies with kindness.
What parents and teachers can do to prevent cyberbullying:
- Educate children. Explain your child that cyberbullying can seriously hurt its victims and even cause committing suicide
- Monitor online activity. You shouldn’t doubt your child but you should be aware of the mean and hurtful massages your child receives. There are parental control apps that allows monitoring social media activity and IM chats like Viber, WhatsApp and Skype to prevent cyberbullying. In addition you can see their real-time GPS location by setting geo-fences like "home" and "school". Each time your child leaves or enters these places you will receive a massage. Check out this parental control geofence feature yourself.
- Set examples. This article is a proof that children not only are capable of overcoming cyberbullying but manage to become famous and successful. Show these examples to your children to inspire them to stand up to online bullies and support its victims.
By writing some words below, you are showing your support and letting everyone know they're not alone.