If your frame of reference for what it takes to be a mean girl is the 2004 flick with Lindsay Lohan, think again. Although the movie had super slim and super beautiful girls as the ones victimizing the halls of their school, a new study found that as of recently, this may not be the case. Bullying has made its’ way to the forefront of our society, so it should come as no surprise that researchers are trying to figure out why… but what they found may surprise you. Or maybe not.
While in the media or maybe even in your own experiences, the way bullying is often portrayed is the “popular” clique or a group of “skinny” girls picking on those who are maybe less fortunate or don’t look the same as they do. We typically see the “mighty” preying on the “weak.” Now, I am in no way, shape or form condoning this or saying that it’s always accurate, I’m just saying what we often see.
Well, a recent study done by Queens University shows that as of recently the opposite has been holding true. According to the study, girls that are overweight are three times more likely than “slimmer” girls to be the ones bullying their peers. If you want to see it by the numbers, “obese girls were 1.32 times more likely to be physically victimized than normal weight females and 1.52 times more likely to be the physical bully.” Basically, the study is showing that when it comes to bullying, it’s often a vicious cycle. [via National Post]
From often being bullied due to their weight, the study found that these girls are essentially switching roles. The victims in a way are becoming the perpetrators and projecting what they went through onto others. If you think about it, being bullied often leads to many people holding in their feelings and that same resulting anger. If we’ve learned anything from the recent surge of young people taking their own lives due to bullying, it’s that talking about what’s going on is the answer — self-inflicting harm or, in this case, inflicting pain on someone else isn’t.
I think what’s important to take out of this is that bullying in and of itself is the issue. Even though the study is showing that these girls that are overweight are more likely to become bullies, it’s also telling you the reason why: because they were often bullied themselves. At the end of the day, it’s important to acknowledge the cycle; the fact that with each cause there’s also a direct effect. The reality is that no matter which side you fall on: victim or perpetrator, slim or heavy, bullying isn’t the answer. The fact that these girls are inflicting on others what they themselves have gone through just shows you how bad the issue has gotten. It shows that it’s time to make a change.
So what do you guys think? Do you think bullying is often a cycle? Any ways you can think of to stop it?