Not all the time and not everyone, but it’s trending… teen meanness.
I’m not the first to say “School is a jungle”… Prompted by Housegoeshome’s recent post on redheads I thought about how carelessly cruel the teenage world is. It reaches a brutal peak in High School…I notice it in the classroom, the playground. Life is tough if you are chubby or have:
- red hair
- big ears
- a big nose
You are reminded of this feature daily and can feel self-conscious, inadequate and even apologetic for not being skinny, pretty, popular or cool enough. Few can bluff it out or give back as good as they get. Most nurse their wounds, silently, painfully. Most turn it in on themselves; victim-blaming is rife. Occasionally a victim fills with hate and punishes the world, picks up a gun and takes out their persecutors. Thankfully this is very rare.
Chris Lilley’s Ja’mie as Queen of Mean, takes nastiness to a whole new level. Her special brand of vicious is reserved for borders, lesbians and Asians. Horrible stuff. It’s satire, but so close to the truth my daughter and I cringe. She relates, she is a teenager. She too was victim to bullying. I’ve written a teen novel on this subject, and a blog post – ‘The Party’ – about bullying by exclusion.
But this post is too heavy and I’d like to finish on a lighter note, narrating a typical conversation with Poppet, my daughter. She isn’t very mean, except to her mother.
On makeup, especially eye-liner – a subject I tiptoe around. Not even a boy on the train crying “Child prostitute!” has limited her application of eye-liner.
Weary parent: Darling try not to wear so much eye-makeup, it isn’t appropriate for school.
Poppet: I look horrible without it.
Eager parent: Nonsense, you are beautiful – a lovely, natural beauty – you don’t need a scrap of make-up.
Poppet: You won’t leave the house without mascara and lipstick.
Sheepish parent: That’s different, I’m old…I need it.
Poppet: You’re a hypocrite! You told me you wore makeup to school when you were a teenager.
Oh why was I so open with her? She uses my candour against me!
Do you or your children have any experiences of meanness? Have you navigated your way successfully through these?
Linking up with Essentially Jess today for IBOT 🙂