Don’t Let Bullying Bring You Down

Laura Bates is a feminist writer, published in Time, xoJane.com, The Guardian, The Independent, and regularly asked for comment by VICE, The Atlantic, and others. She is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project—a crowd-sourced collection of stories from women around the world about their experiences with gender inequality. She was named one of Huffington Post’s Most Inspirational Women of 2012 and shortlisted for the 2013 Shorty Award in activism. Girl Up is her second book.

bullyingEveryone has been affected by bullying in some capacity.  It is important to remember to surround yourself with a good group of friends who are always on your team.  Girl Up by Laura Bates reminds you that you are always enough.

There are so many different ways to shine. You might shine because you are not afraid to be different. You might shine because you are very smart or funny or kind, very good at reading or drawing or swimming or doing woodwork or being a good friend or writing songs. The way you shine isn’t always the accepted way to be. And the brighter you shine, the more other people can sense it. There are other people around you who might not shine very bright, and the least shiny of them know, somewhere, in some deep, sad part of them, that very soon you will outshine them. And it’s hard to feel that way, so they’ll try to dim your light.

That’s what bullying is. It is people who feel worried about the brightness of their own flame trying hard to blow out yours. People who feel threatened or scared by your light and color and brightness, trying to snuff it out to help them feel less sad and less alone.

Girl Up: Kick Ass, Claim Your Woman Card, and Crush Everyday Sexism

Girl Up: Kick Ass, Claim Your Woman Card, and Crush Everyday Sexism

by Laura Bates

  • Get Girl Up: Kick Ass, Claim Your Woman Card, and Crush Everyday Sexism
  • Get Girl Up: Kick Ass, Claim Your Woman Card, and Crush Everyday Sexism
  • Get Girl Up: Kick Ass, Claim Your Woman Card, and Crush Everyday Sexism

The awful thing is that knowing this doesn’t necessarily make you feel any better at the time. The awful thing is that it can be really hard to believe that there’s any light in you anywhere. The awful thing is that the bully often has other people on their side.

But the wonderful part is that your light isn’t so easy to put out. It might flicker, or even seem to be extinguished for a while, but it’s there and it will burn bright again. Good friends are the ones who hold their hand around your flame when other people are trying to blow it out.

Kindness shines brightest of all.

Try to remember this when things feel hard. It will get better. And it’s much better in the end to be the person with the brightest, shiniest flame, even if it falters for a while, than to be the person who will always only have a flicker to light them through the dark.

Why don’t women help other women? Maybe they are worried about their own brightness but don’t let that get you down.

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