What makes you think you have the right to pass judgment over me?!

Recently, while watching a New Zealand reality TV show, the issue of online harassment and bullying was brought up. The people involved in the program were portrayed in a way that painted them in a negative light. People took to the internet to shed their views on these people which included hateful and judgmental remarks. Unfortunately, it’s an ever-present topic here in New Zealand, and around the world.

Have you ever experienced online bullying? I have. I’ve been the subject of indirect online bullying. Similar to these reality TV stars. And I’ll tell you, it’s not nice at all.

Let me rewind quickly to my high school years. I was never very physically active and I was more on the chubby-side. I wasn’t obese yet wasn’t exactly skinny either. I was often called fat and would look in the mirror disappointed at myself. I had low esteem and struggled every day. I don’t often share this information because it still hurts to this day.

Now fast forward to my first year of wrestling. I was rocking crop tops and skimpy pants. A bit of a change from high-school-me. You’d think I must have had all the confidence in the world to rock that outfit. I did not. 
You see, in re-watching one of my matches online one night to make notes for improvement, I came across the comments section. Unfortunately, what I read in the comments was not uplifting. There were comments about my appearance and my weight. According to these people, I was too fat and ugly to be in the ring.
Every day, I struggled to come to terms with my weight. I would punch my stomach in frustration and cry myself to sleep some nights. ‘Why couldn’t I just be skinny like all these other girls? Why was I cursed with the ugly stick?’ I would ask myself. I let these people’s comments eat at me for a long time. It was when I started talking to others a bit more about the issue that I realized, I had let these people who don’t even know me control my life.

I’m not sure why people think it’s okay to write hurtful comments or to “bully/harass” other people online or in life. We are probably all guilty of it at some stage in our lives too. I’m certainly no angel but it’s not ok. It’s never okay to put another person down. In my opinion, people bully for one of 3 reasons:

  • They’re jealous
  • They have low esteem (they knock you down to make themselves feel better)
  • They have nothing better to do

I would love to say there’s some magic trick for getting over bullying. Unfortunately, I’m still working on that myself. I don’t put up with bullying anymore and stand up for myself and others. I try to stop myself from contributing to bullying by watching what I say, where I can. And I try not to laugh at inappropriate comments because by doing so, it’s indirectly supporting it. Unfortunately, I still struggle each day with my weight and appearance. It’s something I don’t know I will ever be okay with.

What I would suggest if you are being bullied is to talk to someone. Don’t retaliate. Don’t allow these people to control your life, your thoughts or your esteem. You don’t deserve to be treated badly by anyone. For help, the NZ Police website has some very helpful links and advice on what you can do. You’re never alone. Please join in the conversation in the comments below or email sks.ipw@gmail.com.

10 thoughts on “Bullying”

  1. I had no idea you struggled with this Sarah but it just goes to show that no matter size or looks someone is going to have something to say and honestly if they can't use "fat" or "ugly" they'll use any one of the many other labels out there that they think might cause hurt. It's not an easy thing to deal with but the more we speak of bullying the more understanding we can all gain from its effect on people and potentially diminish the power of its impact. Love your strength of character and courage of conviction. Just keep doing you Sarah because gosh you're inspiring.

  2. Thank you Samantha. Having you as a friend and a support through a lot of this, whether you knew it or not, helped me to get by. Your incredible ability to stay positive and look to the bright side was a great influence on giving me that will to keep going. Behind every woman is an equally incredible woman inspiring, supporting and empowering her to keep going. I'm grateful I have you behind me at all times, even from afar xx

  3. Sarah, the first time we met you we saw a lovely shy young lady and felt blessed that Liam had met you, as we progressed through our visit to NZ and saw more of you we both increased our admiration of you, subsequently learning of your sporting life and reading your blog we are both convinced that you are an inspiration to the young people in NZ, God bless you and just be yourself. x

  4. Thank you. That's incredibly sweet of you. It was such a pleasure meeting you both while you were here. Looking forward to seeing you again soon. Hopefully on your side of the world next time 🙂

Leave a Reply to Sarah Smith Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.