Enough With The Bullying Stuff

One of the big videos on the Internet today is a clip from last night’s episode of X-Factor in which a young woman nervously explains how hard it is for her to even believe she is on the reality TV stage because of all of the bullying she suffered in school, bullying that got so bad that she got a tattoo that says “Stay Strong,” and then she proceeds to belt out a song about how everyone is strong and powerful and great, and it is full of genuine pain. (If you want to see this clip, I bet you know where to find this clip. Hint: everywhere.) People in the audience begin to cry, and the judges cry, and everyone’s basic attitude is “Oh my God, what a brave hero you are, and don’t worry about the haters because now you are a TV sensation.” OK, sure. The song is fine! And I don’t think this girl is making up the fact that she is nervous or sad or that people were mean to her. But can we please stop as rational adults condoning the indulgent notion that everyone should be applauded for simply shouldering the bare minimum of human cruelty? I think there is a real problem in this country with the bullying of homosexual youth, and I think that the Internet opens up new avenues for teenage misbehavior, but beyond that, SOMETIMES PEOPLE ARE MEAN TO OTHER PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY ARE YOUNG, AND THAT IS JUST CALLED “THE WAY IT GOES.” Like, this girl in the video above is allowed to go on television and complain that people should be nicer. She earned it. But that fucking X-Factor girl? NO! ENOUGH! “What a nightmare it must have been for you to be a heterosexual, middle class, decent looking young woman with a beautiful singing voice.” (I don’t know her entire story, but I am 100% confident in jumping to the conclusion that there are way worse stories out there.) I’m sure people teased her in school, but who DIDN’T get teased in school? It is time to grow up, America. Yes, let’s definitely all keep our general instinct to sympathize with “victims” and to urge everyone to be nicer to each other and to strive towards a gentler, more accepting world, but let’s also keep it all in perspective and not applaud people simply for presenting themselves as our most wretched cases when they actually have an incredible number of advantages in a world where most people are dying of starvation or untreated illness. You can’t stay strong if you aren’t strong in the first place. Time 2 toughen up, little babies. Now go out there and sing your song.