Understanding Sharkeisha: Does Bullying On TV Lead to Real Life Bullying?
Infamous Table Flip Scene from Real Housewives of New Jersey via Bravo TV
Mean girls have existed forever; fighting among girls has probably existed just as long, but Internet/television fighting has taken on a life of itself and I'm ready for this beast to crawl back inside the hole from whence it emerged.
Yesterday my husband and I were intrigued with a movie on Lifetimeabout girl bullying. It prompted me to look up some information on the subject matter and he even got involved and found a website about a documentary that was created to help defeat the negative images of women in entertainment. He showed it to me this morning, and it made me sad. It made me sad to think that our society feeds off of negativity and stereotypical images, while I'm not surprised, I have young children who I'd rather not grow up under such public cruelty.
Last week, I was with my sister, caught up watching something I never thought to watch before, The Bad Girls Club.
For hours, I sat and watched young women beat up on each other and call each other B*tch, during good times and bad and who were obviously emotionally damaged. They seemed to think that being 23 made them an adult but I wanted to hug them desperately, remembering 23 vividly, and tell them it's not just the age sweethearts, with age comes responsibility.
Even once I reached the age of maturity I did not always act as so, but I did not pride myself in being disruptive, I knew that being disruptive was not the way to act. I find myself wanting to hug every teenaged "Sharkeisha, " (whose is depicted fighting in a video that went viral) and her victim and tell them this is not how women should act, but then all I have to do is turn on my television and watch a little bit of reality TV or the Internet, where I can quickly expose my whole household to grown women, fighting recklessly. Not every fight is met with a blow, some of the most senseless things become the butt of arguments that keep women who used to be friends silenced for a whole season. Is this how we really act?
My first answer is, "Yes," to a certain extent, but then I know many women don't behave like this. I've met women in real life, that will argue or post messages on social media about ridiculous things, from men, to writing mean posts about stalking their pages (which I will never understand, because you put it out there on social media to be stalked in a sense). I've met women in real life who will avoid women who are confrontational, I know I will. I know how to be cordial without being engaging, this is something I learned in college when I found out some women are reflections of the old saying "misery loves company."
Last year my 13-year-old bonus daughter and some girls close to her became slightly fascinated with fighting, we had to let her know this was not acceptable, how can we let all of our children know this, even our children whose parents are not involved?
Knowing that we live in a country that can sometimes be fueled by negative comments and actions that are "protected" by our "freedom," how can we truly erase the images of bullying and say bullying is wrong, if we still allow fights to be posted online and/or ratings increase because we are glued to the tube? Maybe we should not watch it at all?
Peace, Love and Unity...