12:39pm, 5th February, 2017
Remember that fat kid in your class who was the butt of all your crass jokes or that ‘too short for his age’ kid or that ‘ugly according to your standards’ girl in your class? Or perhaps that guy with not so good English or that guy who was too girly for you to tolerate? Do you remember all those fine specimens of imperfection who served as your sources of entertainment, sometimes even acting as fuels feeding your superiority complex as you derived validation for yourself by ridiculing their flaws? Of course you do, we all do. Most of us have been guilty of shattering someone’s self image to pieces. Many of us, at one time or other have participated in intentional or unintentional bullying . Well , what can we do? The idea of deriving the sense of superiority by belittling others over their flaws is enough to lead one astray.
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People who are insecure and have nothing that makes them feel good about themselves, tend to seek that feeling or justification of being better by making a mockery of other people’s shortcomings. But in doing so, nobody ever thinks about how much pain and suffering thay are putting those people through. People don’t give a single thought to the fact that their actions, their words might induce a constant phase of doubt and self loathing in someone. In their pursuit of fun, often they forget that they might be scarring someone permanently; that they might be ruining their confidence and stature altogether.
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I know what it feels to be ridiculed , what is it like to be the constant topic of jokes. When people stop being sensitive to what maybe hurtful or insulting to you, and you are reduced to the status of a matter to joke about, trust me it feels awful. Since as long as I can remember ( that would be standard 1) ,I used to be the fat ugly girl of the class. I couldn’t understand why but, my classmates found extreme joy in ridiculing my appearance. I hadn’t even realised that it was that big a problem until everyone around me started making my looks pretty much the bane of my existence. I was hurt. I lost count of how many times people made me cry with their supposedly funny , harmless jokes and comments . At first I used to fight, take a stand for myself. Nevertheless, the jeering continued. Then I was told not to be a crybaby. “ Be a sport, laugh along”, they said. I didn’t have an option but to do just exactly that. So everytime someone tried to be creative with jokes regarding my weight or my face , I laughed along. It didn’t make me feel any less insulted. I was spared some awkwardness though. Being a bright student, an all rounder, none of that mattered more than the fact that I was the fat ugly girl. What it did to me? Well, it made school torture for me. My bullies took every ounce of self worth or confidence I had in me. Forget the schoolmates, your relatives never leave a chance to show the heights of cruelty. I’ve had comments like, “ Who would marry her?” to “ Even a dog wouldn’t date her”, spoken straight to my face ( If by any chance the speaker is reading this, know that you are the smallest person alive and please die in shame). I spent a good many years hating myself, dreading the mirror, believing that maybe no one would ever find me attractive. After all these years, I still find it impossible to believe a single compliment.
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But I was able to derive some good out of all this. I certainly learnt not to give a single fuck about what people would think about me. If I am comfortable with myself, no one can make me question my worth and disturb my peace of mind. Not everyone gets their confidence back though. There are a lot of people who go on living their lives with an inferiority complex rooted so deep inside them, nothing makes them appreciate themselves. I see so many people , so unsure of themselves, so worried about conforming to a specific social conduct or characterisation. They loathe themselves just because a few people refuse to be decent and more accepting of their flaws or quirks.
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To all those people who can relate with this, who have experienced this , know one thing, you are what you chose to believe. Do not let other peoples’ perceptions and judgements define you. Believe that you are awesome even if nobody around you cares to say so. You don’t need anyone’s approval or acceptance if you are confident of yourself. So cast your doubts into the drain and go live your life like a boss.
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And to all those people who mock others, who bully others, who think they get to act cool by making a show of someone’s shortcomings or disabilities, there’s a special corner in hell reserved especially for you all. Nobody has the right to degrade another person’s self-esteem. Know that there is a difference between laughing with someone and laughing at someone. And before you even think of making fun of others’ imperfections, make sure you are perfect. Ruining someone’s confidence is a sin. If you are guilty of it, stop it right now and if it’s not too much to ask , apologise to anyone who has suffered because of you. Love people, encourage them and the positivity will reflect back in your life. Do otherwise and Karma will find it’s way back to you.
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