My new mantra. It keeps me from biting people’s heads off.
I suppose that “bullied” isn’t quite the right word. As anyone who wears alternative clothing knows, it’s never just one person taunting you or yelling things or making rude remarks all the time, it’s a bunch of random people doing these things every now and then. Most of the time I can’t say the people who insult me do it more than once. As a disclaimer, I’m not a professional. If you’re really having problems with being verbally assaulted or especially if anyone has harmed you physically, find the nearest authority figure you can. In school, teachers, counselors, and principals can help with that sort of thing. If you feel threatened anywhere else, go straight to the police.
That being said, I’ve had a lot of flack thrown at me this semester especially, and I thought I share a little bit about it and what I do to counter it. The first thing I notice is that people don’t think you’ll react. We dress like innocent dolls, and most of the time they think that they’re going to get away with whatever they do because we are innocent dolls. Which obviously, we are not. We are living, breathing people with feelings who get hurt or pissed off if you say cruel things to us.
It’s also important to sometimes realize that people aren’t trying to insult you. Calling you a name like Strawberry Shortcake or Bo Peep may seem offensive to you, because obviously you’re not trying to look like that character. However, sometimes people honestly don’t mean that as an insult. I’ll give you an example. There was a guy, kind of a skater looking kid I would say, who called me Bo Peep on the way into my school’s cafeteria. I rolled my eyes at him and said “I’ve never heard that one before.” Because frankly, I get that a lot and I really don’t like it. He apologized and said that he didn’t mean any offense, that he liked the way I was dressed. However, earlier in the semester a girl had come up to me with a few friends and asked me “Where’s your sheep?” which was obviously meant as some sort of insult due to the wording and her tone. Most of the time, people have no clue why you’re dressed that way and it’s easy to forget that. So try to infer with tone and language whether or not people are intending to make you angry.
A lot of the time though, it’s pretty obvious when people are trying to be rude. Screaming from cars and taking pictures without asking for example, are pretty obvious terrible behavior. Now there are a couple of things you can do. You can ignore it, for one. I don’t find this easy though, personally. I’m not a naturally very angry person, but I think by now, the 18 and older students on my campus should have enough common sense and decency to be marginally polite. My option is to confront the situation. I would not do this were I not acutely aware of my surroundings though. If I am alone, I make sure that I am either well out of distance (easy if they’re in a car) or that there are plenty of people around. I’ve never had anyone try to physically harm me, but it’s always a possibility to keep in mind.
And now for my patented two-step program, Megan Deals With Stupid People!
Step One Tell them that they are being rude, and politely ask them to stop.
Step Two If their response is negative, insulting, or just plain mean, say “Fuck you!” and if applicable, especially if they are in a car, flip them off.
…I’m such a good roll model! Really though, that’s typically my process for dealing with these sorts of people. I don’t outright jump at them yelling like a banshee or something, that would be a terrible idea. I try my best to deal with them with dignity and poise, but almost always they’ll just respond with more stupid comments or ignorant name-calling. If anyone yells at me in a car however, I will automatically yell right back at them. The interesting thing is that most of the time, people are so shocked after that they just give me an open-mouthed stare and wander off.
The most important thing is to try not to let stuff like this get to you though. Remember, just because you dress differently does not give anyone the right to insult you. They simply don’t have the self confidence you do and enjoy making those who are happy with who they are feel bad. Also, I would like to have a conversation with each and every one of their mothers to tell them how rude their children are. Mine would never stop being angry at me if she ever heard that I had called someone a name at 22.