Bullying

Many of us have had experiences of being teased about the way we look, or talk or because we wear glasses or because our names are different from others.

 

Teasing, unfortunately forms a part of most of our lives & many normalize it possibly due the same reason- that most of us go through it at some point!!

 It impacts us in ways we don't even know about. 

  •  Was there a reason why you constantly feel the need to check yourself in the mirror?

  • Why did you start using a nick name?

  • Why do you need to try multiple outfits every time before you go out and feel so frustrated that you don't look good enough?

               

So what is teasing? 

  • It is any deliberate provocation made by one person to highlight something of relevance such as physical attributes or particular habits or any other less than flattering observations, to another person. 

  • It can be from a family member, friends or even strangers.

  • Unfortunately, the effects of teasing aren’t temporary, but last long into adulthood, and vary depending on the role of the person in the bullying situation.

  • It has been associated with depression, academic drop out, body dissatisfaction and poor self- esteem.

 

If you are a victim or even a bystander to teasing that occurs around you, probably it is time to stop trivializing it.

Contributed by: Athulya Jayakumar, Clinical psychologist & Co - founder at Therapeute 

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Media & the body 

Oh sheesh I should lose weight!

What is the best diet?

Oooo curls are the new style!

 

A large part of what determines the way we feel about our body (and hence sometimes ourselves) is from the media around us. It plays a huge role in setting standards of beauty – what is acceptable or not. The ideal female as constructed by mass media is mostly young, tall, thin and fair with at least moderately large breasts. But what does seeing an ideal hourglass figured actress in movies or your friend’s perfect holiday picture or a celebrity’s workout video do to you? Most often than not, people are comparing themselves to the images they see on media and judge themselves as being far off. What you see on TV or FB creates the idea that a slender beauty ideal or a fit muscular body is not just an enjoyable fantasy based on digital technology but rather is normal and healthy and is achievable through personal dedication. Exposure to such content often also feeds into the belief that beauty equals happiness and worth and it will bring forth happiness, success and well-being.  There is abundance of research that highlights the detrimental effects of having a dissatisfied body image. 

 

So, do we stop using media? That unfortunately might not be a solution. Here are a few strategies that can be adopted into our routine lives to limit the harmful effects of media:

  1. Unfollow accounts that may be triggering or encouraging comparisons- even attempting this change for a few weeks will help you notice changes in your thoughts, feelings and attitudes

  2.  Modify the time spent on media – most apps come with a feature of monitoring time spent on it- Use it!!

  3. Keep up with accounts that promote healthy living with factual information – might also be worth actively seeking out content that has nothing to do with appearance, fitness or exercise.

  4. Avoid speaking negatively about your body- especially in real life

  5. Become more media literate- The more you understand the workings of media, including how its manipulated to lock in its viewers, the higher capacity you have to critically judge the information presented to you.

Contributed by: Athulya Jayakumar, Clinical psychologist & Co - founder at Therapeute 

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Video Resources

Dr Athulya Jayakumar, discusses what is bullying, its types and its impact. 

A short activity to help us reflect on how bullying affects us 

Chotu : It's still bullying !