Some call it a rite of passage, all part of growing up. Students picking on those they deem weaker, less attractive, perhaps poorer, or just plain different. The bully may get big laughs and feel like they’re more powerful for a moment but think about the psychological and emotional impact these events have on young, vulnerable, and impressionable lives. It’s not just those who are picked on, think about the mental effect on the bystanders who did nothing to stop it, or how these events shape the bully’s future personality.
Now in 2013, a new form of bullying has profoundly changed many lives. They call it Cyber-bullying. Google “Amanda Todd” and learn about the ultimate consequences. Social media and smartphones, which have become a perpetual extension of our lives, allows a non-stop assault of damaging words leaving many feeling trapped. Today’s post highlights three artists who were moved by letters from fans to speak out. With the healing power of their music, these songs educate, offer hope, deliver positive affirmations, yet don’t sugar coat the intensity of the situation.
“SKIN” SIXX AM
James Michael, the lead singer of Nikki Sixx’ side band, heard a story about a girl named Amy who lost both of her legs in a tragic skiing accident. Many of us have experienced physical hardships, medical conditions that have brought us down. James was deeply moved by her story and wrote Skin about Amy’s story. Nikki loved the song and added it to their This Is Gonna Hurt CD. The powerful song speaks of never feeling ashamed of your physical condition, your true friends will see beyond the scars. Your inner beauty shines brighter and more beautiful to everyone you meet.
“F’ING PERFECT” PINK
In a world where flawless supermodels and celebrities dominate our media, there is an unrealistic expectation of perfection today. If you don’t have the latest clothes, if your style is a little too different from your friends, you can quickly find yourself an outcast. In young fragile minds, self-esteem issues are already a dominant concern in their life. Add in the impact of peer pressure and it becomes a rollercoaster of drama that plays emotional havoc with their heart and mind. Pink grew up understanding these issues of alienation, depression, and wanted to make a video to “ruffle some feathers” and generate some controversy about a very important and timely social issue.
“MAKE IT STOP” RISE AGAINST
The song includes the tagline, “September’s Children“. Rise Against’s song spoke about judgments and hatred based on your sexual orientation but the bully mentality can be applied to any situation. Teen suicide is sadly still on the rise. This song screams, “Make it stop, Let this end“, then drops the names of Tyler Clementi, Billy Lucas, and Cody Barker, who each took their life in their teens. But this anti-bullying anthem flips the lyrics to now describe making this nonsense end NOW in the closing lyrics:
Make it stop.
Let this end,
All these years pushed to the ledge.
But proud I stand
Of who I am
I plan to go on living
A controversial short film that has won 10 international movie awards. It was shot in Australia and runs about 14 minutes. It’s incredibly moving. Regardless of your personal views, it’s become a worldwide issue that deserves more media attention before we lose more young lives.