Last week I read in the Globe and Mail that Japan’s Princess Aiko, granddaughter of the emperor was being bullied by some boys in her school. To the point where the poor girl stayed home from school a few days because she had a “sore stomach”. Now, I know there are copious amounts of literature that exists explaining the psychology of bully: What to do if your child is the bully. What to do if your child is being bullied. Strategies to help a child through the difficult years exist on many a parents nightstand I’m sure. And when we hear of an exceptionally brutal incident of bullying we share our opinions over the clichéd water cooler at work. “It’s society’s fault”. “No it’s the fault of the schools”. “Ultimately its’ how children are raised..”
Whatever the case may be, bullying and it’s various forms have been around since the dawn of man. Sadly it seems the only way some feel they can successfully to build themselves up by breaking someone else down.
When I was a kid I was chunky. Sixth grade was the worst. I was called “Chubby Chicken.” I wanted to be skinny and athletic with a long swooshy ponytail. Instead I was a little plump, I wore farmer rubber boots (you know the kind that are black with red heels and toes) and my mom would cut my hair short and curl it using a Toni home perm. The tighter the curls the better because according to Mom “the perm would last longer that way.” (The adult me would tell my 11 year old me to revel in my originality) The summer before grade seven I grew and slimmed out some. But I still had “chimpmunk cheeks” and was reminded of this almost all the way through high school.
It’s tough being teased and feeling less than normal. I’d never want to live through sixth grade again. I don’t remember talking to my mom about it. But I do remember punching my pillow in anger at night.
I’m sure this experience has contributed to the strengths I have now as an adult. But I know that if I knew there was a princess in the world who shared a similar experience as I it would have made me feel a teensy bit better.
Some little girls may be comforted knowing they share an experience with little Princess Aiko . You can be royalty, and you can still be bullied. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like, how much money you have or how many friends you have. You can even be a princess and still be made to feel small. Which just proves that if anything you shouldn’t take bullying personally. You’re not the one with the “issues”, it’s the scurvy knaves with nothing better to do than highlight their own insecurities and make themselves feel better by playing the palace fool.