To the right is a picture of my beautiful niece, Alyssa, who was and has for some time, been the brunt of a bully or two. When I talk to her I feel like I am talking to 13-year-old me, that’s right 13, so hands off buddy!
Anyway, when we were talking about her problems at school I told her, that she couldn’t be any less pretty, but she could pretend she is less smart.
This kid, I’m sorry . . . this gorgeous young woman, is also incredibly intelligent. I cannot begin to express how truly proud I am of the woman she is becoming. It doesn’t help at all that I see myself in her.
So much so, that those bullying problems, are all too familiar. It took me a long time to realize that being smart, knowing the answers, participating in class, getting good grades and reading are all demonized.
In some places more than others, but why is it that people are quite honestly, hateful, to those who are smart and enjoy being smart?
I had the unique advantage of returning to college after taking a seven-year break after high school.
Here’s a Little Background
I LOVE school, I really do. In third grade, I had a cold and refused to admit I was sick, because I did not want to miss school – I caught pneumonia and from what I remember, it was pretty bad. I was never the popular kid, always picked last in gym, you know the one.
In early elementary school, I was “Kacey K-Mart” and in fourth or fifth grade it became much worse and somehow morphed into a horrific rumor that I had AIDS. Lice rumors were pretty common to alienate kids, and I “had lice” a few times, but with the AIDS rumor . . . not a soul would even speak to me. With lice I could say, “oh yeah, I got rid of it,” knowing that I never had it in the first place . . . the AIDS rumor . . . boy oh boy, was it traumatic. I had been completely alienated by all of my peers, and what was worse is that the one friend I did have, went to private school that year.
I have to say, that was one of the lowest points in my life . . . then came middle school.
We moved around a lot when I was a kid, so in Middle School, thankfully no one knew about the AIDS rumor. Unfortunately I carried the weight of the rumor with me. I befriended the one girl who needed a friend the most, another victim of bullying. I did not know this until I joined her and became an outcast by mere association. Middle school was not nearly as bad, although I did get accused of being gay.
In eighth grade though, I did something horrible. I decided that I was not going to continue to receive these bully attacks, I associated the attacks with the first person I befriended at the school . . . and I ditched her.
I wouldn’t talk to her, would not hang out with her. I pretended that I did not know her anymore.
I made a new group of friends and I refused to let her become a part of it.
It’s wrong I know. I won’t even try to make excuses for why I did it. I knew it was wrong, and I did it anyway. I just couldn’t take the attacks anymore and being friends with her – sent the attacks my way.
In high school, we moved again. New school, new friends . . . new life.
Even though we moved, I was never the popular kid. The hard part was that everyone came with their own groups. This time, I befriended other new students and my last four years were not so bad.
Still, I was not free from ridicule or judgement. High school is likely where my niece and I can relate the most. I say that because I know that no one is spreading rumors that she has AIDS. She merely experiences jealousy in her peer group. I am sure it doesn’t hurt that she is also a cheerleader and a very good one at that.
In high school. I was the smart kid in some classes, and not in others. I had already begun to dumb myself down, to become apathetic and in many ways my potential to become what I am today was cloudy at best.
After spending time in plenty of work environments and being away from the bullies for years, I went back to school in 2008, determined and studious.
It did not matter to me whether I people accepted me or not. I was determined to shine, unfortunately my shining, came back to bite me.
In a psychology course, the bullies came back. This time, it wasn’t who I was friends with, or how I dressed . . . it was because I read the chapter the night before, participated in class . . . and aced the test that everyone else bombed.
The back row hated me. There were whispers, snickers and hateful glances sent my way. Thankfully, none of it was confrontational, but it was then that I came up with my ten second rule. If the teacher asks a question, I give it ten seconds before I answer. If I am the only one with the answer, sometimes I just remain silent to prevent answering too much.
I know, that I cannot be the only one who does this. I know that other people are sitting back, pretending to be less intelligent than they are. But why? Why is it that we would rather be beautiful and ignorant, than be smart?
Gorgeous, fashionable and dumb
Incredibly smart and more down to earth and simple
When do we ever see a banging hot smart chick? Or even better, just a smart person who is admired.
The media does a great job at showing our youth, which one is more desirable. What girls should aspire to be. That being beautiful is more important than being smart. And look at these girls . . . is one not just as beautiful as the other? Even so, if given the choice . . . would you rather be dumb, beautiful and popular . . . or smart?
Why is it not “cool” to be the smart kid? Why is it that no one is trying to make it that way either? With all the shows that have adolescent stars . . . I cannot think of a single one where the smart kid is the most popular? Now, I do not watch much television, so please, correct me if you know of one. But I highly doubt any exist.
If we want to stop bullies, we have to make learning the competition. We have to show kids, that if they aren’t making good grades, they aren’t “cool.”
If television can teach kids how to dress and how to behave, then why can’t that behavior be learned? Why can’t sitcoms show that the smartest kid is the most popular kid?
And even better, that the kid is popular, because he or she helps the other kids get better grades as well. That everyone comes to this person and surrounds this person, because they want to be just as smart, just as talented and just as well liked because of it.
Why is it that we can’t have a show with a super sexy nerd, that everyone is obsessed with? Tell me, why can’t the nerd, the geek, or the academic be the one that gets the girls or the guys?
Think about it. We have been indoctrinated to loath, or even self loath the intelligent. The smartest of the group is the outcast. But why? Why can’t we change it? We in theory have the power to change anything. Don’t be so naïve to think that the world does not in fact, change.
Can we change the idea that the most attractive thing about a person is how intelligent they are? Not how well they dress or how beautiful they are, but how smart they are?
It saddens me that our culture has in many ways, devalued intelligence. It is more important to be beautiful than it is to be smart or talented. This isn’t just an American problem either, this problem transcends to other countries as well. In 2008, when China hosted the Olympics, one girl sang while the other girl stood on the stage.
Beauty over talent. That is what is most important, isn’t it? That we are beautiful first and talented second. That our beauty is our talent?
Please . . .
Open your own eyes and see that this is not the way we should be living. That we as a people care more about how beautiful someone is, than how smart or talented they are.
To me it just feels, well backwards.
And I know, that being smart and pretty . . . is exactly where the hatred comes from.
Sorry LGBT movement, you guys aren’t the only ones getting bullied around here. In fact, it quite frankly infuriates me that the concept of bullying, and awareness against bullying has been focused directly at homosexuality. That is not to say that they are not a part of the bullied group, and that they do not deserve to be treated like human beings. Of course they do.
It infuriates me because it leaves out everyone else. It focuses purely on the fact that homosexuals are bullied. Trust me . . . the smart kids get picked on. In fact, I think we are the originals . . . so I am not sure how it morphed, but I am about to lay some logic out there for the world to see.
Herein lies the premise that: Intelligent or Educated people are unlikely to bully or ridicule homosexuals or anyone else.
If intelligence becomes the most valuable asset for a person to have, bullying will no longer exist.
Thus, we will eradicate all bullying when we have reached a society where intelligence is valued and shared.
Have you ever been the victim of bullying? If so, why were you bullied, or why do you think you were bullied? Have you ever been the bully? IF you have, why did you bully or shun someone? Do you think if you were educated about that person, that you would have bullied them? Why or Why not?
Are you also someone who hides how smart or intelligent you are? If you are, why do you do it?
Thanks for stopping by the Middle Brick Road, I hope you enjoyed this post. My name is Kacey and I am really big on health and all things natural – freedom – politics and bringing change by abandoning the boxes we too often put ourselves in.
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