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Combating Bullying One Blue Pinky Nail at a Time

October 24, 2012

Article and images by Darlene Vincent, Girls on the Run Atlanta’s fall intern from Georgia Gwinnett College

While the Internet has many positive attributes, one of its negative qualities is that the Internet is a vehicle for cyber bullying—a form of bullying that is dangerously on the rise. This week, this Gwinnett Girls on the Run team discussed the issues and hazards surrounding bullying–including cyber bullying–and learned about Secret’s Mean Stinks campaign. Overall, the girls explored the many forms of bullying and acknowledged the numerous negative effects that can occur, including sadness, loneliness, lowered self-esteem, and even depression. Most importantly, however, these Girls on the Run girls also learned how to take a stand against bullying.

These 3rd-5th grade GOTR girls also discussed how gossip can be another form of bullying and learned that their mouths are like tubes of toothpaste, while their words are like the tubes’ contents. Once someone says anything, those words cannot be taken back, just as toothpaste can never be put back into the tube, no matter how hard one tries. This analogy taught the girls to be mindful of everything they say.

In addition to gossip, the team talked about other forms of bullying, which include cyber, physical, verbal, social, and emotional bullying. The girls acknowledged that bullying can appear in almost any form, from mean texts or social media comments, to hitting or stealing, to name-calling or purposely excluding someone. In light of these bullying tactics, the team addressed ways to combat bullying, including going to an adult for help or befriending a lonely or bullied girl.

It’s no secret–gossiping and bullying stink. In response to this stench, Secret, one of Girls on the Run’s national sponsors, began Mean Stinks—a campaign that encourages girls of all ages to “gang up for good” in order to end the bullying pandemic. In reference to Secret’s message that “Mean Stinks,” this GOTR team took the “blue pinky swear against bullying” challenge to show their support for the cause. With painted pinky nails, the girls pinky promised each other that they would not gossip and would band together against bullying; this team also joined the ranks of countless other girls and even female celebrity role models—like Glee’s Amber Riley and The X Factor’s Demi Lovato—who have painted their pinkies blue and pledged to fight the battle against bullying. For more information on Mean Stinks, check out our blog post on the campaign or visit Mean Stinks’ Facebook and Twitter.

“Wouldn’t it be cool if we could start a movement of nice?” –Amber Riley

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