Oh, Taryn … not you … not you …
No To Bullying, a video ode to stopping bullying, opens with a powerhouse bang when several prominent YouTubers admit to having been bullies (as well as bullied) in their pre-YouTube days.
And while the lovely Ms. Southern is just one of many participants in this video, I have to admit I was devastated by her presence here. You see, I was actually that person she bullied back in high school. (deep breath taken here) It has been a long-standing shame, but she used to grab my hand, force me to hit myself and then ask me why I was always hitting myself. It … it … it … it was around that time that I developed this terrible stutter.
Okay, none of that is true — the Taryn bullying me thing or the stutter … I was, um, making an inspirational point about how bullying can be done in many different forms — including lying in new media magazines.
This candid footage was shot by the JessAndMiyaHapaHour channel (probably because someone bullied them about the length of their YouTube channel’s name) and includes moving interviews with Timothy DeLaGhetto, Destorm, Brock Baker, Lloyd Ahlquist, JacksFilms, Mary Doodles, David Choi, the Shaytards, Chester See, Olga Kay, MysteryGuitarMan and many, many, many more.
This 18-minute documentary tells a bigger story than just getting bullied though: too often we get swept up with a crowd and sometimes we don’t realize that we are, in fact, bullies ourselves. I’m sure there are probably a few people out there that feel even my sweet, gentle self is a callous and mean-spirited dick who should experience a pummeling at the hands of someone larger. The reality is that we have all made mistakes in our past (yes, Olga, even you), but it’s really about what we do going forward.
The only problem I have with this documentary — and it’s only a little one — is that “bullying” is so ill-formed a term. Yes, I know that all those phrases screen capped at the top there are what are generally interpreted as bullying, but what is bullying really? Is it as widespread as doing something to make another person feel uncomfortable? That seems too general and witch-hunty. Sure, it isn’t only taking lunch money, but is bullying only intentionally hurting someone’s feelings? Or can you bully someone accidentally?
I think the idea of getting rid of bullying is a beautiful one — I just think we have to establish ground rules for what is really bullying and what is just a handsome new media writer doing his job and telling people when their video sucks.
This video doesn’t suck, by the way. In fact, this should be one of those videos they make kids in schools all across the country watch — it’s that powerful and resonant. Good work and thank you for the emotional honesty, everyone involved!
And JessAndMiyaHapaHour : I really do like your YouTube channel name. It isn’t too long at all. See, no bullies here!