On Pink Shirt Day
About Pink Shirt Day
In 2007, in a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada a group of students organized a show of support for a fellow student who was being bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school. As a show of support, the organizers distributed pink shirts to all boys in the school.
Since 2007, every February 28th people in offices and schools across Canada wear pink to show support for those who are being bullied. You can read more about pink shirt day here.
This years theme is 'nice needs no filter' and highlights the importance of being kind to people online. This theme aligns exactly with how we feel and why we started Filter Free Fitness.
My Experience with Bullying Growing Up
In elementary school and Jr high I was bullied. I've always been socially awkward, so didn't really find anywhere that I fit in. I was a scrawny kid with a really bad hair cut an big glasses so kids weren't exactly kind. I have always been a geek, and finding other kids who liked the same things as me was really difficult.
For fans of the show 'Bob's Burger's' - I was basically Tina Belcher growing up.
It wasn't until high school that I seemed to find a group of friends that appreciated me for me. I still find myself nervous meeting new people because I am so worried about how they will judge me, or if they will find my geeky weird personality to be off-putting. I am really glad that I went through all this bullying before social media became a thing, as my home I was able to at least get away from it all. Although we don't have kids, I do worry a lot about the impact of social media on today's youths and the impact social media must be having on those who are being bullied.
Bullying and Body Image
We live in a world of judgmental people, and sometimes people are really unkind. This is especially true online. There are certain social media sites I refuse to post any pictures of myself on since Brian once posted a picture of a before and after of us and it was moderately traumatizing. People said I was still fat, was ugly, asked him why he was still married to me etc etc etc. Eventually we chose to change the settings on that account so that it was only a photo platform that his reddit account can link to. Comments from the crowd like this are so hurtful and I cannot imagine having to deal with this while trying to go through my teenage years, I know how deeply I took every word to hard that people said when I was younger.
Both Brian and I struggled with our body image growing up and unfortunately, those body image issues didn't magically disappear when we got to a healthy weight. We still struggle with body image issues issues and probably will for a long time, but the support we receive from family members, co workers and friends when we talk about our story helps so much.
The Great News Is
Initiatives like pink shirt day exist. People taking the issue of bullying and the impact it has on mental health seriously is so important. We are happy to add our voice to this conversation and spread the word that bullying people online or in real life is not okay!