Teen bullying has finally been getting the attention it deserves in recent years as an issue that should not be tolerated under any circumstances. Unfortunately, there is still a long way to go before teen bullying is dramatically reduced. Teenagers suffering from acne frequently find themselves an easy target for bullying, abuse and ridicule from their peers.
The good news is that people are increasingly speaking out about their experiences with bullying, showing teens that they are not alone in dealing with this issue. Some brave teenagers are sharing their success stories, hoping to serve as role models for others who are still suffering in silence.
Bullying Intensifies the Emotional Effects of Acne
Teenage years are the beginning of ‘self-discovery’ where young people start the process of trying to find their place in the world. Developing self-esteems are still very fragile with teens often feeling desperate to fit in with their peer groups. With a high premium placed on physical appearance, a teenager with acne will encounter a heightened sensitivity about his or her appearance.
If others begin taunting and name-calling, the blows to self-confidence become more deeply ingrained and more difficult to recover from. Getting rid of acne fast is often a paramount concern for sensitive teenagers because of the emotional damage associated with acne sufferers in general.
Bullying has negative side effects on other aspects of a teenager's development as well. In an effort to avoid the taunting, a teen will withdraw from social activities, missing out on developing friendships, participating with their peer groups as well as a chance to start exploring relationships with the opposite sex. Schoolwork and grades can also be impacted dramatically if a teen reaches the point of wanting to cut classes just to remain out of sight.
Even Celebrities Are Not Immune to Bullying
Pop sensation Miley Cyrus has talked about her extreme self-consciousness as a teen due to bullying brought on by her acne. Her depression became so bad that she locked herself in her room, forcing her father to forcibly break the door down.
Actress Karen David, who has appeared in movies such as Batman Begins and Couples Retreat, was already a target for bullies based on her gypsy –like childhood spent moving from India to Great Britain to Canada. When she developed acne, she began hearing names like "Chocolate Chip Cookie." Today she says she has largely put those days behind her, but she still cringes at the painful memories.
Today's Success Stories
Teens who have successfully overcome the negative effects of bullying are coming forward with their stories to give hope to others who share their experience.
- Cassandra Bankson became a viral hit with her YouTube video demonstrating her acne cover-up tips. A year later she walked the runway as a model for clothing line Boy Meets Girl at the prestigious New York Fashion Week.
- Harriet Page was a British teenager who was called "Dart Board" by her fellow students. After effectively treating her acne, she became confident enough at age 18 to enter a local beauty pageant.
If you’ve had to endure bullying because of acne, it's certainly a difficult road to travel but you don't have to go it alone. There are support groups and other resources available to provide advice and encouragement. Take heart from these stories and recognize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.