We quote the old saying “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” but rarely do we use it when it comes to examining issues of where do mean girls come from or if little bullies are the product of big bullies. Both are hot topics, and adults are in a conundrum as to how to address the issue. In fact, most parents or churches would never want to be held accountable for such behavior, even if the old saying works for producing successful and well-rounded children.
Over the weekend Jennifer Lawrence, a 23-year-old actor who exploded on the big screen in “The Hunger Games,” said in an interview that bullies come from countless examples that women set in Hollywood and the media’s obsession with making it reality.
Jennifer has used interviews as an opportunity to raise awareness about obesity, bullying and the mean girl syndrome, to name a few. Over the weekend she raised some eyebrows when she talked about women being supportive of other women. When asked what upsets her most she answered “when girls are mean to each other.”
Jennifer, who was bullied and called fat, changed school many times during her childhood. She found that this behavior doesn’t disappear in adulthood. In her interview with Access’ Shaun Robinson she said, “I think that we are so unsupportive.” Jennifer went on to describe the way the media creates negative images of women for young girls and women and then uses reality shows and interviews for women to reinforce them. She also said, “Men were doing it hundreds of years ago and now we’ve turned around and we’re doing it to each other.”
We are not in Hollywood or on reality shows but this is a very interesting issue raised by a young woman. It at least begs the question what images are we creating as women of faith for girls and other women and what are the tools we use to reinforce them?
Valora K Starr is director of discipleship.
Photo by zarouk webdesign. Used with permission,