Anti-bullying

Go Girl! Kylie Jenner Launches Anti-Bullying Campaign

Kylie Jenner, the youngest member of the Kardashian clan at just 18 years old, has had fortune, fame, and an unhealthy amount of attention for most of her young life. She accidentally launched the #KylieJennerChallenge, which inspired young people to suck on shot glasses, bottle caps, and hairspray lids to get those puffed-up KJ lips – which she recently and abashedly revealed are helped along by lip fillers. #awkward

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However, Kylie has recently been using the considerable (and quite frankly dangerous) amount of influence she has on young minds to launch an anti-bullying campaign on Instagram. The agenda is labeled #IAmMoreThan, and aims to examine the stories of a number of people who have suffered from bullying.

Kylie posted on Instagram: “I am so excited to launch my new @Instagram campaign #IAmMoreThan. For the next six days, I will be sharing stories of 6 incredible people who have become heroes in their own way by taking #bullying and turning it into something positive. I’ve gotten to talk and bond with all of these people whose stories you will see on my page. I think you will all fall in love with them just like I did. I want to encourage you, my fans, to share something positive about yourselves. I’ll be reading as much as I can so that some of you can be a part of this as well! Let’s do this #IAmMoreThan #StopBullying”

At first glance, you may think this is a bit rich coming from a girl who has seemingly grown up with everything. Looks, money, opportunity; everything that people who are victims of bullying often lack. However, Kylie Jenner has actually been bullied every day of her life, by complete strangers. You only need to glance at the comments left on her social media sites to see that. She revealed through a series of Snapchats that she has been bullied from the age of 9, and feels like that sometimes it’s from “the whole world.” Considering how long the limbs of social media are nowadays, she has a definite point.

True to her word, Kylie has revealed her first victim. 21-year-old Boston college student, Renee DuShane, suffers from Pfeiffer syndrome; a genetic disorder that affects the growth of the bones in her face. She has had a number of surgeries, including one when she was a baby to allow her brain to grow. When Renee was 18, she posted an unedited, makeup free picture and message of positivity, #loveyourself, on Tumblr, which went viral. Three years later, it has inspired Kylie Jenner, and she has reached out to help Renee spread her message.

Kylie Jenner, Kardashians, Instagram, anti-bullying, social media, fame
Renee DuShane

When her first story went up on Monday, Kylie posted: “Renee is so strong willed and a super intelligent girl who told me that while growing up she never had many issues with bullying. ‘I went to school with all the same kids all the way through high school. Right around senior year, I started getting very anxious about having to explain my condition to all of the new people I would meet in college. I started going on Tumblr and saw lots of profiles of positive, confident people’ that inspired her to start sharing her photos even with her insecurities.” The response to it has been extremely positive.

I think we need to give Kylie Jenner her due on this one. Although the Kardashians tend to be constant sources of casual ridicule, this is an initiative that could genuinely do some good. Kylie is right in the thick of the social media generation, and is of an age that is relatable to young people who are victims of bullying. Of course, haters gonna hate, but let’s put aside the Kardashian stigma for a week and allow this good-hearted campaign to do its thing.

Images via Independent.co.uk and Designtaxi.com

September 3, 2015

Online Safety and Cyber-Bullying Tips For Parents

With our kids glued to their laptops (or smartphones, or tablets…), it’s hard for parents to know exactly what they’re doing online.

Even more troubling, recent statistics from Telstra show that 52% of young people regret posts they have made online, and 82% did not realise the long-term impact of their posts. And now that the new school year has started, the challenge for parents to protect their kids from cyber bullying has never been more important.

Telstra’s Manager of Cyber Safety, Shelly Gorr, said that today’s culture of online sharing has changed society’s notions of privacy forever and that it is important to equip children with tools and advice to participate in the digital world safely.

“Ongoing conversations with your children about cyber safety essentials such as when to share personal information online, handling approaches from cyberbullies and applying social network privacy settings could avoid a lot of regret in the future,” said Ms Gorr.

Rosie Thomas, the cofounder of anti-bullying and leadership organisation Project Rockit, said the Telstra research shows that children heading into the schoolyard armed with digital devices should be empowered to stand up for themselves and others online.

“Social media and the internet is an awesome place for breaking down social barriers and harnessing people power to do the right thing. We need to give young people the tools to make the most of everything the internet offers, including the strength to stand up and be leaders in both the online and offline worlds,” said Ms Thomas.

Here’s how to deal with online safety and cyber-buylling without alienating your kids:

1. Talk with your kids about their digital lives and let your children know you’re always there for them.

2. Protect personal information – teach your children how to turn on privacy settings.

3. Encourage children to ‘think before they click’, to think about content and the consequences of posting it.

4. Be an offline supporter. Encourage kids to have some screen-free time each day and turn off devices at bedtime.

5. Teach kids to treat others the same way they’d like to be treated online and be zero-tolerant to rude or mean online behaviour.

6. Don’t just talk about the right thing to do; be a role model with your own digital habits.

Have you spoken to your kids about online safety and cyber-bullying? 

February 4, 2014