Wednesday 29 April 2015


Reader Celia asks for advice on a problem of bullying and self-confidence… and Skye Tanberry offers her thoughts...

Celia says:
I am getting bullied at the moment. I am quite chubby and I wear glasses, and maybe that's why the bullies have picked me out, I don't know. It's not just boys but girls too who pick on me, they say that nobody likes me, they call me names and say I'm fat. The truth is they're right, and I know it. They say I'm a loner too, but if that's true then they are the reason for it. I am sick of being bullied so I am trying to eat less, but now they've told my friend I said bad things about her and my confidence has gone through the floor. Please help me.

Skye says:
Actually, you sent your email to Summer, but I wanted to step in and answer this one. Most people know that Summer suffered from an eating disorder - I suppose she is still suffering from it, but she is doing very much better now. It was a nightmare to see my twin so lost and scared, and to watch her wasting away before my eyes. So when I see someone talking about losing weight to fit in and not be bullied, it frightens me… be careful, please. Who says you are overweight? The bullies? Trust me, a bully will use any label to attack someone, and often the labels have nothing to do with reality. I don't believe you have a weight problem, but if you think you do please see your family doctor for advice and follow a healthy eating plan and NOT a 'diet'. Dieting is dangerous for teens and can lead to eating disorders. I think what you really need to do here has nothing to do with food or diets - talk to your year head and get some help to stop the bullying. Call ChildLine on 0800 1111 for more help and support - but DON'T listen to the spiteful name calling. Bullying sucks, so get some help to sort it; eating problems suck too, so please, please don't let yourself be drawn into one.

Cathy says:
I agree with Skye… I don't think that losing weight would stop these bullies, but speaking out certainly should. Be brave - keep a record of their attacks and slurs and go to the teachers. Have YOU ever been bullied? What would YOUR advice to Celia be? COMMENT BELOW to tell us more...


  1. One of the most important thing to remember is that often the bullies are picking up on things that people they bully are confident in, but the bullies themselves don't like about themselves.

    Try keeping a diary and screen-shotting and saving messages if the bullying is over social media. This could be used as evidence against bullying and supports your case against them, because proof is harder to gloss over.

    Also, try and remember that you are free to be you- if you are happy in your own skin, then that is all that should matter. The media is a vital tool in women's perceptions of how they look, and often use a lot of false representations to enforce that there is only one way you "need" to be, when in reality everyone is different and only the minority fit the 'normal' view.

    I'm classed as a loner because I was bullied and grew apart from the friends I once had. You do eventually fall in with more people that you get on better with.

    Speaking out changes things not just for you, but for the people the bullies could go on to target in the future. You can make more of a different by standing up and speaking out than caving in.

    Please don't diet, you can end up with lasting health problems if your body doesn't get the nutrients it needs. I have lasting bone and cartilage damage to my knees where it didn't form properly, because I wasn't getting the nutrients I needed through not eating as a result of bullying. It now means I have to walk around with knee supports on, and may have to have artificial knees put in when I am older, as it is permanent and irreversible.

  2. I know that if you hear something enough, you start to believe it, and that's pretty tough when the things you're hearing are so mean. But just think; what if these bullies feel that way about themselves? Most bullies are miserable or angry with their own lives, so lash out at others to make themselves feel better. You should just know that their problem is probably not your fault. Cathy is right, keeping a log of their insults is a good way of releasing your frustration; showing it to a parent or teacher will help them to help you. I did this when I was being bullied by my "friend", but I didn't show it. When we had our big fight after she'd humiliated me in front of my friends in the year above, I felt like I was the one to blame for it all. Then I looked back at all the things she'd said to me, in this fight and outside of it, and I realised that I wasn't the one with the problem; she was. That stopped me from going back and apologising for HER bullying, and it allowed me to make some genuine friends.

  3. I would speak to someone Speak to your Parents you are Perfect!Don't let People Bring you down Pick your Self up and Don't let them Drag you to their level Everyone has a voice so speak out tell someone speak to someone you don't need to lose weight you don't have to change and if you do then they will think they have won and Hassle you even more because they know they have won speak out and tell a teacher and if they don't sort it then that's when you turn around to them be strong you can fight this xxxxxxx

  4. To Celia,

    I have been bullied too, and I have learned a valuable lesson. The bullies are always WRONG! You don't need to try and lose weight because the bullies will find something else to worry you about. After years of mild bullying, I have discovered an amazing way to ignore it all: pretend that there is a force-field around you every time you are near them. When they throw an insult at you, let it bounce off you and back to them. Also, please report it and speak to someone you trust about it- bullying is serious! I hope this advice helps you! Please stand up to them and never ever let them win!




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