It is hard to believe that this generation, attributed with acceptance and socially liberal concepts, is the most vicious in regards to bullying. Here’s why: In high school, students are old enough to use insults that strike right where it hurts while victims are at one of the most emotionally vulnerable points in their lives. These ingredients create the ideal environment for bullying. But, damaging remarks don’t stay in school anymore. Instead, they swarm the internet and cellular networks, deepening the wounds of bullying. These new technological advances for bullying, leave the victim unable to escape the horror of being constantly judged. Some victims are strong enough to persevere while many are completely broken. Unfortunately, too many of these young people are reduced to a dark place where they see suicide as their only escape. These incidences are rapidly increasing with nearly half of all suicides among 10 to 14-year-olds due to bullying. It seems that headlines reading, “bullied teen commits suicide” are showing up more often, with the length of time between each incident shrinking.
The fight against bullying is stronger than ever, though, and it is gaining momentum. One of the sole leaders of this movement is cultural phenomenon and super star Lady Gaga. The title track of her multi-platinum, sophomoric album “Born This Way” sends the message of not being afraid to be your own unique individual by saying, “I’m beautiful in my way ‘cause god makes no mistakes, I’m on the right track... I was born this way.”
The super star New Yorker will be launching the Born This Way Foundation on February 29 at Harvard along with her mother, Cynthia Germanotta. The foundation’s goal is to combat bullying, stating its mission to “empower youth” and “inspire bravery.” Teenagers like Abby, 18, think that the singer is “taking her talent and fame and doing something productive with it.” Abby went on to say, “Bullying has been around for ages, and not nearly enough has been done to help stop it. Gaga’s message of being who you are and not letting anyone get you down about it is important for everyone to learn, internalize and live.” Certain teenagers who have been bullied in the past like Ariella, 17, “think this foundation is incredible and raises the perfect amount of awareness.” Lady Gaga is on a mission, and with the most followers on Twitter (twenty million) and almost fifty million Facebook fans, she has tremendous support to reach her goal.
Editor’s note: This article is part of our ongoing coverage of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, which Elliot will be covering live tomorrow from Cambridge. Elliot participated in the competition for aspiring High School journalists, receiving over 700 mics on his debate!