She’s perfect. She dons the latest clothes, shows off manicured nails and flips beautiful, glossy hair. She’s overly confident, popular, smart and good at sports. Adults love her.
This is the sketch of a teenage girl bully. The mask hides her M.O. well.
She makes people feel worthless next to her, and loves doing it.
The disguise tricks adults so well that 85 percent of girl bullying goes without intervention.
Girl vs. girl bullying runs rampant through our society: a girl is bullied every seven minutes.
Everybody has seen the movie Mean Girls — and it’s very funny — but unfortunately it’s highlighting a serious problem that permeates high school hallway culture everywhere.
And girl bullying is a completely different animal than boy bullying.
A boy bully is easy to spot. He’s a brute. He’s bigger than everyone else and gets into fistfights in the hallways.
Not to say that boy bullying is not a problem, because it is, but girl bullying is completely different — it happens in the silence of a classroom via a note passed between friends, or a giggle when someone stutters over a word. And it can be traumatizing.
Girls spread rumors, gossip and exclude others as a means of retaliation. They use their relationships to inflict harm and manipulate peers.
But, as said previously, it’s hard to spot. Last year, a juvenile civil protection order was enacted to help teens in abusive dating relationships and when several counties saw an influx of girls filing against girls, many were surprised.
But it’s honestly not that surprising.
Girls who are bullied feel like they can’t escape. No matter what they do, the social stigma created by one “mean girl” will always follow them. A girl has enough self-esteem issues in high school as it is, so the bullying does not help.
So when this civil protection order came around, many girls saw it as an escape from the relational torture that they have experienced.
But basically, all this civil protection order is really doing is highlighting a problem in two avenues of bad relationships.
One — It is good that the law is finally helping to protect girls in abusive dating relationships, however, girls still aren’t coming forward because they don’t understand that the relationship is a bad one.
Two — this is not helping the bullying situation. Simply by taking out a protection order against another girl is not going to keep said girl from bullying others.
There needs to be intervention and mediation and teachers need to understand what to look for to stop it.
It’s easy to say that this new method isn’t working, but it’s not easy to determine how to fix it.
The answer is very unclear, but it should start with educating people. Too often, legislators try to fix the problem after it becomes a problem, when really it needs to be fixed before that.
Alex Stuckey is a senior studying journalism and assistant managing editor of The Post. Send her an email at email@example.com