Taylor Swift’s Mean Used in Anti-Bullying Video
Since it’s release, Taylor Swift’s hit single “Mean” has become somewhat of an anti-bullying anthem to her fans all over the world.
Just yesterday, my dad told me a story he read in the newspaper of yet another 15-year-old committing suicide as a result of being bullied in school. He said to me, “I just don’t understand why kids find it amusing to hurt other kids.” After thinking about it for a while, I had no answer.
I feel it’s more than coincidence that just hours later, I came across this video using Taylor’s inspiring words to help promote an anti-bullying cause. It was a sign that I needed to write this post. It’s sad to say that we now live in a society where it has become safer for a young person to skydive out of an airplane, then it is for them to go to school, but that’s reality.
This is why autism advocate, Jesse A. Saperstein, a former bullying victim, has decided to create this video and campaign, Free Falling to End Bullying in 2012, in conjunction with the Anderson Center for Autism, to promote awareness of just how serious bullying can be and how by joining the cause, you can help save lives. Saperstein suffers from Aspergers Syndrome, a mild form of Autism, and while he has overcoming a lifetime of being bullied, many sufferers of the same condition have not.
The video provides us with some startling statistics, inspiring speeches, and stories from a group of bullying victims, including Saperstein. It all leads to the finale in which Saperstein takes his plunge from an airplane.
Some statistics from the video that really jump out:
- 94% of children with Asperger’s syndrome face peer victimization, including bullying and gang attacks
- 84.6% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed and 40.1% reported physical bullying
- 45% of gay, lesbian, or bisexual youth attempted suicide, compared with 8% of their heterosexual counterparts
- 20% of a surveyed group of 11-18 year-olds admitted to being cyber-bullied
The statistic that jumps out most (from the press release):
A child is 98,000 times safer skydiving from 14,000 feet about the face of the earth than going to school.
I encourage you to watch the video and really think about the consequences of your actions next time you think it’s funny to play a prank on someone else, or make fun of them for being different. And if you’ve been victimized, be strong. Someday, you’ll be livin’ in a big ole city, and all they’re ever gonna be is mean.