#AskDisha is an advice column run by the editorial team at TeenBook India. The advice given in the column is science-based but general in nature. Parents and adolescents should seek help from a professional or expert for specific concerns or issues.
Hey Disha, everyone at school teases me saying I behave like a girl. They say I am “too girly” because I play badminton and dodgeball (often with girls) and participate in home science projects. I like my activities and do not want to change. But I am sick of being teased. What should I do? Adi, 15, Pune.
The real problem
Oh Adi! That must be terrible for you. I really want to give you a big hug. You need it bro. Adi, so others think you behave “like a girl”? I am not sure what that really means – to behave like a girl. How do girls behave?
Also, the real problem here is – you are getting teased and bullied at school. This is just not right. I know some kids in the school can be really very mean and sometimes cruel too. Instead of understanding that you may be going through a difficult time, they are attacking you and making you feel bad. But worry not, main hoon na! I will tell you what to do!
‘Like a girl’
So first we need to ask ourselves. What does it mean to be like a girl? How does playing badminton or dodge ball or taking part in home science projects become girly? Just because someone said so in the stone ages? Girls do home science and boys do football? This is also what is called stereotyping. Putting tags on activities and deciding which box you will go in. Pink for a girl and blue for a boy! That’s so last century, I tell you.
It’s high time we break these stereotypes now. Guess what Adi, my favorite colour is blue and I love cricket. And as I write this, I am desperately waiting for RCB to win the IPL! Virat is adorbs!
If you ask me, there is no such thing as a boy behavior or a girl behaviour. These are just two genders and how a person behaves have nothing to do with being a girl or a boy. Yes there are good and bad behaviours and what some of your classmates are displaying currently would go in my box of bad!
Stand up for your rights
So now let’s talk about your school bullies. Adi, time has come that you face them. Don’t be scared or frustrated when you come across these bullies at school. The only way to stand up to a bully – is to Stand Up! The next time these bunch of bad kids begin to say stuff to you to tease you, you should look at them in the eye and tell them, ‘Stop it’!
Shout if you need to! But say that out. Loud and clear. Don’t cry, don’t feel weak or troubled. The stronger and unaffected you are in front of them, the less they will trouble you. Yes that’s how bullies usually work. They make fun of you because usually they fear no retort or fight back from you. Tell them to stop again. And then with all your confidence and courage – walk away. Job done!
But let me caution you. It is highly likely that they may not stop immediately. Because they are more in number and you are alone. But confidence and standing up to the bullies helps in backing them off.
If it gets too much for you to handle or the minute you feel threatened – talk to your parents. Go to your school authorities with them and complain. Bullying is a serious offence. They will take strict action against them.
Chances are, that even after you have complained to the principal, the bullies may still try to tease you. So Adi, maintain a safe distance from them and do not let them affect you. Just behave as if they do not exist in the universe! Give them a stern look.
Also, these are just bullies in your school. You may have to face such bullies in future too – college, school, workplace or maybe in your home too! Once you learn to be fearless in front of them – you will never be scared of any bully ever!
Be your favourite
And remember dude, we all – your friends, parents love you the way you are. Do not try to change yourself just because some bad guys around you are not happy with you. Every person is unique. You can’t be like me and I can’t be like you. We are all different and that’s the beauty of life. Also you can’t be happy till you do what makes you happy.
Zyada gyan ho gaya kya? But it’s true!
Adi, many people tell me I should get over my fascination for black t-shirts! It’s so spooky they say! But bro, I tell them to back off and not stereotype colours at least! I am what I am. I am my favourite! I have my own choices And so should you!
Chalo, I have to check out some more black t-shirts online. It’s raining discounts! You take care and do as I have told you! Sayonara!
Got a question or a doubt? Then come Ask Disha! The coolest Trusted Adult in India, Disha, will answer all your queries on Growing Up! Post them in the comments box below or send them to our Insta inbox! Disha will respond to them in upcoming columns. Please remember not to put out any personal information.