It’s a big mistake to tell a bullied tall teen girl that the mean kids are just jealous of her height.
How many times does it occur, in any given school month, that a tall teen girl is told by well-meaning family and friends that when she gets ridiculed for her height…it’s because the mean kids are “just jealous”?
Really, I’m serious. The “they’re just jealous” mantra is played over and over, all throughout the land, by friends and family of the self-conscious tall teenaged girl, in an attempt to make her feel better.
- But do you really, really think the “they’re just jealous” chant works?
- Where is it engraved in marble that when a girl finds a particular trait in a classmate appealing, this turns her into a bully towards that classmate?
Think about that. A teen girl with pin-straight hair notices that a classmate has glorious natural curls.
What’s the straight-haired girl most likely to do? Poke fun at and taunt her classmate’s curls?
Or compliment her and say something like, “Gee, my hair is so limp and flat; you are, like, SO lucky to have naturally curly hair!”
So if a short or even average height teen girl would love to be tall…don’t you think it’s far more likely that she’d compliment her Amazon classmate rather than bully or insult her?
“To tell a bullied tall teen girl that her bullies are just jealous of her height does not help the victim deal with her own insecurities,” says Misty Rosier, a licensed clinical mental health clinician out of Utah who has worked with teens for 15+ years and is a frequent presenter on the topic of bullying.
“The victim sees right through this as an attempt to make her feel better rather than address the real concern and an appropriate response to the bully.
“There are clear physical elements of the bullying to address; the victim needs to be empowered through confidence development. They will see right through any other approach as ‘babying’ them.”
Perhaps friends and family of the victim fall back on the “they’re just jealous” routine because, quite frankly, this is an easy and fast way out of having to help the victim deal with the problem. People think that those three words will work like magic.
Truth is, they never work. That’s why they have to be repeated over and over. And they still don’t work after a thousand repeats. It’s an insult to the victim’s intelligence.
Think back to when you were a teen (if you already aren’t currently). Imagine a classmate who has a physical trait that you envy. Would you be mean to that person simply because they had an enviable trait?
Of course not! This is insane! If anything, you’d butter up to that person, whether the trait was hair color, eye color, a slim build, a muscular build, a tiny waist, long legs, long hair, a flawless complexion…
- WHO makes fun of a classmate’s perfect complexion out of jealousy?
- WHO pokes fun of naturally long nails that don’t break out of jealousy?
- WHO ridicules extra height out of jealousy? It just doesn’t work that way.
Stop telling tall girls that her bullies are “just jealous.” This is really getting old and is one of the sorriest attempts to help a troubled individual gain self-worth.
Instead, encourage her to get involved in activities that empower. As a martial artist and fitness enthusiast (and former personal trainer), I highly recommend martial arts and powerlifting.
In addition to bullying, Misty Rosier has expertise in working with grief and loss, relationship struggles, and addictions such as to video games and social media.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.