Bullying in Nigerian society must end

Being fat, obese or physically challenged now seems like the worst disease in the world. Nigeria is not excluded and this is due to the speed with which fat people or people with disabilities are treated by the community, their peers, even by teachers, families and friends. It’s unbearable. They seem to be treated like outcasts or like nobody. Being tall or handicapped is not a matter of choice, but a matter of circumstance. Some children get their size by heredity; that is from their parents and families and some are just born big while some with disabilities were born that way and some disabilities were caused by circumstances. Bullying and body shaming involves humiliating a person by making inappropriate or negative comments about their body size or shape. Bullying can be physical, verbal, emotional, cyber, etc. It must stop so that the great leaders of tomorrow can grow. If a child is born and is not fed or not fed properly, it will not grow and can even lead to the death of such a child. This means that if bullying and body shaming of people, especially youth, students and youth is not stopped, our chances of becoming a better nation will be hindered.

It is heartbreaking to see that most of the bullying, which is usually caused by the urge to shame the body, takes place in school, be it kindergarten, primary, secondary or tertiary. Every school year is an opportunity for children to make new friends, learn new things, grow and enjoy themselves along the way. For some, each passing year means adding to the wonderful memories and experiences of the previous year, but for others, each day becomes a terrible nightmare. Why do you ask that? The relentless and unrelenting culture of bullying and body shaming makes it difficult for them to get out of bed and drag themselves to school. Bullying and body shaming can negatively affect the mental health and well-being of children and young people. The experience introduces depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem that eventually engulfs their lives.

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A young girl once told me how bad she had been bullied at her school and I was stunned by what I heard. I think school is a place to learn. It is a place where the trained experts teach children good moral behavior, add more wisdom to their instincts and help them determine the path they want to follow to make the world, the people around them and their environment a better place, but this is not necessarily the case. This young ghost was even ashamed of the body and was bullied by her teacher, all because of her large size. She happens to be a kid with weak emotional strength, so she couldn’t help but get those insults. This act closed off some of her dreams and abilities. This girl was also bullied by her peers during recreational activities and sports. She loved football and basketball, but that skill was knocked out by her peers. She could normally become one of the best female soccer players of her time or basketball player, but now she says she’s even ashamed to walk or talk in society, let alone engage in any sport. .

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Being a physically handicapped child can also be called a problem. Just because a child is physically handicapped does not mean that his or her mentality, brain or thinking is handicapped. Many dreams and passions are cut off because of the way the community and the people in general talk and interact with great persons and also physically handicapped persons. They are also humans and should be treated as one, not an animal. People need to be educated about the damage that is being and will be caused if they don’t learn to deal equally with everyone around them. Stop killing lucid dreams with your mouth and behavior. The pain experienced by tall people in the community is the same pain that disabled people go through. Physically challenged and large in body size is something unique that makes these people stand out. Stop treating them like aliens. These people also have brains, great ideas that can improve every life around them and the country in general, but when they are ridiculed and emotionally abused they will not be able to and they will also be emotionally weak and traumatized. They will not be able to be the change they are meant to be. Society must take into account the harm caused by bullying and body shaming.

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Although everyone has a different ‘home training’, everyone has a conscience and can distinguish right from left. Now you hear kids singing at school meetings that they are tomorrow’s leaders, which is true: but how do you want them to be leaders when their self-esteem and courage that should facilitate their leadership role are reduced to zero percent just because they have either a large body size or they are physically challenged. Many people are also bullied for other reasons such as being poor, being thin, having a low educational or academic qualification, and so on. All this must stop for a better future and a better Nigeria. This op-ed is intended as a voice for the bullied and oppressed. Let there be a change. For Nigeria to be a better place there has to be a change and the change starts with us. Let’s treat others the way we want people to treat us.

  • Adegboyega, a mass communication student from Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State, is doing an internship at the Nigerian Tribune

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