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Equality, Benevolence & Empowerment
for black and ethnic minority
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Teasing and Bullying

Bullying can take place in many forms including: physical assault, teasing, making threats, name calling and cyber bullying (through a mobile phone or online) and can happen anywhere; at school, travelling to and from school, in sporting teams, in a neighbourhood and even in the workplace. A UK Government study by Ofsted found that in schools today, the most commonly experienced form of bullying is related to an individual’s appearance. In primary schools students are bullied mainly on their actual physical aspects such as red head, being tall or small or “fat” or “skinny”. Whereas, in secondary schools, other aspects of appearance come under attack by bullies including hairstyles and clothes. Nevertheless, any form of teasing and bullying about an individual’s looks and appearance can impact a girl’s self-esteem. Although teasing an individual about their appearance may not appear to be as serious as overt bullying; the negative impact it can have on an individual’s self-esteem is long-lasting.

Peer Pressure: 

As you grow up you may experience pressure from your friends to be someone you’re not. However, there is no need to conform to your friends in order to ‘fit in’. It’s important that you recognise your  uniqueness and express your individuality and personal sense of style.Building your confidence to do this can be along process and is best fostered in a nurturing environment.You should therefore remove yourself from ‘friends’ that do not help you to identify your uniqueness and respect you as an individual. 

Significantly increase body confidence and self-esteem in young people.Significantly increase body confidence and self-esteem in young people.

 Spend time discussing with a friend how she contributes to the friendship group for example, she may be a good listener, and compliment one another in order to boost each other’s confidence and celebrate the diversity in your peer group

How to deal with bullying:
If you are being bullied about your appearance, you should seek advice and support from a friend, teacher or family member as no one should endure the pain, fear and isolation of being bullied. It won’t stop unless you speak to someone who can help intervene. 

Tip: It can be difficult coming forward and you may find it easier to write a note to your parents or a letter about being bullied explaining how you feel.

How can you recognise your daughter or a friend may be bullied? 
BeatBullying, an international bullying prevention charity, recommends being aware of the following indicators of an individual being bullied:

  • Physical signs – such as cuts, bruises or damaged clothes
  • Avoiding school – making excuses and feigning illness
  • Lack of interest – in particular to things the individual normally enjoyed
  • Changes in behaviour or emotional state – has the individual suddenly become withdrawn or aggressive

The following highlights particular signs of being bullied about appearance:

  • Changing the way they dress or style themselves in more extreme ways e.g. cutting hair
  • Attempting to cover up her size – like wearing baggy clothes that cover up her figure.
If you have a friend who is being bullied you can provide support and encouragement to take action to stop it. Encourage your friend to talk to the school or a teacher so that she does not feel alone and so that action can be taken to prevent it.

For more details on tackling bullying or for an online chat with a professional mentor please see: http://www.beatbullying.org/


Are you experiencing low self-esteem or have an interest in the topic? 
Come along to our self-esteem workshops delivered in the Ipswich community. Please click here to find out more information and to register or contact PHOEBE directly on 01473 231566

'A Helper of Many'

19, Tower Street

Citizen Advice Bureau Building

Ipswich, Suffolk



Telephone— 00 44 1473 231566