Stu wrote: ↑
Sat Jan 30, 2021 3:42 pm
Moon - I think if a child does anything that makes them stand out as being different, they are way more likely to be bullied.
OK, two things about that excellent quote.
1. About 20 years ago, when I first explained to my kids why my clothes looked different from what they may have seen other dads wearing, I gave them a speech about being different. The gist of it was, there is a cost which increases the more you veer away from what "society" considers normal. I encourage you to be yourself, and society's normalcy be damned! If you're just a bit quirky, people will think it's charming and maybe even like you more for standing out. If you're a lot quirky in a way that calls attention to yourself, you become a bully magnet. If you're so far off the beam that some people (bigots) think there should be laws against what you do, you might find your social life limited to very close friends and family who will support you no matter what; you're likely to be openly mocked by strangers in a public setting. And beyond that... if your behavior is so nonstandard as to cause people to stop and stare, you run the very real risk of physical assault up to and including the point of death. There won't be any such thing as "very close friends", and even family might distance themselves from you. So you have to ask yourself: What part of your personality is so integral to you that you're willing to pay the cost, however steep, to assert it? What part of your personality is so important to you that you're willing to practise it at least in secret, but keep it hidden so you don't get rejected? Only you can decide that for yourself, and you have my support no matter what the answer is. Bear in mind, I am myself still so afraid of physical repercussions that I only dress the way I want in the privacy of my own home with only my long-suffering wife as judge, so I could neither demand they fly their freak flag nor demand that they straighten up and fit in.
2. Just this week a friend recommended the cinema adaptation of Roald Dahl's "Fantastic Mr. Fox". I watched it, and quickly saw why my friend recommended it: The son of the title character is... a bit off. Weaker than his peers, given to flights of fancy and odd choices in costume, and hinted at being a bit effeminate. Sound familiar? My heart went out to the lad! Whenever his parents supported him for being "different", they made strange little gestures like they were putting the word in air quotes, as though it were a handicap they must adapt a stiff upper lip and endure.
Just some random thoughts from someone who was "different" enough to be bullied frequently, even without the nonstandard clothing choices being public knowledge.