I Hope The Girls Who Bullied Aaron Paul’s Wife Watched The Emmys Last Night
Last night, while accepting his third Emmy, actor and class act Aaron Paul used a few seconds of his time on stage to direction attention to a foundation called The Kind Campaign. The foundation, whose website Paul crashed with the flood of post-Emmy hits that headed its way was co-founded by Paul’s wife Lauren. She’s someone with more than a passing familiarity with bullying of this brand: her junior high treatment by her cohorts left her depressed and suicidal, and now she’s out to make the world a better place, a little kindness at a time. I wonder if any of the girls who harassed her in school were watching last night, and if so, I wonder if they clicked over to the site and recognized the girl they’d given so much grief all those years ago?
The Kind Campaign is a step in the right direction. Girls can be pretty horrible to other girls, and most media prefer to egg that interaction on by making woman-to-woman interactions on screen and on the page revolve around competition. If we put others down for being too ugly, too fat, too slutty, too smart, too tall, too poor, too anything-slightly-different-from-the-ordinary, then we can cement our own position as the Good Girl. A reminder to be kind to one another, and that all girls are going through the same struggle together, may not be enough to rewrite the way we view female relationships on its own, but it’s a start. And the more we talk about it, the more this brand of bullying will have a chance to come to the forefront and get some attention.
This kind of harassment is “real” bullying just as much as punching or shoving in the hallway, and it’s incredibly pervasive in schools and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all the other versions of social media that teens are increasingly linked into. I don’t buy into the Mean Girls theory that girls have to stop calling each other sluts, because it “makes it okay” for boys to do the same thing. Boys can mind their own p’s and q’s; I think girls need to stop calling each other sluts because it’s a horrible thing to do, and middle and high school is a horrible enough collection of trials and tribulations already.
I’m glad that Lauren Paul made it through the grade school gauntlet in one piece, and that she has the platform through her class act husband to get attention for this worthy cause. And I hope the people who mistreated her in grade school take a moment to visit The Kind Campaign’s site; and then take its message. Our daughters get a lot of their concept on how to treat other girls from us, as well as from the media, and at home is where we can start working on making sure our kids don’t make the same mistakes we made in our younger, stupider days.
I shamefully have never seen a single episode of Breaking Bad, but before I commit to a multi-season binge, I’m hoping to check out The Kind Campaign’s girl bullying documentary. Mommyish readers, is anyone up for the movie equivalent of a book club?
(Image: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)