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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality

Tag: bullying

Apr 3

How Iowa City Schools Revolutionized Bully Reporting

Posted By iamincontrol | April 3, 2018

Have you ever witnessed someone being bullied, but didn’t feel comfortable taking action? Whether you were scared the bully might hurt you for standing up or start bullying you for tattling, we all have been there. Fortunately for students in the Iowa City School District, there is a new solution. Students can now text @Bullying or @SafeSchools to a certain phone number. It directs them to a reporting form that they can submit anonymously. The school counselor receives the digital form without a name on the report. The counselor and/or principal then take action to address the situation. How easy is that?\

Want this in your school? Talk to your teachers and show them this video:

Nov 25

You Find Out Who Your Friends Are

Posted By iamincontrol | November 25, 2014

teenage friends
By Molly

You will find out who your true friends are when you are in high school. The friends that back you up and are on your side no matter what, those are your true friends. I struggled with finding my true friends. I went through the phase of wanting to hang out with all the popular girls from my class.  I soon became a part of their clique and all I worried about was what my plans were for the weekend. I began to be rude to my parents and flat out mean to anyone that tried to talk to me that wasn’t part of my ‘clique’. My three best friends that I grew up with noticed the change and didn’t like it. They told me that I was turning into a stuck up that would do anything to please my new friends.

I soon began to notice that my ‘new friends’ were actually rude to everyone. They didn’t care about the other people. They wanted to make fun of them and gossip. This showed me that I was better than that and that I should be nice to everyone. I stopped hanging out with them, and my parents and friends noticed me going back to how I was. You realize that your true friends will bring out the best in you. They will still support you no matter what decisions you make throughout your life.

You are in control of finding the right friends for you.

Oct 14

My Journey to Self-Acceptance

Posted By iamincontrol | October 14, 2014

smiling teenage girl
By Jingyuan

For a very long time, I used to think I was ugly, morbidly obese and a creature of the shadows – neither to be heard nor seen. I was two hundred and forty-two pounds at just seventeen years of age. Today, I feel very comfortable with my weight, but my smile serves not only to show my appreciation of myself and my body image, but also to hide the many scars and wounds I have had to endure for most of my life. I am beautiful, regardless of what other people think. I know and believe this to be true. Anyone out there who has been told that they are not attractive or pretty enough, simply because of their body image, their shape, their height or anything related to their body, should remember that they are beautiful.

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Aug 14

Self-Esteem & Cheerleading

Posted By iamincontrol | August 14, 2014

By Anonymous

My sophomore year of high school I made the varsity cheer squad. I was the youngest on the team. This meant my close cheer friends were not there with me anymore, and I was with the older girls. I didn’t know much about them, and I was not included like I was on the other squad. As if this wasn’t hard enough, I was given a nickname calling me fat. I only weighed 100 pounds, so it was meant to be a joke, but this label caused me to have body image issues.

I did not have problems with weight because I was always active and ate a well-balanced diet, thanks to my parents. But being called such a name really upset me. I began to think my size was not socially normal and that I needed to gain weight fast. I did not want to be picked on anymore. I didn’t like the attention, so after practice I would go home and eat large quantities of food. It made me so uncomfortable, and then I would freak out because I was emotionally and physically overwhelmed.

I knew what good nutrition was, and I had a healthy relationship with food until those girls, who should have been role models, made me feel bad. Letting others shape me through their actions is something I am ashamed of. This caused me to have a poor view of my body image, leading to reduced confidence in myself and not wanting to be different within my social groups. This one name did not just affect me when I was with those girls; it affected my everyday life and my everyday decisions.

My self-esteem and health were affected, and this is something I never wanted anyone to destroy. Because I laughed and didn’t stand up for myself, this joke seemed acceptable to them. The harm of words is not temporary; it leaves an everlasting message with the individual. Through being a positive role model and a good friend to all, I aspire to be different and encouraging. Check out this website for fun, helpful information regarding a positive body image!

Aug 12

Having the “Chicken Pox” from Ages 7-15: A Journey to Loving Myself

Posted By iamincontrol | August 12, 2014

teenage girl
By Anonymous

Growing up, I had a lot of health problems. My biggest issue was a skin problem. I was itchy all the time, covered in sores from head to toe. People were always asking me, “Do you have the chicken pox?” Some people just stared, and others just blatantly asked what was wrong with me. Since I always got these questions and weird looks, I began to hide my body by wearing sweatshirts and jeans all year round, even if it was 100 degrees outside. I could not handle the looks and questions I received from people. It would cause me to break down crying.

No doctor could figure out what was wrong with me. One dermatologist said it was eczema, another said it was atopic dermatitis; others said it was allergies, and some believed I just scratched myself because of anxiety issues.

Since no doctor knew what was wrong, I just told people I had the chicken pox. It seemed easier to tell them I had the chicken pox than say, “No one knows what’s wrong with me.” Otherwise I would scare people away. I told everyone that from the ages of 7 to 15.

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Aug 5

Defying Gender Stereotypes: Muscles are Beautiful

Posted By iamincontrol | August 5, 2014

Girl lifting weights
The results are in!

Last month we asked you guys:

How often to do you see peers participate in activities that are not typical of their gender?

You said:

  • I see it all the time – there aren’t any activities that are “typically” for girls or boys anymore. (0%)
  • Sometimes (50%)
  • Hardly ever (25%)
  • Never (25%)

Here at IAMincontrol we think you should feel free to participate in any activity you enjoy, even if it may not seem “normal” for your gender.  We love Jessica’s take on this below!

By Jessica

I began weight lifting in high school. I did not participate in basketball like most girls, so to keep myself in shape I began using the weight room after school. Often I was the only girl in the weight room, surrounded by sweaty guys throwing weights around.  In order to better fit in with the guys, I began to lift heavier and more often. I saw that they accepted me more and were impressed by what I could do. However, a few girls in my grade commented on my arms or legs and said I was getting “too muscular.” I was proud of my achievements, but I didn’t want to look masculine because that is not what ladies look like. I continued to lift weights, but I focused less on large weights and more on repetition, which resulted in leaner muscles and the “toned” look that girls want.

While I still continue to lift and occasionally will lift heavier, this experience stayed with me and has stuck with me in current weight lifting practices. I’m glad that I started to lift because it led me to pursue an Exercise Science degree and teaching fitness classes. I wish I would have stood up to the girls who made fun of me then because I love my body, and I work hard for my muscles. Every body is different, and whether they have big or small muscles, they are beautiful.

Here’s a website to help when dealing with bullies and a Facebook page for girls embracing their muscles – check them out!

Jul 10


Posted By iamincontrol | July 10, 2014

Teenage girl
By Natalie

During my high school experience, I went through a lot of emotional issues that made me the strong person I am today. I specifically had a very hard time with bullying and aggression from girls I had once called my friends. It got so bad that things were thrown at me in school. I had Facebook pages created about me, and no one wanted to be my friend. This all spewed from a simple argument between my close group of friends (girls I had been friends with since elementary school) that spiraled out of control. I finally had enough. I became very depressed and refused to return to my high school.

I spent a year in and out of hospitals and treatment centers for my depression and emotional issues. Although this experience was extremely traumatic and life changing, it also impacted my life in a very positive way in the end. From this, I learned to be extremely forgiving and realize that some people just don’t know how to treat others. You cannot blame yourself for that. I also learned that no matter how hard a situation may be for you, there is always someone who has it worse. You have to remember that.

I have slowly become a much more mature and strong person from the events that happened throughout my time as a high school student. I am now the happiest I have ever been, and in a sense I am thankful that I went through such a hard time in high school. It taught me what a true friend is and what it means to be a true friend to someone else.

Visit the resources below for help and more information on bullying and depression:

Your Life Iowa
Love Is Louder
It Gets Better

Also, check out these other IAMincontrol posts on bullying and depression:

Overcoming Bullying & Depression
Battling Depression
Unexpected Motivation

Jun 12

My Experiences with Bullying

Posted By iamincontrol | June 12, 2014

stop bullying
By Samantha

During high school, I was emotionally and verbally bullied. As a result of this, I had low self-esteem and did not have a sense of self-worth. You may have been bullied, have witnessed someone being bullied or have been a bully yourself. The presence of bullying is likely an everyday occurrence at your school. It could be physical, verbal or emotional. The results of bullying are devastating. It can make a person feel inadequate, worthless, depressed, and angry. The list goes on and on.

I was also a bystander. I would not speak up when I saw another one of my peers being bullied, I would just sink into the corner and avoid the situation. Thankfully, when I was bullied, someone spoke up. My family was there to encourage me and lift up my spirits. They reassured me and reminded me of the solid foundation I stood on, that it did not matter what those other people said or claimed about me. Who were they to judge? I did my best not to allow them to keep me down. In the beginning, I never truly stood up for what I believed in, and I allowed the bullies to win in that way.

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May 15

Growing Up in South Korea: Bullying

Posted By iamincontrol | May 15, 2014

Stop bullying
By Anonymous

I want to talk about bullying experiences I had in my country, South Korea. I was bullied twice in my life. The first bullying experience was when I was in middle school. I used to be a figure skater back then. Because of practice time, I didn’t go to school often. My peers were jealous of me not going to school very often and getting advantages from being an athlete. I didn’t have any friends in my class. I didn’t care at first, but later some of girls wrote my name with cussing words on the field in front of the school. I was so shocked that I was being bullied for that reason. I assumed it was because I was an athlete; I still don’t know exactly why they hated me so much.

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Apr 10

Overcoming Bullying and Depression

Posted By iamincontrol | April 10, 2014

Teen girl
By Jenna

Being the target for bullying and dealing with depression were two of the hardest obstacles I have ever had to face.  I am writing this post with a smile on my face because I am proof that although these are difficult times, they can be overcome and life does become easier.  If someone had told me this in eighth or ninth grade, it would have been difficult to believe.  No matter what your age is, and no matter how sad you feel, remember there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I remember feeling alone, very sad and unloved during these times.  I also remember wondering if I left this earth if anyone would miss me.  If anyone reading this is asking this same question, the answer is always yes.   You are a unique person who is special in different ways and loved more than you know.

In junior high, I started hanging out with different people, and my best friend at the time did not like this.  Rumors were spread on both our ends.  However, my ex-best friend took it to another level.  There was a big sleepover at a girl’s house, and I was not invited due to the rumors.  I had a few friends over.  The large party kept calling me, screaming at me, bullying and leaving harsh voicemails.  My once so-called “friends” had called me every name in the book, informing me that no one liked me and everyone thought I was a “whore.”  I remember bawling the next day, wondering what I did to deserve this.  At school, I did not feel comfortable talking to anyone and I could feel people whispering about me when I walked by.  This situation, along with a few other tough times such as my close sister moving to college, and seeing my how my uncle’s suicide affected my father and family, spun me into a deep depression.  I would eat everything in sight, hoping that would make me feel better.  I became very obese.  I stopped enjoying activities I used to love doing.  I did not talk to anyone and did not feel myself.

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