Amanda Todd Age 15 Committed Suicide – Why?
Guest Blog by: Jordan Blum
Last Wednesday a teenage girl named Amanda Todd, 15 years old, committed suicide after a year long battle with bullies. Her untimely death is something we all are to blame for. While we were all going about our lives, she was going through hell. Why wasn’t something done? Who is to blame? What could have been done? What will we do now?
I see this video and am enraged at all the hate in this world of ours and for what? Why are we so cruel and why can’t we all take a moment to feel? Pain does not just happen. It is the direct result of action!
The kids who tormented her for apparently showing her breasts - where are they now? Are they proud of what they did? And how about their parents? Are they proud of their children? Is this the way they raised them?
When a life is cut down in such cruelty we immediately search for someone to blame. As if to be able to point a finger and say… “There is the problem. It’s them that are behind this”.
But in reality, we are all at fault. This society that we create… it condemns an innocent child for simply being normal and curious. The problem is with us. With all of us!
Those who do the bullying are not the only ones that should be punished. What about those who are too afraid to take a stand and do what’s right? How about the countless people who could step in at any time along the way, but don’t? Should we blame the parents and educators whose job it is to educate?
It is so easy to blame others. But blame will not bring this beautiful child back, nor will it stop future atrocities!
So what can we do? How can we stop this from happening again? It is happening today in schools, homes and places of business all over the world. We all see it, but how many of us can honestly say that we tried to stop it?
I started YNA two years ago because I felt that the naturist movement should be more about the people and less about the nudity. For me, the movement should be about teaching people about feelings, emotions, acceptance, understanding and sensitivity. Now more than ever I feel as though there is an impending need to break through.
We are all insecure, scared, worried and in search of a safe place where we can be who we are. What we say or think means nothing without action, and it is our everyday actions that define who we are!
I am outraged that this beautiful soul lived on the same earth as me, and yet her piece of earth was hell. I can’t help but feel responsible, every time something like this happens.
So from this day forward I beg of us… I beg of each and every one of us to have the courage to stand up for those who can’t and to fight against the darkness that lives among us. Innocence is the essence of humanity and is something that must be cherished and nurtured.
Let’s stop judging and start listening, let’s do instead of hope and let’s start embracing the things that make us all unique.
Amanda Todd was 15 years old and a victim of our own society’s preoccupation with sex, the human body and our egos. We can’t bring her back, but we can be there for others who need us.
Take the time to listen. Take the time to learn. If you see that someone is sad, upset or needs company then get up and do something.
Amanda Todd made this video about a month before she died. We could have done something.
About the Author (Author Profile)Jordan Blum is a lifelong nudie and co-founder of Young Naturists America.
Great article. Thanks
When I was in high school I was bullied for being gay even though I was not out as a gay student. I blame it on our education system and society in general. As a gay student I had no support in the late ‘70s. Support should have come from the highest levels of our institutions. It didn’t and it is only recently starting to emerge in various forms after decades of problems. Body image is another serious issue plaguing society. We still have severe laws in place that send a negative signal to people about the human body. Throughout our lives we’re conditioned to believe that our bodies should not be exposed. This type of conditioning is wrong. People should not ever feel embarrassed by their bodies. There is nothing wrong with the human body and others seeing our bodies should not be an embarrassing thing to us. If it is, it is an indication that something in society is wrong. In today’s society people are conditioned to think their bodies are something to be embarrassed about instead of them being appreciated. Change the problem starting with the law and then start teaching people not to despise the human body.
Such as sad story. Bullying is a complex issue, and this particular case is made even more complex since nudity was involved.
A few things come to mind as I ponder this.
Amanda's first mistake was flashing online - perhaps she wasn't aware that someone could be recording her cam feed. We don't know who exactly she flashed, and whether or not she was in a chat room of people she trusted. Unfortunately, as with sexting, images have a way of making it into wide circulation even if you only sent it someone you trust.
Her next mistake was not alerting the police as soon as she received the very first threat that her nude picture would be circulated.
I'm not trying to blame Amanda. Quite the opposite. Rather, I'm trying to parse out the issues that we could help address as a community.
We don't know if Amanda was interested in nudism, but it occurs to me that there aren't a lot of resources out there (as far as I know) about nudism specifically directed at people under the age of 18. We need to be careful, of course, because of all the potential problems associating with underage naked people could bring. But if we assume the bullying was coming from people in her age group, how do we educate people that age group about body acceptance and destigmatizing nudity? It's possibly a very tall order.
@ErikJakobsen Saying that Amanda's first mistake was flashing online is reinforcing the belief that what she did was wrong. If society does not stop this thinking the issue won't end.
@ErikJakobsen There are many issues here and nudity is just one of them. The Naturism / Nudism movement is not currently about anything more than being naked, allowing people to be nude in specific setting , selling products and / or making money.
We started YNA because we understand the broader connection between social nudity and social acceptance. Nudism for us is about dealing with social issues - example - by raising kids in a nudist setting we are not just teaching them that the naked body is nothing to be ashamed of, we are also teaching them to be sensitive to other peoples feelings.
If more people were raised with more importance paid to their social surroundings then perhaps we would have less bullying in general.
Just saying.. people need to learn their full facts before making horendously long speeches like this. She wasnt exactly a sweet angel at school, or, well, at all. And on a side note, i've been bullied, online and in person, for alot worse, for alot longer. I'm still here.
@amathor We know the facts and would not post anything before researching the issue first. What she did, is in no way a justification for the treatments she received . Your statement of being subjected to worse is not constructive since you are assuming that all people think, feel and react the same. But in reality we dont. We all have different things that bother us, hurt us and make us feel unaccepted. What hurts you might not hurt someone else and what you feel is the standard for hurtful actions might not be shared by everyone.
The word "I" is not what this is about. Judgement and conduct are issues we all face and we all react differently. We are hoping that people start looking beyond themselves and take into consideration how their actions might impact others.
Imagine if the parents had seen your post. How would that make them feel? Insinuating that their daughter might have deserved what happened & diminishing the importance of her feelings. Regardless of what started it all, it lead to her feeling as though there is no way out. Shouldn't the fact that a young girl chose to take her life be the focus here? That our actions might lead someone to feel that way and what we can do to make this a more sensitive world are the issues at hand.
The poll is barking up the wrong tree, I think. It seems to me that the reason bullying was able to destroy Amanda Todd was due to the power relationships she found herself in. It seems to me (running with very little real info, granted), that she constantly let others define her, and she tended to believe those definitions.
I'm a father of a bunch of kids, and I don't think that the fact they don't care much if someone sees their skin helps them withstand bullying, it's the fact that something about practicing nudism has emboldened them and made them powerful, and as a result, less likely to buckle to bullying. Not *immune*, mind you, but less likely to reach such lows.
And as a corollary, if *everybody* was naked all the time, I don't think nudism would have given them this armor.
@scole66 I agree. This poll was intended to see what other people think about nudity as it pertains to this specific instance. The issue of bullying is a far more complex than this.