It’s not every day that you come across a 16-year-old singer/songwriter who has a passion for helping people. Brooke Hummel grew up in a musical family, quickly finding her passion in singing, and while traveling through high school, has also found her voice in being an anti-bullying advocate. For this edition of GirlTalk, we spoke with Hummel about her own personal struggles with bullying and how she is taking a stand to help those who are currently struggling.
bul·lyˈ, bu̇-lē, ˈbə-
noun: a blustering browbeating person; especially: one habitually cruel to others who are weaker
Bullies come in all shapes and forms. They can attack physically, verbally, and emotionally. They are hurtful and intimidating, but above all, they are sickening. Bullies find humor and success in tormenting those that are inferior to them. In one way or another, most people have experienced some sort of bullying in their lifetime – statistically, ¾ of all of today’s youth are affected by it. 16-year-old singer/songwriter Brooke Hummel recently documented her personal struggles with bullies in a raw,
delicate and personal song titled “Cruel,” which can be seen here. Her struggles went beyond just words. “I would walk through the hallways and hear people scream things at me like ‘Brooke kill yourself’ and ‘hold a gun to your head and I’ll pull the trigger.’ A lot of people don’t realize how intense these things can really be,” she shares with us. “I was hurting. I remember feeling so alone and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me and why nobody wanted me around them anymore.”
We tend to ask ourselves, why do words hurt so much? Well, simply put, it’s because we are all very vulnerable to the things that people say to us, especially young adults. That is why cyber bullying in particular is reaching epidemic proportions in the United States. Bullies have found a new way to hurt others by hiding behind a screen and saying things that they think will have no repercussions. Rather than keeping silent, Hummel decided it was time to speak out, work towards progression, and attempt to put a stop to bullying. “I came to the realization that I could be helping people in this situation because anybody can ask an adult, but if the adult didn’t go through it, they WILL NOT know how to emotionally help them,” Hummel tells us. Thus, Stop Block Tell was created. Stop Block Tell (StopBlockTell.org) is the home of Hummel’s “Stop Hiding Behind A Username” campaign, used to call action against cyber bullies. It allows young adults to gain insight on how to reach out to others about the dangers of cyber bullying. Hummel explains, “Kids need to be able to go somewhere like StopBlockTell.org and see that someone understands where they are coming from so they feel like they are not alone.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with bullying, please let your voice be heard. Reach out to family, friends, teachers, or just someone you feel comfortable speaking to. Check out websites that help those being attacked by bullies such as StopBlockTell.org, StopBullying.gov, and StompOutBullying.org amongst others. Do not allow others to diminish your light due to their own insecurities.