How Pigtails Became a Symbol of the Anti-Bullying Movement

Inspiring 12

girl with pigtailsMaisie Miller, a sophomore at Marblehead High School in Massachsetts, has been bullied one too many times and she’s not taking it anymore. She’s standing up for herself, and every kid who’s ever been bullied, with pigtails.

A girl, whom we will refer to as Meanie McMeanster, habitually picked on Maisie at school. We don’t know her real name. Maisie was too cool to name her bully. Meanie McMeanster made demeaning remarks about Maisie’s body, boyfriend, and clothes. Typical bully tactics were employed.

One day as Maisie walked past her on the stairs, Meanie McMeanster loudly mocked her hairstyle, saying, “Who wears pigtails still? What is this, kindergarten?” Maisie turned around to look at her and the girl snapped at her to “keep walking!” 

Ok, let’s stop right here. This bully is making me want to punch her in the face. I can’t help but think about my own two girls and how infuriated I would be if someone treated them like this. I would be livid knowing that someone else made them feel so badly about themselves. I can’t even promise that I wouldn’t have went to the school and paid some bigger, meaner student to scare the bully right out of this child. But Massie is way cooler than I.

That was the day Maisie said no more. She went home, pissed off and hurt, and posted a letter on Facebook asking that everyone wear pigtails to school the next day in protest of the bullying. This is what impressed me the most; she didn’t name her bully. She didn’t ramble and spew hatred. She only asked for the united support of her peers to stand up to bullies, and that is a classy move. Stay classy, kid.

The next day, not only did kids show up sporting pigtails in droves -- but now pigtails are a new anti-bullying campaign. Pigtails for peace are an awesome idea. It teaches our children that we can stick up for ourselves by uniting against the bullies and in a peaceful manner. We don’t always need to meet force with more force, sometimes we need to turn the other cheek and leave the bully fighting with herself. After all, that’s whom they really have the problem with.

How would you react if someone bullied your child?

Image via Coba/Flickr

behavior, bullies, inspiring teens


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bills... billsfan1104

I like that idea. But I think that we need to be careful and stop calling everything a bullying incident. Because I am afraid that it will just desensitize people, just like how the word Racist is thrown around.

Martha Linn

Yeah, because everyone knows racism is a thing of the past...

dirti... dirtiekittie

@billsfan - i actually agree with you. i understand that there's a serious problem with bullying in our country, but it has become 'everything is a bullying incident' which defeats the purpose.

and @martha linn - no, it's not a thing of the past. however, there are more and more incidents every day where people blame things on racism when it is not. perfect example: a casting call a couple of months ago got a lot of people riled up because they were not chosen to play a certain part. two of the actors who auditioned claimed it was due to them being black. in truth, it was due to them not being right for the role. is that racism? no, but they pulled that card fast. we shouldn't jump to call every indiscretion racism (and as i've said time and time again here on the stir - as long as we keep talking about race, there will keep being racism.)

nonmember avatar Samantha

A child be teased or tormented for how they look, dress, act, talk, or any of the things they do daily is bullying! There is no such thing as turning everything into a bullying incident. If it was your child it wouldn' an "incident" I think what this girl did was very smart and quick thinking!

Rebekah Noe

There are levels of bullying. What the mean girl in this story did WAS bullying. Granted, it was a lower level as there are much worse ways bullies use; however, that does not diminish the fact that she IS a bully. I hope you do not teach your children that a little bit of bullying is okay as long as you do not go full force. From your comments, it would sound as though you do. On a side note, way to go, Maisie! You stood up for yourself and others, and your parents should be proud of you.

bills... billsfan1104

Omg Rebekah for real? You honestly think that I teach my kids to bully?

dirti... dirtiekittie

@Rebekah - yes, there's "levels" of bullying. but really, what happened to teaching our children "Sticks and stones will break my bones..." and some self confidence? personally, i am SO tired of hearing people trying to ban words and phrases instead of teaching their kids that they only are affected by words if they let themselves be. i was "bullied" all growing up (of course, back then it was just "oh kids tease") but i didn't go make a national cause out of it. instead i learned how to let the idiot things those people said roll off my back and be more self-confident. i learned to teach my children that they are only powerless when they choose to give up their power in a situation.

why, for the love of all things WHY, are we raising our kids to be delicate little flowers? don't get me wrong, i fully acknowledge that some bullying is violent and far more than just "sticks and stones" ... but isn't that where it all starts?

SaphireH SaphireH

When I was bullied it was just name calling or the would try to trip me in the school halls and I'd either ignore them or tell them to go ef themselves but now a days I have a 2nd grader who is being shoved down, hit and even choked by his bullies and I'm pissed off at not the kid but the parents of the kid who when its brought up to thinks its funny as hell. If beating people wouldn't get the policed called believe me I'd sock the parent one for laughing that their kid is beating up another kid

power... powertothekids



Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. No. Names are much worse. Something I know too well.

nonmember avatar Jenna

Everyone shut up about "levels" of bullying and stop trying to minimize it.

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