Chester, a tall, skinny teenager who excels in math and science classes, feels embarrassed when he has to change into gym clothes in the boy’s locker room at school because he lacks muscularity and size. Other, more athletic, and well-built teens notice Chester’s shyness and decide to exploit it. Using their phones, they covertly take pictures of Chester without his shirt on and in his boxer shorts. These pictures are then circulated among the rest of the student body via WhatsApp. Soon enough, boys and girls are pointing, snickering, and laughing at Chester as he walks down the school hallways. He overhears comments such as “There goes Bird-Chested Chester”, “Big Wus,” and “Pansy.” These words hurt him deeply, and the perception that his classmates have of him begins to affect his math and science grades.
Relational aggression – resulting in bullying.
Coping/Stressors related to mental illness/victimization
Coping/Functional coping strategies
Questions and answers
At what point in the scenario do you find that the protagonist was a victim of violence? To what kind of violence does the scenario refer to?
When his friends decide to exploit his lacks muscularity and size and take secretly pictures of Chester without his shirt on and in his boxer shorts and circulate among the rest of the students via WhatsApp.
It refers to cyberbullying and body shaming.
Do you think that the thoughts, the actions, the feelings and the attitudes adopted by the protagonist of the scenario helped him/her to cope with this situation? Are there any alternative ideas?
No. If Chester still feels embarrassed then he will feel alienated over time and this will disrupt his academic achievement in school. Chester’s friends need special attention in this case.
What other interventions and actions could further help the protagonist to deal with this incident and with any potential similar incidents in the future?
- serious talks with bullies and victims
- serious talks with the parents of bullies and victims
- role playing of non-aggressive behavior with bullies
- role playing of assertive behavior with victims