One Life StoryBy Marc Wilkofsky Posted: May 4, 2011
Some people in my life might think I see the world through "rose-colored glasses." Not exactly. I just see it through glasses.
I got my first pair when I was around 8, waaay back when the only apps people ordered at a restaurant table were cheese sticks and shrimp cocktails. In large part because of these glasses, I was bullied in junior high school by other kids. Not pushed into lockers or "Slushied" like today's GLEE characters, but bullied verbally. Bullying has been prevalent for centuries, and I'm lucky I only had to face it for a few years.
So I was thrilled to speak with three ONE LIFE TO LIVE actors about bullying last year — especially Mark Lawson (Brody), who told me he's incensed by bullying and offered excellent advice (printed in the Nov. 2, 2010 issue of Soap Opera Weekly). Basically, he advised victims to get fit and become stronger and more confident, and that increased power might stop or at least curtail the bullying. "When you are physically confident and somebody wants to bully you, it makes it a lot more difficult," Lawson suggested. "And the more well-rounded you are, mentally and physically, the happier you are as a person in general, and so the bullying doesn't affect you."
If just one reader's life was improved by his words, then I am very pleased. Either way, I'm proud to wear these glasses, and I thank Lawson, Austin Williams (who has wonderfully portrayed Shane as he tells the truth about Jack bullying him) and Eddie Alderson (Matthew) for their words of advice to people who are tired of being bullied and want their lives to get better.
After watching 30 years of fiction, speaking to these three actors about the positive ways people can improve their lives was one of the proudest real-life moments I've had. And I'm glad to see OLTL hitting all the right marks in Shane's well-told story, which the scribes have commendably continued.
I was also pleased to learn about Love is Louder, a social movement that daytime alum Brittany Snow (formerly GUIDING LIGHT's Susan/Daisy, Reva's granddaughter; now Jenna in HARRY'S LAW) started with MTV and The Jed Foundation. You can find out more about it, and watch Snow's video (in which she reveals her having been bullied in school), at www.loveislouder.com/video.html. The movement's Facebook page, featuring many other honest and powerful videos and photos, is www.facebook.com/joinloveislouder?ref=ts. I admire Snow's bravery, and know that she and many other celebrities and "regular folks" are helping victims of bullying with their messages of hope, support and, yes, love. She's proving that love is much louder than worrying. Keep going, Snow.