I’m a ‘Roasting’ Mess

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,


I’m very insecure, but I’ve always been the funny girl, because I make fun of myself. I dress weird and have frizzy hair. People love me because I put myself down.


Last night, someone dared me to get “roasted.” One day later, there were hundreds of horrible obscenities, and I was told I have a pig’s face. People I don’t know said worse things to me.


I can’t go back to school, I’m so embarrassed. The worst thing is, my mom asked why I was crying, and I told her. She yelled and said I was stupid to do this to myself. She said I can’t claim to be a victim, because I did it to myself.


My friends told me that I can’t take a joke.


Signed,
Roasted and eaten


Dear Fair-lady,


We’re so sorry this happened to you. Roasting happens on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Reddit. It’s something that teens do to prove they have the courage to be blasted by insults.


Roasting is not funny. It’s a place for people to vent and let their anger out. Many times, the teens don’t know the person they’re roasting. It’s surreal because no one is communicating face to face.


Top reasons for roasting someone:
• Lack of understanding
• A dare
• Amusement
• Boredom


Most adults aren’t familiar with roasting. Please show this column to your mom. It may help her to realize that roasting is a serious and unexpected form of cyberbullying. Please seek professional help.


Research and therapists say kids accept roasting as a coping skill – a shield of sorts against insecurities. Instead, it quickly becomes a barrage of destructive messages that no one can take. It has nothing to do with courage. Teens don’t always draw the line at what’s funny, and it turns into being mean and then bullying.


Some experts say roasting is a level up from bantering. We say its miles down from bantering and one-upping. The psychological slamming that these experiences give to teens may derail their often fragile confidence.
We all have insecurities on some level. However, roasting is a form of self-harm. This is not to blame and shame you, but to help you know that this is dangerous and can lead to depression and anxiety.


Unfortunately, teens don’t always know where and when to draw the line regarding what’s funny and what’s vicious. Some say that a joke is only funny if the person being joked about doesn’t mind. We say there’s nothing funny about burning someone’s heart.


Teens are especially vulnerable to bullying when it’s presented as humor and joking, but roasting is NO JOKE!


Signed,
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri