Congratulations Shannon Smyth and Stuff About Bullying

I have not mentioned it on here before but my older sister Shannon was recently a contestant on the hit TV series, Masterchef Australia. She was eliminated on Friday. Since being eliminated, Shannon has secured a lucrative apprenticeship at the amazing Absynthe restaurant on the Gold Coast with the two Michelin star awarded head chef, Meyjitte Boughenout. Words cannot describe how extremely proud I am of her. She is not only a fantastic cook, she is also a beautiful person, inside and out, and my dearest friend.

On that note I would like to discuss the bad rap my wonderful sister has been receiving on the online forums of the Masterchef website and Masterchef Facebook page, and no doubt on twitter. I would like to say, to anyone who has ever found themselves saying harsh things about someone on the internet, out in public or in your head, think of being that person or one of the people who love that person. I want you to know that it hurts to see or hear people saying cruel things about someone you love. Regardless of the way someone looks, dresses, how heavy they are, the colour of their hair, the way they speak, that person is a fellow human being that deserves love and respect and kindness just as much as you do. No one deserves to feel like they aren’t good enough. I am saddened by my fellow Australians that treat others as if they do not deserve these simple respects, as if they are a lesser human being for being different. I do not know of a single person that is universally known as being perfect. I do know that there are people who I see as being perfect with all their faults, and there are people you see as perfect with all their faults, and that neither you or I ever wants to see them hurt.

I would also like to discuss bullying by adults. There have been so many stories on the news and current affairs programs in recent years about the growing trend of bullying. I have seen parents saying “I just don’t know what to do, I don’t know why they are doing this”. I think I may have an answer. Adults are bullies. Bullying is learnt behaviour. They see their parents, their parent’s friends,  and other adults saying cruel things under their breath as an overweight woman crosses the road, laughing when they see disabled people doing their best to maintain their activities of daily living but need assistance to use the bathroom, talking about that stupid co-worker that keeps screwing everything up and how they can’t stand that idiot, making fun of people on TV shows for whatever petty reason they can come up with, and even television personalities saying hurtful things about people they do not know. Then their child goes to school and they make fun of the fat kid, they throw things at the boy with downs syndrome, they laugh at the child that can’t read. Bullying is everywhere, in every generation, and the only thing that can be done is to stop and take responsibility for being a part of it. Children will emulate your actions.

The good thing that has come out of the horrible experience of seeing my wonderful sister taunted by people who don’t even know her is that I have realised I can be cruel and it has made me take a step back and stop.

Being a bully is not necessary and YOU will be worse off for it.

Take care all, sorry about the rant.

XX Brookie.

4 responses to “Congratulations Shannon Smyth and Stuff About Bullying

  1. Brooke, I would be so proud to have a sister like Shannon – actually my sister is a pretty awesome cook too, though to have the courage to put yourself out there on a show like MC is pretty amazing. Please pass on my congratulations to Shannon, I watch the show every night and thought she was great. Do you think she’d be willing to come and cook that french toast as my place one morning? It would be the perfect breakfast after a long night feeding my baby.

    I know what you mean about the bullying we see, hear and perhaps even participate in every day. Some empathy wouldn’t go astray. Prior to having my children, I was a high school teacher and saw bullying often, it was always one of the hardest things to deal with. Then when I went back to work last year in an administration role at a university I had a boss who was a classic bully, I found it very stressful and made going to work something I dreaded.

    I hope your sentiments in this post make others consider the effect the words might be having on those around them. Good on you for saying it!

    PS I knew there was a reason I never visited those particular online forums, I prefer reading my cooking and gardening blogs.

    • Hi Jo, I will let Shannon know, she will appreciate it.
      I have also been subjected to bullying in the workplace and was bullied through the majority of my primary and high school life. If just one person thinks about their actions a little more due to my post then I will be satisfied. I don’t participate in these forums but you get curious. I can say that for every negative and cruel comment there is another of encouragement and praise.
      Thanks for stopping by again, always lovely to hear from you 🙂 Oh, and I will ask her about the french toast! You can visit her blog bakeandbloom.com. Hopefully she will be returning to it soon after the show ends.

  2. Hi there,
    I’m from Canada, and I’m a big fan of Masterchef Australia! Your sister did a fabulous job, and it was a pleasure to watch her cook. Please do congratulate her, and tell her to forget the stupid people who have nothing better to do than tear down the people that have the courage to do what they themselves can’t. Haters will always hate. Take care, and love from Canada!
    ~Nino

  3. I only watched snippets of masterchef this time around, my children watch it more than we do…I have only seen your sister in the picture above in your post and I think she looks beautiful…very…and loved, very….by you obviously, I agree totally in the fact that our children are only growing by mirroring what they see and learn at home…I am bullied at school now, by other mothers…I wonder what the head master would say if I went and ‘dobbed’…….good for you for sticking up for your sister and congratulations on her making it on the show and the great opportunity she has received with her placement…Suzanne

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