Shake a stick at a newspaper, TV set, website or just about any other device that produces news and you’ll hit a story about bullying. Whether it’s in the NFL, at the office or on a school playground, it’s all around. No matter where it happens, it’s never good. But when it happens to a kid, it’s that much more heartbreaking.
The effects of bullying are wide, although sometimes you don’t need to go any farther than a glance in the eyes of the victims to know just how deep it goes. Benoit Paillé, a French-Canadian photographer, took a series of photos (that we first saw on My Modern Met) focusing on the reflection in the eyes of kids who have either witnessed bullying or been bullied themselves. The haunting stares of the kids give a glimpse into innocence lost and damage done.
The photos were first shown at a school-bullying themed art exhibition Japan, with the pieces standing nearly 7-feet wide and 3-feet high, which likely evoked a haunting sense of how overwhelming it was for the kids who had to endure or watch the crimes themselves.
There’s something about the photos — and the recent batch of bullying stories — that can just affect you in the gut if you’re a parent. You project your own children in the role of the target and it eats away at your insides to imagine them having those kind of emotional and physical scars. And for the parents of the actual bullies? Hopefully seeing photos like these will prompt them to do everything in their power to stop it from happening before more kids corrupted too young an age at the hands or words of their peers.
Take a look:
All photos used with permission from Benoit Paillé
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