If you're looking for an uplifting video to show your kid why bullying is wrong, don't show them this VH1 anti-bullying ad.
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Surely their hearts were in the right place when the VH1 production team dreamed up a spoof of sorts of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" to illustrate how terrible bullying really is, right? Oh wait — maybe it said something completely different and totally missed the mark.

The premise

The video goes through some of the most obvious classic bullying activities, such as dunking a kid's head in the toilet and leaving another stranded on a flagpole. Whipping a boy with wet towels in the locker room? Check. Farting on someone's head? Of course. They also feature a girl whose hair was lit on fire (wtf?) and a child strapped to a skateboard headed for a flight of stairs.

The lyrics of the classic anthem, "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor, have been changed to reflect these children's situations and how they will enact revenge when they are older. "I'll be your boss," says the first boy. "I'll make you be my slave." The other kids talk about never giving their employees a raise and how their minions will be forced to shine their shoes. In other words, their roles will be reversed in the future, as the "nerds" will rise to power in the corporate world and their bullies will be their underlings, free to be abused.

It's OK to bully your bullies?

Instead of urging kids to avoid bullying behavior, the video struck me as having a different message — the focus seemed to be that it's OK to bully if you've been bullied before. That as long as you survive your childhood, you can get back at those who bullied you, and that's acceptable.

The other angle that we can take from this ad is that you don't want to bully a nerdy kid because they can someday abuse you. Don't even consider how destructive it can be to be bullied, or how detrimental that can be to your victim.

The other angle that we can take from this ad is that you don't want to bully a nerdy kid because they can someday abuse you. Don't even consider how destructive it can be to be bullied, or how detrimental that can be to your victim. Forget about the kids who are bullied to the point of self-harm or suicide. Just focus on saving your future behind because you're all that matters. Is this angle any better?

I was also really concerned that the ad only featured physical bullying. I think that with the anti-bullying campaigns that many schools have enacted, some of the classic, physical bullying has been replaced by (or in some cases, added to) emotional or mental bullying, as well as compounded by social media bullying, which is a modern form of bullying that is very, very real.

Is this ad funny? No.

I get that the ad is meant to be catchy and funny, but I'm not laughing. I know that some feel that the word "bully" is overused and that some even think that today's kids are being brought up as huge wimps who cannot solve their own problems or deal with conflict. However, as someone who was bullied as a kid, I think that raising awareness needs to continue. Bullying can and does have lifelong repercussions and can be extremely damaging to a growing child.

If VH1 wanted to make an effective, hilarious jingle to reduce bullying, I think they totally missed the mark. I know that serious doesn't always sell, and getting the attention of kids isn't always the easiest thing to do, but sorry VH1, this just doesn't work.

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