Jamie Steinberg: Managing Editor of Starry Constellation Magazine and Supporter/Advocate to Bullies Keep Out
I had the pleasure of reciprocating an interview with one of Starry Constellation Magazines own Jamie Steinberg, the managing editor. Jamie and Lisa have an online magazine that features interviews with actors, actresses, and musicians. They have become great friends and graciously offered to become supporters and lend their voice to Bullies Keep Out.
You can check out Starry Constellation Magazine out on Twitter at: @StarryMag and their website is starrymag.com to read and watch interviews with some of your favorite stars.
I want to thank Jamie for joining me for this interview and her support to the cause.
Dana Jacoviello: What influenced your decision to fight for this cause and get involved with Bullies Keep out?
Jamie Steinberg: As a teenager, I experienced bullying first hand. I always was at an average weight, but I still would get called “fat.” It would really hurt me, too. So, I grew up with an unhealthy body image always thinking I wasn’t that pretty. Looking back, I think I was more beautiful than I ever realized. I want others to know there is no “normal” and that we’re all beautiful in our own ways. Being unique makes us better people.
DJ: What is your take on why bullying and all forms of hate continue to occur and what do you feel can and should be done about it both on and offline?
JS: I think that when ever insecurities exist, there will be bullying. When you are a teenager, girls are insecure about their appearance and they want to be liked and found “pretty.” So when they see on TV and movies that models and actresses are thin and flawless they expect that in their peers too. If someone doesn’t fit that mold, others may take advantage of their own insecurities and try to push them off by making fun of the way someone may look, and maybe these bullies just don’t get the attention at home so they feel like they need to seek the approval and attention of their peers.
I think that if more films and TV shows featured women of all races, sizes, and sexualities being wanted and told they are beautiful, then more girls growing up will take notice. I also think in sex education courses it would be great to have even a week that featured discussions between students as to what makes them feel insecure and what the world can do change them would be greatly beneficial. It would also be helpful to have bonding exercises for the whole class so they learn what they can do and how they can make their peers feel more accepted.
As far as online efforts, there needs to be more than just an option to “report” bullying. Online bullying is much more rampant these days because of anonymity. When an incidence of bullying occurs online, don’t just suspend the account. Make it so the same IP address is blocked that way you can’t just make another account and start again. Don’t give the person conducting the bullying a chance to start the pain again.
DJ: In recent news in LGBT community we have had a sad loss in Leela Alcorn the transgender youth who took her own life. Are you a supporter of LGBT rights? What do you think we can be doing better to save our youth from such actions? Do you feel that the suicide rates are higher among LGBT youth?
JS: We are always a supporter of LGBT rights! It is something we are quite passionate about because we have family and friends who align themselves with the community and it makes us happy to see them thriving and being appreciated. Everyone deserves love and to be supported. Everyone deserves to have a bright future. Love is love! I think this is a part of what I was mentioning earlier with the high school classes. It is when we focus on your youth (the futures of tomorrow) that we can really start to begin to change minds. During that week course, feature a day or more on LGBT lifestyles and acceptance. Let everyone feel supported and heard. Some of us grow up not understanding what it means to be LGBT and frequently don’t feel accepted at home or amongst their peers. Spend time making the youth of tomorrow understand that love is love and that we can accept them for who they are. This will surely give more confidence to those who feel they are questioning their sexuality or feel they aren’t understood. It will certainly help save our youth from feeling like they need to take such drastic and harmful actions. I am not sure if the suicide rate is higher amongst LGBT youth, but I know that anytime someone feels hurt and rejected they will feel like maybe the only solution is to not exist, and that is just not true. Everyone matters and everyone can make a difference in this life – small or large. Don’t feel like you don’t matter, and don’t feel like the world is against you. You can always help make a better future for our world!
DJ: Being that you do celebrity interviews, why do you think fandom bullying is out of control, especially with certain shows and actors?
JS: We have gotten a few bullying attempts. Sometimes fans do not like it when you mention one “ship” or fandom over another. They’ll accuse you of being biased. They’ll accuse you of pandering to certain fandoms even just to get them to be a follower on social media. I understand these individuals are passionate about the show, their favorite characters, their favorite relationships, and their favorite celebrities, but as a journalist there cannot be any penchant towards one person/place/thing over another, and I think that often leads to some over intensity. It might be a good idea to have a disclaimer at the end of shows to remind fans that this is a TV show and that while they appreciate their fans, whether it is a fan of each character, star, or relationship, that the writers do their best to tell the story they have in their minds.
DJ: Have you ever personally been bullied offline or know someone who has? How did you handle it, and what effect did it have on you?
JS: When someone is bullied online or in person I take a stand. I do not hesitate to tell someone online that they need to be kinder and more accepting. I do not hesitate to report someone for comments that are out of line as well. In my personal life, I am just as adamant about taking matters into my own hands. Over the years I’ve learned how to better communicate when I am upset or feel like I am being bullied. I have a greater confidence to stand up and say that I am hurt by a comment and would have appreciated being spoken to a nicer way. We don’t have to hurt someone to make ourselves feel better or to teach them what we feel they need to understand. A hurtful remark can leave a lingering mark on someone’s heart and mind, whether it is days, months, or years. So I’ve learned that speaking up is the best way to handle being bullied and seeing others that are getting bullied.
DJ: What advice would you give to an adult or youth on bullying and hate, and would it be any different due age differences?
JS: I don’t think my answer would be different due to age differences. I believe we all need to learn acceptance and appreciation for our peers. I’ve said it before and it bears repeating, love is love. We are all need to feel accepted and loved. We all need to remember that no matter our age, race, sexuality, or creed that loving one another is essential in life. The more we beat out hate from our hearts, the better we are as people, friends, and family.
DJ: Do you have anything you would like to add?
JS: We’re all human beings. We all bleed red. We all hurt. Teach others what you want for yourself: love, understanding, happiness, patience, kindness, acceptance, and beauty.
Written by Founder, Manager, Writer/Interviewer, Cyber Bully Investigator, Mentor/Coach, and Host of La Bella Vita Podcast of Bullies Keep Out Dana Jacoviello