Dance Moms villain Abby Lee Miller isn’t exactly known for her nurturing personality. Kind of the opposite.
Now, the chidren who endured Miller’s abhorrent bullying are memeing about their Dance Moms trauma.
The TikTok meme’s format is simple.
“Bulletproof” by La Roux plays while a Dance Moms survivor silently listens.
The text on screen then reads “Think you can hurt my feelings? I was on Dance Moms.”
“And was meme of the month October 2018,” JoJo Siwa recalls in her iteration of the meme.
She continues: “And get made fun of 24/7 for my hairline.”
“And,” JoJo cites, “get called a giant toddler every other day.”
“And had strangers shout out awful things to me in public all the time,” JoJo points out.
“HI, I’m JoJo,” her TikTok caption reads, “and … I’ve heard it all.”
That is sad — what is worse is that she is not alone.
Chloe Lukasiak also gets in on the meme.
Like most of her fellow Dance Moms escapees, she did not cite quite as many examples as JoJo.
But she certainly has a lot to say in her caption.
“My experience was so traumatizing,” Chloe reveals, “I don’t remember those four years.”
“It’s an actual coping mechanism,” she explains, then crediting Mackenzie and Nia for the idea to do the meme.
She’s right, but it’s important to note that childhood trauma can still have lifelong consequences, even if it is forgotten.
Mackenzie takes an even more spartan approach to the meme.
Instead of really commenting, she lets the simple, brutal statement do the talking for her.
Someone’s childhood reality career should not have left them so numb to future trauma … but it has.
Brooke Hyland did a “duet” with Mackenzie.
That’s just TikTok’s name for two videos appearing side-by-side.
There, she simply echoes Mackenzie’s sentiments. You don’t need to put an original twist on a meme to contribute.
But Nia’s version does have a distinction from that of the others.
“You think you can hurt my feelings?” she asks in a text bubble.
“I was the only Black girl on Dance Moms,” Nia points out.
Nia made it very clear that she is talking to one specific person with her post.
“And that’s on being bullied by the biggest bully in America,” Nia writes.
She could only be talking about one person.
Abby Lee Miller was fired by Lifetime for a long history of appalling racism.
She was already infamous for her vicious verbal abuse of children. It was a key part of Dance Moms‘ brand.
So, during the reckoning for racist institutions and individuals in June of this year, Black moms and producers spoke about Miller’s racist bullying.
It’s sad that it took the atmosphere of the largest civil rights protest in the history of the world for Miller to get sacked.
A more enlightened society would never have given her a platform in the first place — or allowed those children to be exploited.
But at least she will no longer be rewarded for or financially encouraged to berate and traumatize kids.
Childhood trauma has lifelong repercussions.
Even those who process their worst experiences live in fear of repeating those behaviors one day.
And just because people can say “this doesn’t bother me, because I’ve been through worse” doesn’t mean that what happened to them was okay.
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