Like any parent, Kevin Smith could not just sit by in silence when he saw his daughter, Harley Quinn, being bullied. On Tuesday, the famed director took to Instagram to directly address a troll who left a nasty comment for his 17-year-old.
Harley Quinn is already an accomplished actor. Two of her credits include her father's films: "Tusk" and "Yoga Hosers."
On Instagram, she and her dad both shared a screen grab of the comment. This was Kevin's epic response.
What it's like to be my daughter: 17 year old @harleyquinnsmith_ received this message simply for the heinous crime of posting a pic of herself on @instagram. I have zero clue what the reference to #TheMatrix is all about but, wow - way to unload on a teen girl because YOU have nothing to do in life. But even though I should be apoplectic about it, my kid thought it was funny. "I'd be mad if I had a tiny dick and anonymous voice too," she said, bemused by the bitterness. But here's a nickel's worth of free advice for folks like this Troll: if you hate me (or my kid) this much, the better use of your time is to make YOUR dreams come true, instead of slamming others for doing the same. The best revenge is living insanely well - so if you wanna get back at a 17 year old girl for the grievous crime of enjoying her life, the best way to do it is to succeed in your OWN existence. Show the world WHY we should be paying attention to you instead of anyone else. Because randomly attacking others merely communicates how creatively and emotionally bankrupt you are. You think you have something to offer the world but others are getting all the attention? Don't bitch or punish the world: just create. Create something nobody's ever seen before and there is a good chance the world will notice you. Attacking teen girls on the Internet is the saddest form of masturbation that exists and requires no discernible skill or talent. You want attention? Don't make yourself mad, make something original and fun. Because if you're not being useful in this world you're being useless. Don't be useless: go make stuff that makes people happy! #KevinSmith #HarleyQuinnSmith #YogaHosers
Kevin chose not to respond with anger or attacks. Instead, he offered the Instagram user "kingpsysyphus" (whose account is private and has the tagline "Mr. Awesome"), some free advice.
"Troll: if you hate me (or my kid) this much, the better use of your time is to make YOUR dreams come true, instead of slamming others for doing the same," writes Kevin. "The best revenge is living insanely well - so if you wanna get back at a 17 year old girl for the grievous crime of enjoying her life, the best way to do it is to succeed in your OWN existence. Show the world WHY we should be paying attention to you instead of anyone else."
He finishes with this pearl of wisdom: "You want attention? Don't make yourself mad, make something original and fun. Because if you're not being useful in this world you're being useless. Don't be useless: go make stuff that makes people happy!"
Kevin's followers loved his advice. "Good man, good dad, way to speak with truth and kindness," wrote one.
"Best. Father. Ever! I couldn't be ½ as classy as you were in your response," said another.
Harley Quinn also responded with excellent advice to anyone who has experienced a cyberbully. She explained to her fans that she laughed off the hurtful comment and decided that it wouldn't ruin her day.
So lots of you probably saw this lovely comment someone decided to post on my photo out of the kindness of their heart and let this just be an example to you that there are trolls everywhere you go but you can't let it get to you! I was at Disneyland with my boyfriend and family yesterday having the most amazing day and while in line for a ride I opened Instagram and this stared me down in the face. At first I was like alright that hurts, but then I realized who the actual fuck cares??? Why should I let this sad ass troll who clearly either has a stick so far up his ass it's affecting his moral compass or is compensating for an insanely small dick ruin my day?? So I decided to laugh it off because no matter what, there are always going to be people in your life that are either jealous of you, don't like you or perhaps are just looking to be negative, but you can't let them get to you because if you let them upset you then they're winning. You may be thinking why are they making such a big deal out of a stupid online comment, but my dad and I just want to give you a glimpse of what we deal with all the time and how we're able to rise above it and carry on. This troll said he wanted me DEAD. That is obviously not something that anyone wants to hear ever, but I was still able to carry on and have a fantastic day because I didn't sink to his level. Words are an extremely powerful tool so it's your choice whether to use them to spread positivity and make the world a better place or be like this troll who was obviously looking to ruin someone's day. Everyone is so fantastic in their own unique way so don't let anyone try to demean you of your worth. With 1 person trying to shut you down, there will be another 100 people there to support you. So do what you love and spread positivity because life is too short to waste it either being a troll or paying attention to them!!!! Don't ever let some stranger on the Internet try to bring down your self confidence because you are wonderful just the way you are!! Kill em with kindness kids❤️💯✨💞🐇
"You may be thinking why are they making such a big deal out of a stupid online comment," she wrote. "But my dad and I just want to give you a glimpse of what we deal with all the time and how we're able to rise above it and carry on."
"Words are an extremely powerful tool so it's your choice whether to use them to spread positivity and make the world a better place or be like this troll who was obviously looking to ruin someone's day," she continues. "Everyone is so fantastic in their own unique way so don't let anyone try to demean you of your worth."
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Bullying can be an incredibly isolating experience, and many victims feel that they are alone–that something about them, specifically, has brought this on. Explain to your child that bullying is something that can happen to anyone: boys, girls, preschoolers, high schoolers, kids at large schools and kids at small schools. This means there is a large group of people impacted by bullying, and if we all work together, we can certainly make a difference.
A common reaction to bullying is encouraging the victim to ignore the bully. "They just want a reaction," people say, and if you deny them the reaction, they'll go away. That's not always the case. Sometimes, when the bully realizes they are being ignored, they can feel a sense of power over their victim that can actually make the situation worse.
Asking your child basic questions about their day and their experience at school can help you catch a problem sooner. Ask how a specific class was, or who they sat with at lunch. Ask who is trying out for the team, or who is going to local fair that weekend. These harmless questions tell your child that you care, but they can also help you detect changes in your child's situation that may indicate a bullying problem.
While helping your child prepare a speech or enrolling them in self-defense courses might seem like an empowering solution, you're sending the message to your child that this problem is theirs, and that they have to handle it alone. Instead, discuss what some solutions might be and involve your child in the decision making process.
The National Crime Prevention Council reports that 20 to 43 percent of middle and high school school students have reported being victims of cyber bullying. Encourage your child to protect themselves by following these two guidelines: 1. Never say or do anything online that you wouldn't say or do in person. 2. Never share any information that you wouldn't tell a stranger.
While we'd like to think we know everything about our children and their friends, don't express disbelief if they say someone has done something that shocks you. Your child needs to know that they can trust you. Asking them to provide evidence or saying that someone "would never do that" can come across as you taking the side of someone other than your child. Instead, be as supportive as possible and listen to their side.
A recent study of children ages 9 to 12, showed that 56 percent said that they usually either say or do something to try to stop bullying or tell someone who can help (Brown, Birch, & Kancherla, 2005). Make sure your child knows who he or she can talk to if they have something they want to share, whether that is you, a school counselor, a teacher or a coach.
Explain the importance of keeping online passwords private, even from close friends. Your child may be thinking that sharing a password with a close friend is harmless and convenient, but explain that anyone with their password could impersonate them online and embarrass them. If they insist that the friend would never do that, remind them that the friend could share their password, either intentionally or unintentionally, and someone else would have that same power.
While your first reaction may be to protect your child by calling the parent of the bully or confront the child yourself, this is not always a good solution. Not only is this this rarely effective, it may even prove fodder for additional bullying. Your child wants to feel empowered and involved in the solution, so discuss options with him or her and work together to decide on a plan of action.
Your child may be embarrassed or afraid to talk about what is happening to them. This is normal. Rather than pressuring your child into speaking before they are ready, just make it clear that you are willing to listen and be a source of support for them. Once they feel comfortable, they will know that they can open up to you and seek your advice. Better yet, if you've had this conversation preemptively, before a problem arises, your child will know right away that you can be their partner in finding a solution.
Green Giant's Raise A Giant site includes a page that lets you read letters other parents have written to empower their children. You can write your own letter and explore their other resources, including videos and sharable infographics. PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center site also has a page with resources like informational handouts, fact sheets, educational toolkits, and the "We Will Generation." You can also browse the video page to see if some of their video resources would be helpful for you or for your child. Green Giant's Raise A Giant site includes a page that lets you write a letter to empower your child, but you can also read the letters other parents have written to inspire your talks with your child.