Gaëtan Canaveira, better known under the nickname @bouboule_42 on Instagram or @boubouletok on Tik Tok, testifies to his harassment which lasted for many years. In his book “I love who I am! Life after harassment” (Solar editions), he addresses everyone to convey a magnificent message of hope. Encounter.
While the tragic series of suicides of teenage victims of bullying has led the government to make this scourge “the absolute priority” for the next school year, Gaëtan Canaveira alias @bouboule_42 recounts his experience of bullying in his book “I like who I am! Life after harassment.” Far from the dramatic story, this colorful, sensitive and well-embodied book is precious because it talks about harassment according to all the actors (harassed, harasser, witness, entourage, etc.). Gaëtan’s self-deprecation, his fantasy, his taste for others make this testimony a real plea in favor of difference so that every schoolchild accepts himself as he is!
“Big pig, big bacon”… The insults start in middle school
“I started to be harassed in middle school. From the 6th grade, the insults were flying ‘fat pig’, ‘fat bacon’; mockery always targeted at my physique. At first, I wanted to laugh at myself and make fun of myself. self-deprecation with the intention of getting ahead of my harassers but that only encouraged them. They probably thought they were even more justified in continuing to insult me. This situation continued until the end of middle school. Throughout this period, I didn’t talk about it to anyone and even less to my loved ones. My home, my parents, it was my cocoon and everything was going well there. I told myself that if I talked about it, I would bring back the harassment at home and that it would pollute this reassuring and caring cocoon. And then, I also feared hurting my parents. Today, I know that it is better to talk about it because I have this chance to having parents who listened. They would have taken me seriously and I could have been protected.”
When a bad joke brings back demons from the past
“During the summer between 3rd and 2nd grade, I was going to do everything I could to change by trying diets to lose weight and put an end to the bullying, but I didn’t succeed. My entry into high school went peacefully and I felt good accepted. Even if I don’t like this word, I’m no longer the only fat one and it also feels good to see that it’s normal. I tell myself that it’s an opportunity to meet new people and to know myself better. But, first, a bad joke about my appearance brings up everything I’ve been through. I end up in tears in the school hallway, angry, and I realize what I’ve been through. I decide that I never want these types of remarks to reach me again.”
“My social networks become my public diary”
“After high school, without thinking too much about it (harassment), I started on Snapchat, then on Instagram where my humorous videos started to work. I have a great community and thanks to my jokes full of self-deprecation I began to talk about my harassment. In my stories I open up unvarnished and my social networks become my public diary. It is also a “safe place” where people can talk to me in private and confide in themselves. The more time passes, the more my videos and my words become a fight to denounce harassment because in my professional life I still suffer from it. Even by changing path, it goes badly. I resign and I finally decide to say STOP, I will no longer let people harass me because I’m tired of having to justify who I am. At the same time, I was asked to write a book on the subject, a revelation.”
“My book began with a selfish approach”
“The first thought I had when I was asked to write a book on school bullying was selfish. I would finally be able to put my pain into words. A real therapy for myself and the opportunity to heal myself. Very quickly, I wanted to help others through this work. And today, I say thank you to my harassers because they made me what I am. I always thought that I was weak but in fact I turned this harassment into strength. I always had the hope that my life was going to be crazy and indeed, what happened next was crazy!”
“I wish everyone was at peace like I am”
“Children who are bullied must keep hope and not hesitate to talk about it because it is 50% of the healing work. I hope to be a reference person for these young people and I am working to respond to all the people who confide in me. I would like all these people to see life the way I do because I am finally at peace.”
Prevention is essential to stop harassment
According to Gaëtan Canaveira, even more prevention should be done in schools:
- That each teacher be trained in harassment: recognize student victims, harassers, know how to respond to these situations;
- More interventions and testimonies in establishments;
- Let there be lessons in kindness and living together;
- Follow-up for people who are victims of harassment but also for harassers (psychological help for example);
- Presence of a reference person who can listen and collect testimony (school nurse or psychologist).