“Hurt people, hurt people”
This is a phrase that describes a common cycle of bullying. As I have shared before, bullying awareness is dear to my heart because I endured years of bullying at a school who didn’t care to do anything about the situations that I was in throughout the years. I choose not to allow the roads that I have previously walked through to define me in a negative sense, but instead, use the pain as a source of strength.
As I have gone tremendously further then I was a few years ago, or even a year ago, I am the first to admit that some of the repercussions of bullying from the past still taint how I see myself today.
I still experience bullying on a regular basis. I share my life online and with that comes trolls, weirdos, and bullies. I try to be as transparent as possible but everyone has their own opinions when you do that.
Recently, a photo of myself was turned into a small advertisement. I was (and still am) overly thrilled for this to happen. As an aspiring model, I am always excited when my photos are used for something practical. I am proud of myself and the team who worked on this project.
Last week, a former bully came across this photo. I was given a new ‘Name’ that I had never been told before. I was called a, “Big Eared Bitch” I laughed when I was told this, especially because my Dumbo years are the only feature that I have that has never been bullied (at least to my knowledge).
I began thinking about how the perspective others have of me have shaped who I am today. For instance, I have been tormented about the way my eyes look for years, and because of that, I tend to hide them. It wasn’t until I got photos back from a photoshoot this spring that I began to see beauty in my eyes. I had been hard on myself for years and came to the realization that I was being a bully towards my own appearance. In fact, I have been a bully my entire life. I had dealt with ‘Hurt people’ and that turned into hurting myself for years. I changed how I saw myself on an outward and inward way.
The Leah that I was when I started sharing my life on the internet, would have found a new insecurity of my ears. I would have taken every photo down that I ever posted of my ears. Today I am going to make a conscious decision to look at myself in the mirror today block out what a bully would say to me, and visualize what the KING would say to me. I am going to be reminded that I was fearfully and wonderfully made. I am loved, and that I am the daughter of the highest. I am going to verbally say that I have BEAUTIFUL ears, eyes, face, and body because I was created with a purpose. Most importantly, I am going to make the decision not to be a bully, not towards or myself.
PC: Nerdy Studios