This is a letter from a 25-year-old woman that stands tall and strong because of you.
To the girl that called me ‘Nitty Nora’ in Maths when they saw dandruff in my hair. I still get self-conscious when I have a dry scalp – but thank you, for without you I would not have learned so many fabulous hair styles.
To the boy on the bus that kicked me in the legs and womb and left bruises. You made me not trust boys for a long time – but thank you, for without you I would have been naive in thinking that boys were there to protect girls always. It is clear that’s not always the case.
To the girls that thought ‘Anorexic Rat’ was a great nickname for me. Your name calling made me eat way too much junk food causing a sugar addiction – but thank you, for without you I would not have known the mental strength it takes to overcome this.
To the group of people calling me ‘Boy Tits’. You made me insecure of my breast size until I was 21 – but thank you, because without you I would not have got a breast enlargement and been happier than ever with the size and shape of my breasts.
To the college lecturer that thought it acceptable to tell me that if I turned sideways I would disappear. As an adult talking to a minor you shocked and hurt me, I was meant to be safe with you – but thank you, because without you I would not have stood and practised posing for hours. This has come in extremely handy on catwalks and photoshoots.
To the girl that tried to snap my arm because she felt that I was ‘so skinny I would snap’. Your attempt failed – but thank you, because without you I would not have entered the gym and picked up a weight and would not be now a fitness blogger, would not have completed my MSc degree in Strength and Conditioning, nor would I have got my Personal Training Qualifications. I am now able to help transform other bullied people’s bodies when they feel un-confident.
I could go on for a long time, with a very long list of people that have affected my life through physical violence and mental abuse. These people took the first impact in my life many years ago now, so why am I only just writing this? Because I have the strength to stand up to you, to stand up for what is right and to stand up for other people that have, or are still going through this. Children commit suicide because of bullies and therefore I felt it only right to reach out to you, now as adults to let you know that luckily, I was strong enough to get through it, and that even in my darkest days I still has some fight in me left. Not all children can do this, not all children have the inner fire inside them knowing that they will rise. I don’t forgive you, I never will but I thank you. I thank you for making me stronger and tougher than you will ever be. I thank you for motivating me to prove you wrong – because I did. I thank you for making me look at my body more, because out of your hate I found a love for it. Thank you for calling me weak, I am now the strongest that I ever have been. I thank you for making sure that when I have children and I hear of any bulling, I will never ever stand for it.
You still affect me, and I think of you all daily – but you haven’t won. You never will. I have become everything that you were not; empathetic, loving, understanding, non-judgemental, thoughtful and let’s face it – you may have used strength against me, but you were never truly strong, no, someone that has faced bullies like you are the true strong ones.