Once a Victim Now a Voice
I was bullied for most of high school. I was the quiet and naive girl who loved art and reading. I was never considered ‘cool’ with both braces and glasses. Between the ages of 12 - 15 were the hardest of my life. To this day I am still unsure of why I was bullied. The girls who I were 'friends’ with were violent and nasty, it was nothing to them to drag me down stairs by my hair or put dirt through my school bag. Every recess and lunch I went back and sat with them.
I remember clearly thinking "If this is how your friends treat you, everyone else must hate you even more". My confidence was shot. An eating disorder and deep depression set in. At this particular school all the teachers knew what was going on and they did nothing. Bullying changed me, my grades slipped, I was always crying and suffered severe headaches. I was too ashamed to tell my parents. But still no matter how hard those girls beat me I went back every recess and lunch. Eventually we moved towns for my parent’s business. Bullying followed me to my new school.
It was if the bullies could sense it. But this time was different…. I was different. I was no longer the quiet shy girl, I was angry. I found a love of music and took comfort in the fact that all the bands I listened to were full of creative people that didn’t fit in either. I made friends who loved me for me, but after so long feeling worthless I was self harming and tried to take my own life. Spending some time in a private hospital in Sydney taught me to not only live but how to survive. I was super lucky to have amazing parents who moved heaven and earth to get me the help I needed and was no longer at a school that stood by and did nothing. This particular school even had a wonderful teacher that stuck her neck out for me everyday making sure I was ok. The bullying finally stopped towards the end of school. I’m not sure if it was because they saw I really didn’t give a fuck anymore or because we all just grew up?
My advice to someone experiencing bullying…. take your power back. Tell someone what is going on, if they don’t listen keep your head held high and tell someone else. A bully has no power when you expose them for who they are.
Bullying has definitely shaped who I am today. It took me till my mid 20’s to build myself back together. Looking back I’m glad I never fit in, I probably never will and that’s fine by me. But by not fitting in allows me to live an extraordinary life. I’m very determined and I’ll fight for my dreams. I have a incredible husband and the most inspiring friends any gal could ask for. “why are trying so hard to fit in, when you’re born to stand out” -Dr Suess
Since then I’ve worked hard. I have a background in fashion and styling, through this passion I've been fortunate enough to work for Vogue Magazine and meeting the inspirational Dita Von Teese. This really reignited my love for the vintage eras. The last few years have been a blur with amazing opportunities from working with Sabina Kelley and Cherry Dollface to being one of the faces of Erstwilder and centrefold for Cruzin Magazine. I have found through the love of the mid-century culture, that I can be my best self. I feel that I am the embodiment of vintage glamour, brimming with sass and a spoonful of sweetness. Rumour has it I was born wearing red lipstick and back seamed stockings :)
I’ve been lucky enough to have made it through to the voting round of Viva Las Vegas.
For those who may not beware this is the world’s premier Pinup Pageant. Around 22k people attend each year. This is a gigantic opportunity and to make it to the finals and stand on that stage would be a dream come true. I am no more deserving than any of the other entrants but would use this opportunity to advocate for Pinups against Bullying Australia.