Returning home after a long, yet incredibly satisfying trip to Montreal has made me realize a few things about how far I've come. This blog post might be a bit long and all over the place so bear with me okay? I promise I have a point.
After my first day of shoot with Garnier I went back to the hotel late that night feeling incredibly satisfied and proud of where I am in life. Growing up I was heavily bullied. From the age of 10 until I was about 18 years old.
In elementary school I was called every name in the book;
"You're too skinny."
"Your nose is so big."
"Your family is weird."
I used to walk home from school because kids would throw juice boxes at my head when I was on the school bus and no one helped me. It's so tragic thinking these kind of things go on in schools and no one, not even the parents realize it because the kids are too embarrassed to talk about it. What on earth gives people, young and old, the capability to be so completely cruel to another human being?
That was elementary school and I was bullied almost daily.
Then I went to high school and I thought I would have a fresh start but mid-year in grade 9 the bullying started all over again. Now not only was I "ugly" but I was also a "lesbian" and I couldn't even walk down the hallway without having the word "dyke" yelled at me for the next four years.
I begged my parents to pull me out of school or enroll me somewhere else but they told me to hang in there. I never explained to them the full extent of my bullying because I was too embarrassed to say it out loud. My anxiety was so bad that I couldn't sleep at night and I started doing bad in school. I failed four of my eight classes my first year of high school because I was constantly ditching class to avoid the mean kids. My teachers all thought I was "stupid" and the only classes I ever performed well in was science, because the teachers there had more structure and less tolerance for talking during class.
After graduating it took me years to get past the emotional trauma of what happened to me as an adolescent kid/ young adult. Even now I'm socially awkward at times. I never know what to say at parties and I'm better talking one on one as opposed to a group but that's okay because I was able to move forward.
Aside from going to school with the biggest bunch of assholes in the GTA, I actually had a pretty happy childhood because my parents where awesome, and they still are. My brothers and I were all very artistic growing up and it helped me balance out the nastiness of school. What do they call it, art therapy? LOL
I'm telling you guys this because my life has been a little nutso these days and Meryl Streeps speech at the Golden Globes had me bawling like a baby. Like I said, my time with Garnier in Montreal made me realize how far I've come. I could have let the bullying get the best of me but that was never an option. I knew that when I grew up I wanted to be successful and have a career in fashion and make mad dough. I didn't know how it was going to happen but I never let go of that vision. Blogging wasn't a thing back then and even when I started WoahSyle in 2014 I had no clue what it would become but hi, here I am. :)
Let's leave on this note, it's never okay to be mean - young, old, white, black, yellow, beige, rich, poor, hetero, gay, trans. It's never okay to be mean. We're all human beings and we all deserve respect.
Stay strong and don't let the shitty things in life get you down. You know that saying "this too shall pass?" It's true, but it's up to you to make it happen. Don't look back on the shitty things in life and always look forward.
Rise above it. Hold your head up and keep your eyes on the prize.
Always be yourself. Don't apologize for wearing makeup if you're a man or having a "fat nose". Be proud that you're different and embrace it because cookie cutter is boring AF.
Don't take shit. If someone at school, work or someone in your family is bullying you and putting you down, nip it in the bud. Don't stoop to their level but stand up for yourself because you deserve it.
Surround yourself with people you love. My family has always been a constant source of happiness in my life and now I'm thankful to have Geoff, my cats, my bff and her hubby and Michael (aka Global Garçon). My support group is small but they keep me motived.
All of those mean kids in school who made fun of my skinny legs can go fuck themselves. LOL
Thanks for reading this guys and remember to be kind. Being an asshole is never cool.
WATCH MERYL STREEP'S GOLDEN GLOBE SPEECH HERE
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Photos by: Michael Biro, globalgarcon.net