Bully : seek to harm, intimidate, or coerce.
Revival : an improvement in the condition or strength of something.
Take a deep breath. Think back to when you were a child.
Now, think about the person you are today.
I remember going on the school bus completely dreading to face the day.
What’s going to happen?
Who am I going to see?
How is today going to be?
”But despite feeling comfort, I felt alienated from the rest. Everyone just seemed so outgoing and loud. And then there was me.”
So many questions traveled through my brain. I went to a fairly large school. 2500 human beings consumed the halls of my high school. I remember feeling like an ant; small and silent. I would only speak when spoken to, hoping the teacher would never call my name.
As a child, I was always very reserved and shy. I still am. Let’s just say making friends wasn’t exactly my forte. Being in such a large environment everyday can be intimidating, regardless of how many hours you spend in it.
I developed the “quiet girl” label quite quickly. No one knew my name, even including some teachers I had. I was always referred to as “that girl” or “her” or “she”.
I would bury my head in books and drawing pads. It was comfort.
But despite feeling comfort, I felt alienated from the rest. Everyone just seemed so outgoing and loud. And then there was me.
I became an easy target for most. I would be called things like-
Sitting by myself was part of the daily agenda. It’s not that I didn’t want to sit with anyone, but rather no one wanted to sit with me.
I would see flocks of girls in the hallway as I stood alone by my locker holding my backpack.
I will admit, didn’t fit the typical hot, sexy, pretty, high school girl mold. Girls stuffing their bras, powdering on make-up, wearing tight tube tops, was trendy.
Me on the other hand, I was far from trendy.
”My heart sunk. You know the feeling when you brush your teeth and then drink orange juice right after? Yeah, that’s what it felt like. I was so embarrassed. I remember staring at the computer monitor not knowing what to do or think. Complete darkness.”
Facebook back in 2012 was the place to be. Friend requests, chat rooms, poking wars. I would go on Facebook every night, even though I had barely any friends. I started browsing. One girl who was popular sent me a message! Seeing that orange little “1” Notification hit me like a truck. I was excited but curious to see what she wanted to talk about.
“Hey girl we are going to the mall on Saturday if you want to come.” It read.
I thought to myself, wow! I can’t believe they would invite me.
“Sure! What time?” I replied.
I was left on read for a few hours, then another notification popped up.
“Oh not you. That message was meant for someone else”.
My heart sunk. You know the feeling when you brush your teeth and then drink orange juice right after? Yeah, that’s what it felt like. I was so embarrassed. I remember staring at the computer monitor not knowing what to do or think. Complete darkness.
The following year, I launched my modeling career. The modeling industry is tricky, let alone being a teenage girl. Pursuing modeling was a huge dream of mine at the time, and when I got signed with 2 contracts, I was in shock. I was blonde now (thanks to a stylist) and of course became familiar with the power of make up due to working with talented makeup artists.
Oh and side note- my flat chest was cool and accepted. That felt good.
I missed a lot of school. Some people that barely knew me from school would sneak into my inbox hoping to get the details.
“Where are you?”
“Why have you missed so much school?”
“You’re going to have to stay back a year if you don’t show up soon.”
“Ugly duckling turned beautiful swan moment.”
I told one girl who I talked to what was going on. I put my trust in her, and I advised her not to tell anyone what I was up to. It’s not that I didn’t want to tell people that I was modeling, but I just didn’t think it was anyone’s business. I didn’t know how people would react if they knew. Would I automatically be accepted? Or would they hate me even more?
Never trust anyone.
Word got out. And it wasn’t pretty. I was receiving messages on the daily for months.
“Ugly duckling turned beautiful swan moment.”
“Oh my God, you look so different, did you get plastic surgery?”
“Your parents must be really ashamed of you.”
“So you’re not going to college? Your future is over.”
“You were ugly then, and you’re ugly now.”
“Did your parents have to pay the agency to hire you?”
“You obviously bought all of your Instagram followers.”
I learned quickly that the silent treatment was the way to go. Responding to these messages would have only been doing a disservice to my mind, soul, and energy.
”Trust me, growth is the most powerful thing you can give yourself.”
Of course I was sad that people were reacting this way. No positivity came in my direction. And that was hard to face. I guess I had some hope that people would be kind. But that was only a fantasy that was too good to be true.
I decided to quit my modeling career due to personal reasons. Although I am very grateful for the opportunities that the modeling industry gave me, there’s always more room for growth.
And trust me, growth is the most powerful thing you can give yourself.
Earlier this year, one of my images on Instagram became viral. It was just a selfie of me, nothing too crazy or out of the norm. Social media is anxiety inducing as it is, but when multiple pages are tagging you and hundreds of comments/direct messages are flooding in, anxiety inducing is an understatement.
Should I have read the comments/messages? No.
Did I read them? Yes.
Did I feel good reading them? No.
Did I learn something? Yes.
Hate. One word.
If you are a human, you have probably experienced hatred. It’s okay, I have too. We all have.
Everyone has dealt with some form of hatred in their lives, whether it’s via the Internet or in person. Unfortunately nowadays, it is more popular and easy to bully via the keyboard.
It can be difficult for anyone, including myself.
I am a human.
I have feelings.
I have emotions.
I have energy.
I AM NOT A VICTIM and YOU ARE NOT A VICTIM.
It is important to not allow negative feelings, emotions, and energy from others affect you.
Anyone who displays negative energy upon others is not a happy or healthy person. They are most likely miserable, bored, and unhappy with their life and who they are as a person. It is unfortunate, that certain beings decide to hate on others to try to uplift themselves. But at the end of the day, regardless of what they type or say, you have to wish them well in hopes to become happy and healthy again.
There is always going to be a critic, comment, question, opinion, no matter what you do or who you are.
Yes, rise above.
Learn to ignore and block that negative energy out of your life. It is not wanted or needed energy, so why have it around you? It’s easier said than done of course but it’s important.
Protect your privacy.
Look out for yourself and others.
Check in on yourself and others.
Ask yourself how you are doing.
Ask how someone else is doing.
WE ARE ALL HUMAN ON THIS PLANET. We are all equal. We are all different. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated. Please be kind. Please keep others in mind.
Put yourself first. Never hesitate to remove yourself from a harmful situation immediately. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, just leave. It’s simple and beyond affective. Leave it all behind and carry your strength and energy with you gracefully. Move on with your life.
Please contact law enforcement if you or someone you know is in danger. You could save your life, or someone else’s.
TALK ABOUT IT:
Become vocal. It can be difficult being trapped in your head 24/7, so speak up. Talk to those around you about what is going on. Family member, a friend, or someone that is closest to you. Speaking up is powerful and helpful. Never be afraid to let your voice be heard. It is strong.
ABANDON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Unfollow, block, remove, delete things that negatively affect you. Whether it’s a page, a user, a photo. Abandon it. It is not worth your precious time or energy to get caught up in digital attacks. Do not let social media control you. With everything moving so fast in the world today, it is very easy to get caught in the scheme of social media. Release from it all.
My Instagram account grew to nearly 40K followers. It all happened so fast. It initially started as a private account, but after so many people started requesting me, I figured going public would be an easier way to deal with all the requests. I was not prepared. Most people would think the 40K mark on social media is popular and fun, but in reality it felt more lonely and cold. It felt like it was me against the world. Public scrutiny is hard at any cost, but when others hatred is focused solely on your appearance… that can hurt.
After receiving death threats, stalking incidents, and overall violent messages, I decided to take control.
I deleted my 40K account. It is not worth it. Mental health is first.
I am not entertainment.
I am not an image.
I am not a page.
I am not a like, follow, or comment.
I am a human.
Life throws you curveballs. Life is full of experiences. Life is not perfect.
Despite all that, remember.
Your self worth is a priority.
Your mind is a priority.
Your energy is a priority.
MANAGE YOUR CYBER WORLD:
Social media is growing more and more each day. It can be a productive place, and it can also a dangerous place. Learn to manage your time on it. Do not let it consume you. It is so easy to get sucked in each day, but remember, YOU have control.
- Limit your time. Take only 30 minutes each day at the most on your social media account.
- Stay connected. Be sure to stay connected with those on social media who you know you and who truly care for your well being
- Quality over quantity. Followers, likes, and comments do not define you. Ever delete a photo because it didn’t get as many likes as you wanted? KEEP that photo, regardless of how many likes it has. Likes are not important. You are. Delete followers. Delete followers that don’t truly know who you are or don’t have the same interests as you. It’s not worth your time or their time.
WEED OUT YOUR LIFE GARDEN:
Keep your circle small. Value your own energy and presence in the real world, too.
Weed out the beings who choose to
- Put you and your interests down
- Carry negative energy
- Don’t check in on you
- Don’t accept you and your choices
- Don’t make an effort
Keep the beings who choose to
- Support you and your interests
- Radiate positivity
- Check up on you
- Accept you and your choices
- Make an effort
Exercise your mind. Exercise your body. Exercising has helped me mentally, physically, and emotionally. And it will help you too. Hydration is key. Drinking plenty of water daily rejuvenates your whole system and charges you to refocus.
FOCUS ON YOU:
Focus on yourself rather than others for a change. It’s ok to be selfish sometimes, give yourself a break. recharge your batteries. Whether it is taking a nap, watching your favorite Netflix series, or just having some quality me time. Prioritize.
Power off electronics.
Put YOU first.
Keep a notebook. Write down your thoughts, ideas, and goals. Keeping your thoughts all in one place is not only fun to look back on later, but it shows your progress and how far you’ve come.
FIND YOUR PASSION:
Dig deeper. You might not know your true passion just yet, but you will find it soon. Find a special place where you can release your mind in a productive way. I have always been creative my whole life. Art has always been my strong suit and my comfort place. Get to know your likes, dislikes, and interests. Becoming familiar with these will guide you in the right direction.
Take a few deep breaths. It’s going to be okay.
Remain willing to grow.
“Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace.” – Unknown
Is life perfect? No.
Can you accept life’s imperfections? Yes.
Stay on your grind. Motivate your mind and energy. Do what makes you happy. Live in the moment. Be present. Follow your own path. Remain inspired.
Remember- only listen to your mind, rather than someone else’s. You are you. They are them. Different people, different minds. Only YOU know what you want. Chase after it and sail.
“Love yourself and those around you. Because at the end of the day, love is always true, kind, and strong.”
— Nikki Gal
Nikki Gal is a former fashion model and present day graphic artist. Quitting her modeling career in late 2016, she went on to pursue another dream.Discovering her passion for the arts at the age of four, she carved her path through technology into becoming a successful e-commerce businesswoman at age 22.In both her young and mature life, the act of bullying by others has taught her the power of emotional strength and guidance on how to handle the worst of situations. Earlier this year, social media took an ugly turn, leaving Gal’s personal life in the public eye. Realizing this, she took matters into her own hands, and chose to protect her privacy through courage, strength, and control. She believes that mental health is top priority, and that all should educate to protect themselves/ others against bullying, harassment, and violation via online or real life.