Hi guys, some of you have been asking me questions on Twitter and as Anti-Bullying Week kicked off today I thought I’d answer a few of them:
Were you ever bullied or teased in school?
Yes, I think everyone is bullied in some way, and to different extents. For a while I was teased for looking like a duck, and my trademark slick-back pony tail didn’t do me any favours. I didn’t take that too much to heart and over the years it became something I could laugh at too.
There were some nastier moments…But you take the good with the bad and remember that friends are the family you choose, so why not choose to surround yourself with people who motivate you and care for you!
How did you deal with bullying at the time?
I pushed myself to succeed in class and in sports – I developed some new hobbies and built strong friendships out of those. When you have good friends the bullies tend to disappear – they either get bored, or you become too busy to notice them!
As a model did you ever feel pressured to lose weight or look a certain way?
Yes, it’s tough working in an industry that a lot of the time is based on surface values.
Sometimes the pressure is internal – you walk into a casting or on to a set and you size yourself up against the other girls…other times a booker or a casting agent will drop a hint – some more subtly than others.
There was a time when I really focused on losing weight but in the end I lost as many jobs as I gained – thankfully, not every booker is looking for the skinniest girl in the room.
At the end of the day, what really matters is your health and your happiness. You have to remember that and keep your priorities straight.
What are you most insecure about?
We all have off days and sometimes you wake up wishing you had a slimmer waist, tighter abs or longer legs but it’s all relative. Sometimes I’ll put on an outfit, look in the mirror and think, actually I look alright!
Do you ever experience any negativity from online trolls?
Yes! Particularly when I was on MiC…but you can’t let it get you down…it’s a fast learning curve. I’m also really fortunate that a lot of people send me positive messages, so it balances out. Thanks for that! 😉
And finally, what’s the best piece of advice you were given when it came to bullies?
I remember my mom telling me that bullies are dealing with their own struggles and insecurities, which is why they lash out. It turns out that’s very true but at the time what worked best was finding my strengths and focusing on those. I still to this day aim to ignore the things I can’t change and focus on what I can do to grow; whether that’s taking up yoga, or a class, or just picking up a book!
I hope sharing my experiences might help any readers that are struggling with their own bullies or insecurities. Please remember, if you or someone you know is dealing with bullying, tell someone: a friend, a teacher, or a parent. A problem shared, really is a problem halved.
Tweet me any more questions you have with the hashtag #askEmma and don’t forget to sign the #NoBystanders pledge here.