Meet Kori Wilbourn, a dynamite cheerleader and a Soffe All-Star. As a former bullying victim herself, she is a staunch supporter of the anti-bullying movement, and we're proud to have her as our ambassador for Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.
The more people stop and think about what really happens with bullying, the more they will be aware of how widespread it is. Everyone knows it's going on, but we have to stop turning our heads while we pretend that it's not at our school or on our team or that it's not happening right around us. Bullying is everywhere, but it doesn't have to be. Having partners like Soffe that help create awareness is such a great thing. As the Soffe All-Star, I'm fortunate to have a larger voice to talk about what people need to hear and what actually needs to be done.
It's Everyone's Problem: Bullying can happen to anyone. It's not just the unpopular crowd, the quiet kids, kids who stand out for being different. Anyone can become a target of bullies. Look at me. It doesn't seem like a cheerleader could be a victim, but that's exactly what happened. In fact, when I tried to get help, I wasn't taken seriously because I didn't fit the victim stereotype. I know firsthand how much bullying can hurt, and I know how helpless a victim can feel. That's why we need to put an end to this. I hope you stand with me and sign the pledge.
Words Can Hurt: Bullying isn't always physical. Words can hurt even more than physical pain. Being made fun of for your body type, for a stutter you may have, for a physical ailment, for your faith … these are all things that hurt, and they are all forms of bullying.
Cyber-bullying is growing, too. I've seen terrible, mean comments on photos and tweets. People might think they're being funny, but their words are just another form of bullying. I see this almost daily on social media. It happens so often. I think people just don't understand how badly their words can hurt.
Standing Up For Yourself Is Standing Up For Others: It makes me sad when I see kids in the cool group watching bullying happening but not doing anything to try to stop it. We need to get over the idea of social status — speaking up for a victim should not hurt your reputation. The truth is, the cool kids are often the ones with the stronger voices. I was lucky enough to have two friends stand by me in a bullying situation, risking their popularity to defend me, and I believe other victims deserve the same help.
Build Yourself Up: I believe self-confidence is the best weapon against bullying. Learning to be confident in yourself and to love yourself makes the bully realize that their words and actions can't hurt you. When you believe you are strong and beautiful, your confidence becomes the most powerful tool you'll have in life! It's not how you look, though — it's what you believe you truly are on the inside! Be strong. Take a stand. And always have faith!
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