If you ever read this I want to say thank you for starting the #IAmMoreThan campaign on your Instagram page to combat bullying. On the post which you wrote to announce it I was inspired when you said that you’d be sharing “stories of 6 incredible people who have become heroes in their own way by taking #bullying and turning it into something positive.”
I am so excited to launch my new @Instagram campaign #IAmMoreThan. For the next six days, I will be sharing stories of 6 incredible people who have become heroes in their own way by taking #bullying and turning it into something positive. I’ve gotten to talk and bond with all of these people whose stories you will see on my page. I think you will all fall in love with them just like I did. I want to encourage you, my fans, to share something positive about yourselves. I’ll be reading as much as I can so that some of you can be apart of this as well! Let’s do this ❤️ #IAmMoreThan #StopBullying
The 6 stories you shared were truly remarkable…
#Day1 – Renee DuShane (@ALittlePieceofInsane) a 21 year old college student who was born with #PfiefferSyndrome. Renee described it as “a genetic disorder where the bones in my face don’t really know how to fuse correctly so part of my jaw is really small. I had to have surgery when I was born so that my brain could grow.” Renee is so strong willed and a super intelligent girl who told me that while growing up she never had many issues with bullying. “I went to school with all the same kids all the way through high school. Right around senior year, I started getting very anxious about having to explain my condition to all of the new people I would meet in college. I started going on Tumblr and saw lots of profiles of positive, confident people” that inspired her to start sharing her photos even with her insecurities. “It’s so hard to keep myself from responding to the negative comments,” she told me. “Even harder is keeping my friends from getting angry.” It’s so important to have a great group of friends. Renee also told me about the tattoo she recently got of her life motto: Stay Strong, Always Love. “Loving is always going to be a better place than hating,” she shared. Check out Renee’s Instagram @ALittlePieceofInsane – she’s showing the world #IAmMoreThan my forehead. I love you Renee! She is so awesome & inspiring. Renee taught ME that #IAmMoreThan the negative comments that I read. A photo posted by King Kylie (@kyliejenner) on
#Day2 – How pretty is Erica Schenk (@curve_model)?? Erica has been modeling since she was 14 and recently became super popular when she became the first plus size model to be featured on the cover of a fitness magazine! Her cover of @WomensRunningMagazine got attention from outlets ranging from @PeopleMag to @EOnline. Erica’s @Instagram is really inspiring because of her extremely body-positive, beautiful photos she posts of herself. What I love about Erica is she refused to believe the haters who told her that her weight would hold her back from achieving her dreams. She told me that she thinks the most important thing people need to keep in mind is “to learn how to be your best friend. A lot of people will come and go in your life but they can never do as much for you as you can do for yourself.” Check out Erica’s Instagram @Curve_Model – she’s teaching us all #IAmMoreThan the titles they give me. (Photo Credit: @enriquevegaphoto) Erica reminded ME that #IAmMoreThan my body and that my beauty comes from what’s inside. A photo posted by King Kylie (@kyliejenner) on
#Day 3 – Jacob (@Jacob_Lescenskii) and Anthony (@AnthonySexC) are best friends and have been for 2 ½ years. Anthony came out to Jacob early on in their friendship. “It was very casual,” Anthony said when I asked if he remembered coming out to Jacob. “The most important thing I remember was how loving and accepting Jacob made me feel.” When it came time for their junior year, both Jacob and Anthony were so excited to go to prom until things starting going wrong in their personal life. “My girlfriend and I had just broken up,” Jacob mentioned and he was just going to go with friends until he saw Anthony’s tweets. “I realized that helping him with something that would make him happy would also make me happy… and it would probably be the best way to go to prom.” @TeenVogue even helped them find the perfect outfit by sending them to @TopMan to find suits. They had the best time at the prom and have inspired not only their community but the world. They even appeared on the @TheEllenShow ! The most important thing they want people to know and remember is that “YOU matter and people care about YOU. People don’t remember word for word what you said or how you dressed or how you looked but people will remember how you feel.” I’m obsessed with these boys and had such a great time talking to them. We need more people like them in the world! Check out Jacob and Anthony’s instagrams @Jacob_Lescenskii and @AnthonySexC – they’re leading a revolution by showing us all that #IAmMoreThan my sexuality. They taught ME that #IAmMoreThan the critics. Also… @kamideike and Jordan Ruiz!!!! Will you please go to homecoming with @jacob_lescenskii and @AnthonySexC? ☺️
A photo posted by King Kylie (@kyliejenner) on
#Day4 – I’m getting a little more personal… When Lizzie Velasquez (@LittleLizzieV) was 17 years old, someone posted a video of her on YouTube calling her the world’s ugliest woman. “By the time I saw the video, it had 4 million views.” Now 26 years old, Lizzie’s condition was diagnosed last summer. Lizzie suffers from a rare congenital disease that less than 10 people in the world are known to have. The disease impedes her from accumulating body fat; she literally has zero percent body fat and has never weighed more than 64 pounds, however though it is not terminal. Throughout her entire life, this condition has resulted in a lot of #bullying. It is so unacceptable to treat people like this. People are so quick to say horrible things about me everyday over and over and sometimes I can’t take it. Even I at times get affected by it, I breakdown, I hide, I cry. It’s resulted in a lot of anxiety for me that I’ve never had to deal with before ever. My every move has been documented for the whole world and its been a nightmare trying to find myself through all of this. And I’ve absolutely lost apart of myself. Lizzie, you are so strong and I admire you so so much. Lizzie has taken that negative energy and has turned it around by traveling around the world doing motivational speeches. When I asked her what the key messages were of her speeches, she told me that “Most importantly I try to convey that all you need to have is a brave heart to accomplish whatever you want to achieve. Let the negative build you up instead of knocking you down. You are enough no matter what; you were put on this earth for a reason” Soon you’ll be able to see her story on the big screen in the documentary film @ABraveHeartFilm in theaters on September 25th. Check out Lizzie’s Instagram @LittleLizzieV – she’s taking a lifetime full of bullying to help teach the world #IAmMoreThan the names they call me. #ImWithLizzie and Lizzie taught me #IAmMoreThan who I think I am. For me, this is expected it comes with the territory. But Lizzie, you should of not had to go through that. Let’s change this together. I love you Lizzie! I’ll see you soon.
A photo posted by King Kylie (@kyliejenner) on
#Day5 – At 13 years old, Gigi Crouch (@Scolerina9247) was diagnosed with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis and prescribed years in a brace. Gigi had just begun intensive ballet training and this diagnosis could have really hindered her desire and motivation to succeed in the world of dance. “Just being comfortable in the brace was really hard to get used to. It was made out of hard plastic. In the beginning I had to wear it 18-20 hours a day which cut into my ballet training.” However, Gigi realized quickly that her condition could be an advantage instead of handicap. She currently studies at @PacificNorthwestBallet in their professional division, just like one of her favorite ballerinas @CarlaKorbes who recently retired. She also got to study at the School of American Ballet summer program in NYC. Gigi said that the best thing she did was “finding people that were going through the same thing as her.” She even learned about the ballerina Wendy Whelan (@WendyW) who also suffers from Scoliosis. “There is a great support group curvygirlsscoliosis.com that connects you with people in your state, your nation or the world who have scoliosis so you can share your story and hear others.” Check out Gigi’s instagram @Scolerina9247 – she’s showing her doubters that #IAmMoreThan my scoliosis! Gigi is amazing. A photo posted by King Kylie (@kyliejenner) on
#Day6 – I’m obsessed with Em Ford (@MyPaleSkinBlog). She’s a retired model and a current beauty blogger who does dope makeup. She recently revealed on @Instagram that underneath her makeup she has severe acne. “I never had acne when I was a teenager and then at the end of 2014 it just happened. That’s the crazy thing about acne… it doesn’t discriminate on who you are (old, young, black, white, rich, poor)”. Her posts of her makeupless selfies resulted in over 100,000 crazy negative comments on her pictures. Em made a very powerful video highlighting the negative comments she received on her social media after the makeupless selfies. The video racked up 8 million views in the first week and has now been viewed over 15 million times. Em’s biggest advice was to “make friends with the person you see in the mirror because that will change your life. It’s really difficult to do and it’s going to take longer than 2 or 3 days… but once you do it will change your life.” Check out Em’s Instagram @MyPaleSkinBlog – she’s proving to the haters that #IAmMoreThan my acne.
A photo posted by King Kylie (@kyliejenner) on
After the campaign was over you surprised me when you told the world on your Instagram account that you would in fact continue every Tuesday posting a new photo in the spirit of the #IAmMoreThan campaign. Being bullied myself for having autism growing up I thought to myself, “How amazing would it be to have you possibly post my story dedicated towards disability and autism awareness to help those who are being bullied in our community!” I took to my photo gallery looking for the perfect photo to explain to you and the world what I had overcome. Most bullies would tell me that I wouldn’t amount to much because I had autism and I figured it fit right in with this campaign. This is why I shared the photo below…
In honor of @kyliejenner #IAmMoreThan campaign I wanted to share my story for consideration. When I was younger I thought I was defined by my disability. Being nonverbal till I was 2.5 and struggling with emotional and speech delays for most of my adolescence always made me feel like I didn’t belong. When I was 4 I was diagnosed with autism though and everything changed. I was able to receive supports that I would use for the next 15 years to help me get to the point where I could achieve my dreams. It was still hard though when the kids would bully me and tell me that I was different and broken. But I kept striving toward my dreams. One of those dreams was to get into college. I got into all 15 colleges I applied too and in 4 years received my bachelors degree. I then went back to school to receive my Masters so I can become a motivational speaker to help inspire others. Today I have a full time job and have conquered many of my obstacles. Now I say that autism can’t define me but that I define autism. #IAmMoreThan autism. 🙂
A photo posted by Kerry Magro (@kerrymagro) on
College I never thought as a possibility mainly because of people would say I would not amount to much because of my autism diagnosis. I now hope you will consider sharing my instagram post to show that great things are possible in our community! No one should be judged by a label. I define autism and #IAmMoreThan my autism diagnosis.
Even if you don’t share my post I wanted to say thank you for taking the time to show the beauty in our society. Bullying is a huge issue today and I wish more than anything that people could be more accepting of others.
Thank you for using your platform to make us realize we are not alone…