We have all been there: bullied for being too fat, bullied for being too skinny, bullied for being too smart, bullied for not being smart enough. The painful words of our peers can cut like a knife. But instead of crying it out over a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, this Texas teen turned her abuse into bad-ass activism.
Sixteen year old Dannie “Dee” McMillan is a high school junior in Lampasas, Texas. While sitting in study hall one day, she received a text from a friend alerting her that a Twitter account had been made by another student called “Dee’s A Fat Whale.” The account had a photo of her class with a whale photoshopped over Dee’s face. The initial shock and embarrassment left her in tears. She told KCEN, a local Texas news channel that picked up her story, “The moment I got out of that classroom, I just started crying. I was just really upset. I think I got angry after a little bit. But, at first I was just so embarrassed.”
After school that day, Dee locked herself in her room and cried for hours. Later that night she messaged plus-sized model Laura Lee on Facebook, seeking support of someone who might understand her plight.
She told Lee, “Part of me wants to cry all day. And, the other part of me wants to get a t-shirt with a whale on it and wear it to school to show that they can’t get to me.” Lee encouraged her to do just that.
With the support she had gotten from one of her heroes, Dee designed a t-shirt online that read “Dee the Fat Whale Saves the Whales.” Her goal was to sell 50 shirts and donate the money to the Save The Whales organization in California, which aims to educate children and adults about marine mammal preservation.
As of today, she has sold 363 shirts and raised over $10,000 on her gofundme page. A total amount of more than $16,000, with all of the proceeds going to Save The Whales.
The Twitter account has since been deactivated and the overwhelming amount of support Dee has received proves that bullies never win.
Image via Booster.com
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