Most of us have experience with a high school bully or two, but one Canadian teen decided she wasn’t going to stand for that nonsense.
Buzzfeed reports high school senior Lynelle Cantwell was sitting in math class when she learned her name was on a cruel list intended to rank the “ugliest” girls in school. The list was created on Straw Poll — a website that allows users to create anonymous polls — and then shared on Ask.fm. By the time Cantwell saw it, there were over a hundred anonymous votes and she was ranked in fourth place. Two of her close friends also made the list.
Cantwell tells Buzzfeed she was hurt by the list at first, but rather than allowing others to tear her down, she decided to strike back and make her feelings known. In a powerful Facebook post, she called out the bullies who created the list, as well as everyone who voted, and talked a little bit about what really makes someone beautiful.
Cantwell wrote that she feels sorry for whoever put the list together, because clearly they feel so bad about themselves that they have to resort to tearing others down too. She adds, “I know i [sic] don’t have the perfect smile or the perfect face. But I’m sorry for you. Not myself. I’m sorry that you get amusement out of making people feel like shit. I’m sorry that you’ll never get the chance to know the kind of person I am.”
She adds that she and every girl on the list is “funny, nice, kind, down to earth, not judgemental [sic], accepting, helpful, and super easy to talk to.” They all have good qualities that have nothing to do with how they look, and those are the things that really matter. If that’s someone’s idea of ugly, she writes, then she feels sorry for that person.
Since Cantwell posted her rant, it’s been shared almost 7,000 times and she’s gotten dozens of supportive comments from friends, family, and strangers alike. Plenty of people have rightly stated that Cantwell is beautiful inside and out, but even more striking is Cantwell’s bravery in calling these bullies out. There were other names on that list, and those other girls were probably equally as hurt. Cantwell helped give all of them a voice and let the haters know they aren’t going to take it.
Lots of kids experience bullying in school, but not all of them get the opportunity to stand up for themselves the way Cantwell did. Hopefully her strong message will reach those who need it most and make people think twice about their hurtful words and actions. You’re a badass, Lynelle.