What This Former Bully Had to Say Will Change Your Mind About All Bullies

A new campaign wants to turn young girls’ self-doubt into self-worth.
Jul 30, 2014·
Kristina Bravo is Assistant Editor at TakePart.

Nobody likes a bully. We don’t root for the Nelsons and the Regina Georges of the world. And we don’t often hear from girls like Mariah, who was a real-life mean girl—until Jasmine, her target, finally spoke up.

“I remember pushing her and calling her names,” says Mariah in the video. Then one day, Jasmine simply asked her why.

“At that moment, I realized that it was because I was bullied myself. I had nobody to talk to, and so I used that anger inside of me to take it out on other people.”

Federal officials estimate that more than 25 percent of American students are bullied every year. According to a 2014 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, both the bullied and the bullies are more likely to think about or commit suicide.

This video—produced as part of "Words," a campaign launched by the organization I Am That Girl, which encourages girls to realize their self-worth—brings up a point rarely talked about. As states criminalize bullies, it’s often forgotten that bullying is rooted in deeper personal issues. Bullies need help too.

Mariah and Jasmine have since become close friends, a testament to what words can do.

“It helped me heal from all the times I have been bullied,” says Mariah. “She inspired me to dream up a new way of being.”

Watch more videos from the "Words" campaign here.