August 12, 2013
Two beauty queens, Lisa Opie, Miss Virgin Islands United States 2013, and Stefania Sita, Miss Hawaii Nationwide 2013, take a stand against bullying and launch an anti-bullying campaign.
Their campaign focuses on combating bullying in schools, and encouraging victims to stand up for themselves. The purpose is for individuals to feel the freedom to express themselves without fear of being bullied.
"I used to be a bully! At the time I did not realize that my actions and words could have such a negative impact on someone, it could push them right off the edge. I do not want to be the cause of anyone's sadness or to hold them back from being who they are" says, Stefania Sita, 21 as she reminisces on her younger years, wanting to take a stand and make up for her actions.
Lisa Opie, 22, a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, has a different history with bullying, as she was a victim of bullying for over 8 years. "Being bullied led me to eating disorders, drug abuse, and other bad habits. Luckily, I turned my life around and am now a successful model, beauty queen, and business owner," Lisa also adds, "I used to hide the fact that I was bullied and I was ashamed of it but I think I can use my story to inspire others."
Lisa and Stefania are both successful models and entrepreneurs and chose to use their names in the fashion and entertainment industry to help youth struggling with bullying today.
"Bullying leads to terrible things like depression, self harm, low self esteem, drug abuse, among other things. If we can eliminate bullying, we can eliminate many problems our youth face today," says Opie.
"As shameful and damaging my bullying was, it evoked strong emotions, determining me to not be indifferent against this issue, but to stand against it and take action", says Sita adding "Together Lisa and I will unite as a strong force that will defeat bullying."