A 12th-grade teenager girl who was voted by her schoolmates as being among the "ugliest" girls in their class has caught the eye of netizens after she relayed a powerful message through her social media post.
Last week, 17-year-old Lynelle Cantwell from Holy Trinity High School in Newfoundland, Canada found out that her fellow students joined an online poll and voted for her as the "ugliest girl" in their grade.
Out of the 100 anonymous votes, she ended up in fourth place with a total of 12 votes.
However, instead of getting depressed because of what her classmates had done, Cantwell took to social media to send a message to all the students who voted for her.
The teenager made a Facebook post that focused on promoting self-acceptance and self-love rather than fighting "fire with fire."
'Ugliest girl' poll: Student's response to cyberbullying goes viral https://t.co/ASqOz3R4yA pic.twitter.com/GYxG3XitLO
— CBC News (@CBCNews) December 3, 2015
Addressing the person who started the poll, Cantwell said that she is sorry that "his life is so miserable that he has to put other people down." She also addressed the people who voted for her and said she feels sorry that they had judged her before even trying to know her as a person. Cantwell went on to say that while she is "not the prettiest thing to look at," she is a kind person, helpful, and someone who other people would love spending time with.
The teenager also defended the other girls who were part of the choices for "ugliest girl" in school, saying that just because they do not look perfect, it does not mean that they are ugly.
"If that's your idea of ugly then I feel sorry for you. Like seriously? Get a life," she concluded.
Cantwell's post has been widely talked about and shared on Facebook, with over 6,000 shares a week after it was posted. Commenters on Facebook applauded the teen's courage in standing up against her bullies in a non-antagonistic way. They also said that Lynelle, as well as other people who are bullied, should not let bashers and critics get the better of them.
Some of the girls who were also part of the "ugliest girl" list also thanked Lynelle for standing up for them as well as all bullied people in general.
"Lynelle what you've done with this situation shows true courage. Thank you so much for supporting myself and all the girls on the list," one of the girls said.
Even Cantwell was surprised of the reactions that her post has triggered, and she said that her confidence was boosted even more because of the support she has been getting.
"I'm overwhelmed with the response. I don't even have words for it. I'm trying to show people to combat negativity with positivity, and I hope people are getting the message," she said.
Meanwhile, Holy Trinity High School principal Andrew Hickey said that the school officials are already addressing the issue. He said that district personnel are also helping them by discussing the issue with parents, guardians, and even students in every class.
UPDATE: Police investigating after target takes bullies to task over 'ugliest girl' poll https://t.co/yXgNr2Kboj pic.twitter.com/6sXogLxpib
— CTV News (@CTVNews) December 3, 2015
Hickey also said that such bullying incidents like the "ugliest girl" poll are "not typical" of Trinity students.
As for Lynelle, she believes that cyberbullying, and all other forms of bullying, happen in every school. But she thinks that people should compliment other people more often rather than be mean to them.
"I was taught to take the high road," Cantwell said.
While social media can be a medium for cyberbullying and discrimination, Lynelle proved that it can also be a channel to share one's beliefs and fight for them. And because these posts can be made public, they can serve as a way to uplift and encourage other people who are experiencing similar situations.
[Image via Lynell Cantwell/Facebook]