Weak Voice – Strong Spirit
I have been a victim of bullying from a very young age. I grew up in rural Australia where I was a minority figure and a victim of race hate. I got picked upon in the classroom and mainly in the playground by teachers as well as my peers and other the children of all ages. I got called many names due to my colour of my skin. Being from an Italian background, I had olive skin which was just not accepted in my town, let alone my catholic school. This so called Christian school had teachers, who chose to ignore how I was been treated, regardless of how obvious and distressing it was.
¨Fear is what will paralyze you; it’s the root issue of why children and people bully you¨ – Grace Van De Laak
In the classroom, Italian friends and I were always separated, especially when it came to our academic achievements. They called us at that time ´special needs´. We were the children labelled as English being our second language. This was true, but I assure you that we all could read and write English with the same competence as the rest of our classroom. To add more intensity to my bullying, I had to wear glasses and ´four eyes´ was my nick-name. I found learning more and more difficult because I was always in fear.
Definition of Bullying
When you Google the word ´bullying´, these are some of the definitions that come up;
Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others. The behaviour is often repeated and habitual bullying is unwanted, aggressive behaviour among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Bullying is a form of aggressive behaviour in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort.
Michelle Obama – When Someone Is Cruel
The first ladies approach to bullying is this; ¨When we explain that someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is when they go low, we go high.¨
I agree with this, but in fashion and the way I have been treated the past two years makes this a very hard task to undertake. To just take it and walk away is the biggest challenge of all -to remain calm in situations where you are clearly being bullied. I am proud to say, that I have acted in the most professional manner, both personally and on my social media – something which I can prove certain organisations have not.
By taking on the first lady´s approach, I am now going to share over many articles my story to date.
You’re A Fake And Your Name Is Not On The List
Let me share one example of many to come, of how this organisation has treated me since January 2014, when I was invited by a designer to an event. My name was on the official guest list and the security person in charge of the guest list ticked my name off. I was then shocked 10 minutes later to have several fashion people and the PR manager humiliate me in front of everyone by asking me to step outside and leave.
I did nothing wrong except go up to a person who is the organizer of the event. I simply asked if I could have a chat to him and straight after that, two security guards and three other PR members (under his instructions) left me outside on a freezing winter’s morning. They then went on to say that I would never be allowed back in and that I ¨was a fake person and that my name was never on the list.¨
I hold evidence to this day that my name was on that list as the designer had invited me, but due to the power of this organisation and their capacity of official sponsors, they could do nothing about it. I have never ever been invited back by this PR agency or designer again.
I Must Have Called A Thousand times
After the incident above, I suffered a lot mentally. I cried for months and was left both confused and shocked at the same time. My fashion invitations plummeted and the interviews I achieved in the past were no longer were available to me. It cost me financially and more importantly the damage this organisation caused my personal brand was devastating.
So what do you do when you’re up against Goliath? What do you do when you are subject to what I call in 2016 as ´Fashion Bullying´ and a nick-name I now use as ´The Sodom & Gomorrah Industry´? How was I going to attack this head on? Or should I close my eyes, turn my back and just let it all go?
Recently, I was reminded that I have been here before as a child and I had to use this experience to be smart and expose them for who they are. Not in a spiteful way, but in a way in which this organisation needs to understand – that bullying in fashion can no longer be hidden under the catwalk; or that scaring people out of the industry can no longer and will no longer be tolerated.
Songstress Adele summarised my journey well; over the course of several months and a substantial amount of phone calls, in literally called the senior management of the guilty party a thousand times but no one would call me back. I then sent an e-mail and began to call every day to get an answer, still with no result. I knew then that this was my signal to start the fight to clear my name in the Fashion Industry.
You Can Bully Me You Can Block Me – But You Won’t Stop Me
The reason why I am sharing this with you all after almost two years is very simple – I am representing ´those gone before me´; those who have been bullied and mis-treated by this organisation in the past. I currently represent those who are afraid to speak out against these corporate couture bullies and to make them aware that their fear and intimidation strategies will now be exposed. I am prepared to take a risk where fashion designers and PR’s will directly know the truth, then they can look to their conscience to decide who is right and who is wrong.
I close by stating ¨what have I got to loose? ¨ It is this organisation that has damaged my reputation and continually set out to dis-credit me within the fashion industry. My invites are still way below average, considering my social media influence. This week I had a very high end brand confirming they wanted to sponsor me in during this current, London Fashion Week. Then they retracted, well actually they ignored me all together. What is going on?
When a certain humiliating tweet which went out on January 2016 at London Collections: Men, about me to all my 280,000 followers. SAYING, YOU ARE BANNED FOR LIFE! Why would a person say such a thing? Where did they source the information from? Why is this Goliath, so determined to continue to damage my name? I have a weak voice compared to this Goliath, but my spirit is strong.
I knew that the public needed to hear my story, so until my next thoughts.
Who Is My Goliath?