1. Lynelle Cantwell was sitting in math class when she found out the boys in her class had posted a poll asking who the ugliest girl at their school is. And Cantwell’s name was on the list.
“I saw that I was fourth and I was like, ‘wow.’” Cantwell told BuzzFeed Canada.
“I felt hurt, like really really hurt. Not gonna lie, it tore me apart a little bit.”
The poll, posted on the Straw Poll website, listed a bunch of Cantwell’s Grade 12 classmates and invited people to vote on who they found unattractive.
It was shared on Ask.fm, along with anonymous comments and a poll of the “prettiest” girls. Two of her friends were also listed.
2. But, rather than let the bullies get to her, the teenager from Torbay, Newfoundland, spoke out.
In a Facebook post, Cantwell said she feels sorry for whoever made the poll.
“I’m sorry that your life is so miserable that you have to try to bring others down,” she wrote.
“To the 12 people that voted for me to bring me to 4th place. I’m sorry for you too. I’m sorry that you don’t get to know me as a person. I know that I’m not the prettiest thing to look at. I know I have a double chin and I fit in XL clothes. I know I don’t have the perfect smile or the perfect face. But I’m sorry for you. Not myself.”
3. “Just because we don’t look perfect on the outside does not mean we are ugly. If that’s your idea of ugly then I feel sorry for you. Like seriously? Get a life.”
4. Cantwell’s post has now gone viral, with more than 2,500 shares of her post and a slew of messages praising her for standing up.
5. “I’m so proud that you spoke up to let people know how cruel people can be,” said one commenter. “If people need to put you and these other girls down in a vote, then they obviously have some really bad self esteem issues.”
Cantwell said the response has been “phenomenal” and thinks it struck a chord because so many people have experienced bullying themselves.
“It was just amazing to get the support I was getting from people,” she said. “It boosted my confidence 100%. I have more confidence now than before the poll.”