Dannie “Dee” McMillan, a 16-year-old junior at Lampasas High School in Texas was in study hall when her friends broke the news that someone had created a Twitter account for the sole purpose of bullying her.
Here’s the story in her own words:
I was recently a victim of cyberbullying. Someone at my school made a fake Twitter profile with the username fatwhaledee. They put their name as Dee’s a fat whale. They took my powerlifting sports team picture and photo shopped a whale over my face. After making the page they started following people from my school, with each follow another person was notified of this page.
At first I had no clue, it started with weird looks in the hallways and people giggling behind my back. Then my friends started sending me screenshots of the page so I would know. It was awful, the shame and embarrassment I felt. I left school right away and went home where I locked myself in my room and cried for hours. I stayed at home watching the follows grow for three days.
I was destroyed but with the help of my sister, my friends, and plus size model Laura Lee I decided to embrace it and turn this horrifying thing into something beautiful. We are starting to raise money to help whales. Therefore the name “Dee the Fat Whale saves the Whales.”
Dee had the brilliant idea of reclaiming the whale identity, while using this opportunity to help actual whales. Laura encouraged her and the campaign “Dee the fat whale saves the whales” was born!
The campaign includes t-shirts being sold on Booster.com
It also includes a GoFundMe campaign and all of the money goes to Save the Whales! (GoFundMe was so impressed with her that they donated $4,000 to the campaign.)
Obviously, this should never have happened. Nobody should have to figure out what to do about the horrors of human beings who engage in cyberbullying, but I’m really glad that Dee had a mentor and a support network to help her through this, and that she decided to to turn it into something positive.
This is also why it’s important that fat people claim and own our right to live the lives we want in the bodies we have. Of course, nobody is ever obligated to do activism, but every time we take that class, or go to that waterpark, or post our outfit of the day on our social media account, we give other fat people the opportunity to see that the our fat bodies are not the problem, the people who oppress us are.
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