Alyssa by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin
As one of the most visible faces in fashion, Alyssa Miller has made her presence felt in front of the camera, but it’s what she does on her off time that is remarkable. As one of global ambassadors of Stomp out Bullying, Alyssa works to help eradicate the nation’s bullying problem by raising awareness and spreading information. The anti-bullying cause has never been more relevant and for Alyssa it has a personal importance. In this MDC interview Alyssa explains how kids in need of support can find help via Stomp Out Bullying and just why this cause means so much to her.
Tell us a bit about your work with Stomp Out Bullying.
ALYSSA : I just started working with Stomp out Bullying which is awesome, I’m so excited to get to work with these kids. The Stomp Out Bullying site is a tool and kids can go to the website and see how to handle these situations best. If they’re being bullied or even if they feel like they are being a bully, it just guides you through each problem and helps kids figure out the best course of action.
How did you get involved?
ALYSSA : It happened by coincidence. They asked me if I was interested in helping them out and I was really drawn to it because I was bullied a lot as a kid. Growing up I was very awkward looking and socially awkward. I have a lot of siblings so we were each others best friends, but once I was thrown into the school situation I didn’t really know how to make friends. I definitely got bullied a lot so I can identify with what these kids are feeling. I wanted to do anything I could to support them.
What was your personal experience with bullying like?
In my instance I didn’t talk about it with my family. I wasn’t something I wanted to come home and tell my mom about. Until it got to the point where I was in junior high and I started to feel suicidal. I had no friends, I had trouble making friends – I didn’t know how to do that. I will always remember when I would wait for the bus, I would hide behind the trees until the bus pulled up and then I would run down the block to make the bus. I didn’t want to even go stand by the other kids because things had gotten so bad. I wish something like Stomp Out Bullying had been around when I was younger.
What kind of advice does Stomp Out Bullying offer kids?
ALYSSA : There are tons of different articles on their website and blog, dealing with everything from hazing, to cyber-bullying. It also gives information for parents since a lot of times parents don’t know the full extent of what is going on. Every situation is different so there are several scenarios they go through on the site. Someone can be bullied because of their race, their sexual orientation, whether or not they fit in with a certain group. Stomp Out Bullying tries to provide advice on how to deal with those situations, whether it means talking to an adult, getting a teacher involved.
I think what they do is very important, especially considering the way constant bullying can negatively impact kids. There have been so many suicides lately as a result of bullying, especially gay and lesbian teens. LGBT teens around the world are being harassed and many of them feel like they have no one out there to help them. Stomp Out Bullying lets kids know that things do get better and there are people who care.