#MYSTYLEISMYCHOICE - An Anti-Bullying Campaign for Lilia

March 11, 2016 38 Comments

Campaign for Lilia #mystyleismychoice #braveat16

Dear Erstwildians,

We usually utilise this space to talk about our upcoming designs, announce a competition, or to highlight the work of one of our many wonderful collaborators but today we wanted to focus on something a little more important, an issue that is very dear to our hearts.

On March 2 nd we received a post to our Facebook page that deeply affected the team at Erstwilder HQ. Belinda Steele, an Erstwilder fan, wrote to tell us about her daughter Lilia who is being bullied at school for being ‘different’. What is different about Lilia? At just 16 years old, Lilia strongly identifies with a 1950’s influenced style, a style which includes proudly wearing Erstwilder’s vintage inspired brooches. And it is because of this that she is being bullied, on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, as most of us are all too aware, there are some people in this world who fear those who are different and expresses this fear through bullying.

Impressively, Lillia refuses to give in and continues to express who she is, in part, through her Erstwilder designs.

Lilia’s mother Belinda explains the situation her daughter has had to deal with best, the email she sent to us on Thursday March 3 rd 2016 is included in full below:

“Hi Erstwilder Team

So I am touching base as you guys requested about my daughter Lilia and the Facebook post about how she is being bullied about the brooches.

Lilia is a shy, very quiet, intelligent, high achieving young lady who uses her style to express her personality.

The background I guess is Lilia was sick with glandular fever so as a little treat and pick me up I bought three beautiful brooches (after seeing them in fuller figure fuller busts Georgina Hornes’ blog). A lion and two dinosaurs... The lion to commentate our trip to Africa in September and the dinosaurs as she wants to be a paleontologist.

When she was feeling better (literally about a week ago) she went to school and to feel a little more cheerful and brighter she wore the lion on her school jumper thinking nothing of it.

Unfortunately, she was teased about it.  Lilia was understandably upset when she came home from school but the next day she decided that she would wear another one as she liked them and in part to not give into the bullying.

Again she was teased -  with comments likes they were "grandma" brooches and ugly etc.

Lilia had always been an individual and as she has gotten older (she is 16) she developed her own style heavily influenced by 1950's fashion and have never deviated from owning her style and who she is.

Lilia tried to explain that she likes the brooches and that they make her feel good and she is wearing them for herself.

It is obviously taking a toil but she is adamant that she won't be pressured into conforming and wants to express who she is.  - brave at 16!”

 

Are you as amazed as we are?

The confidence and courage of this young lady is astounding and needs to be acknowledged. It is important to us at Erstwilder that we contribute to positive change in the world wherever we can, and see this as a real opportunity to raise awareness about the larger, universal issue of bullying and, at the same time, show some real support for Lilia.  

AND HERE'S WHERE YOU COME IN...

We’re calling on you all wonderful people to band together to take a stand against school bullying (and bullying in all its forms), show your support for Lilia and allow her to see that she is part of a wonderful community of confident women who all own their style.

IT'S EASY TO GET INVOLVED. ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS...

    1. Take a photo of yourself wearing your favourite Erstwilder brooch
    2. Post this to Instagram (and/or Facebook)
    3. Post your picture with the hashtags  #MYSTYLEISMYCHOICE & #BRAVEAT16
    4. Encourage your friends and family to do the same

 

If you have any messages of support for Lillia (as well as anyone who has been subjected to bullying) or you have your own story to tell, please feel free to share your comments here and on our Facebook page.

Thank you.


38 Responses

Testelin
Testelin

March 18, 2016

Hi Lilia ! Do you know the difference between Brutus and the people who bully you? There’s not, they are both jealous!
It’s easy to point out something different when you are a drop of water in the ocean. You have an uncommon personality, you stay special, even with a uniform, they just can’t admit it!
So stay strong darling, because you’re fu**ing GORGEOUS!!

Noella Ross
Noella Ross

March 15, 2016

Lilia, you have been created as God’s precious child. He loves you and each of us unconditionally. Look to Him, and not the flawed way others would want to reflect to you from their own insecurity. Wear your Erstwilder with joy, as I do!

Tamasine Chamberlain
Tamasine Chamberlain

March 15, 2016

Lelia, please please stay the independent intelligent individual you are. It’s so easy to be the same as all the rest of the sheep, so it’s just brilliant to hear about a girl who dares to be different. I too was “different” loved vintage clothes and have been upcycling vintage clothes all my life, always loved wearing my grannys brooches to school (there was no Erstwilder back then) . I too had chronic fatigue at 17. I too was studying science. I too was bullyed for being different. I stuck to my guns on all counts and guess what, became a scientist, and still wear vintage and brooches and my friends family and boyfriend love that I’m unique. You are a an amazing young woman! cheers TAM

Kaycee Carmine
Kaycee Carmine

March 13, 2016

Lilia, you are brave and strong. No one has the ability to tear us down quite like our peers, but you find most of these people only bully to cover their own insecurities, their need to conform shows their lack of individuality and confidence in themselves. School is harsh, but it’s not forever. Hold you head up, and know that when school is long behind you, the fortitude and bravery you have shown now will bolster you for life. Your choices are your own, step up, own them, and know that there is only one you. Be the best you that you can be :)

Tracey
Tracey

March 12, 2016

You go Lilia! You have fabulous beauty and style and you should be proud of who you are. I was bullied at 16 and I wish I’d had you’re courage to stand up to them. Sending you big hugs lovely xxx

Eilidh Cochrane
Eilidh Cochrane

March 12, 2016

Dear Lilia,
I am so sorry you’re being bullied at school. I understand how hard it is, I am sixteen myself and have been experiencing bullying at school too. I have my hair in a very short pixie cut, I like wearing 60s clothes and I like wearing huge winged eyeliner! My mum has this beautiful collection of clothes from the 40s and 50s and that influenced my style I think. However I’ve received comments about how I look, even my dress size has been commented on, and my hair. I have been called a Dyke before because of my hair and my eyeliner has been sarcastically commented on. I’ve been bullied on and off for a while now and because of this I don’t wear eyeliner or any makeup I like to school. Even on non school uniform days I’ll try wear something more “casual” that I won’t usually wear.

I just want to say you’re so brilliant and brave for not giving into it. And I’m so glad you don’t because you look stunning and as my mum says people pick on people because really they’re just threatened by individuality.

You really are so brave for not giving into them, keep being you’re amazing individual self. If you need a fellow 16 year old to talk to who understands what it’s like, you can get in touch with me on Facebook!

Keep up the amazing resilience,
Lots of love and admiration,
Eilidh xx

Eilidh Cochrane
Eilidh Cochrane

March 12, 2016

Dear Lilia,
I am so sorry you’re being bullied at school. I understand how hard it is, I am sixteen myself and have been experiencing bullying at school too. I have my hair in a very short pixie cut, I like wearing 60s clothes and I like wearing huge winged eyeliner! My mum has this beautiful collection of clothes from the 40s and 50s and that influenced my style I think. However I’ve received comments about how I look, even my dress size has been commented on, and my hair. I have been called a Dyke before because of my hair and my eyeliner has been sarcastically commented on. I’ve been bullied on and off for a while now and because of this I don’t wear eyeliner or any makeup I like to school. Even on non school uniform days I’ll try wear something more “casual” that I won’t usually wear.

I just want to say you’re so brilliant and brave for not giving into it. And I’m so glad you don’t because you look stunning and as my mum says people pick on people because really they’re just threatened by individuality.

You really are so brave for not giving into them, keep being you’re amazing individual self. If you need a fellow 16 year old to talk to who understands what it’s like, you can get in touch with me on Facebook!

Keep up the amazing resilience,
Lots of love and admiration,
Eilidh xx

Lauren Randle
Lauren Randle

March 12, 2016

Lilia, bullies can be so cruel, they can say and do things that make your world crumble, they find your weakness and cut you down and mostly you have no idea why? There is nothing wrong with you- it’s them feeding their own insecurities through being so mean. I had the same thing at high schoolmate at two different schools. It wore me down till one day I just got up and though ’I’m me and no ones going to stop me being me,’ I still have self esteem issues today but I try not to. Keeping being you because you sound like your going places my dear and that’s awesome! Big hugs to you. Xx

Michelle
Michelle

March 12, 2016

Lilia, don’t let these people get you down……bullies have huge self esteem issues of their own that they don’t know how to deal with, so they belittle others in an attempt to boost themselves. KNOW that they are the ones with the problems. I know it’s hard, I was bullied at school (back in the day we called it ‘being picked on’) because we didn’t have a set school uniform, just had to wear certain colours. My family didn’t have a lot of money….so my clothes were often not trendy, or handmade!!! Pretty severe offences when you’re in high school hey!! They ARE jealous of your individuality, your style, your self image…..hold your head up high & be you. These people are not important, & when you leave school, they’re gone! Don’t let them scar you or affect who you are. Just look at all this support….the big wide world is waiting for you girl?

Georgie
Georgie

March 12, 2016

Hi Lilia
A little message from the UK, one day when you are doing what you want to do, living a life you love, you will look back and think how sad that people couldn’t embrace your perceived difference. I too like many others was bullied at school and at the time it took its toll, it’s hard to keep your head up and believe in yourself in the face of constant criticism and abuse, however (and here’s the secret) it actually makes you stronger, I know it truly doesn’t seem like it, these experiences, these people they will help shape you to the fantastic strong woman I know you will become (someone with your style cannot fail to be fabulous). My job is helping people who struggle today both young and old with unimaginable trauma, and I categorically would not have ended up doing this job that I love if it were not for those awful school years. So to those that put you down, criticise you, make you cry, guess what Lilia has the last laugh all you’re doing is giving her building blocks to use to be fabulous xx

Denise
Denise

March 12, 2016

Hi Lilia. You look gorgeous with your brooch. I have a huge collection of brooches including at least 20 Erstwilder brooches. I wear a brooch every day and people tell me they look forward to seeing which one I am wearing on any given day. You are brave to stand up to bullies who are just cowards and insecure people to be pitied. Keep that gorgeous smile on your face!

Ashley
Ashley

March 12, 2016

Dear Lilia,
I’m going to sound like a broken record, but you stay true to who you are. I am 31 and have always been a vintage girl at heart. Just like you I am shy and soft spoken. I love vintage clothes, old movies, old music etc. However, I didn’t have the courage to truly show it until about a year ago! When I turned 30 I finally decided I was going to look how I had always felt on the inside. I discovered pinupgirlclothing.com, Erstwilder, Miss Victory Violet and the Junebugs and Georgia Peaches blogs, and found I wasn’t the only one out there that dreamed of donning that 1950s look! It took me a long time to be comfortable in my skin and live the vintage life that I love. You are so brave and courageous for doing it at 16! I wish I had that time back to show my true style and not give in to the pressure of what the other girls were wearing just so I wouldn’t stand out and be “bullied.” I spent a lot of wasted time being somebody I wasn’t because I was too afraid of what others would think of me. The best advice I can give you is that you need to live your life for you and not care what others think. I know it can be tough at your age, but once you get to be my age, I promise more people will truly admire your unique style and be in awe of how you do it! My vintage style has given me that confidence and happiness I had never felt before. So… for the love of God don’t give in to wearing leggings and skinny jeans just because everyone else is doing it! Style is becoming a lost art and its up to you and the rest of us vintage gals to keep style alive! Don’t ever change who you are just because of what somebody says. They are just words and words can’t hurt you. Just brush them right off your shoulder and go home every night knowing you looked fabulous and the haters were probably just jealous of you impeccable taste.

Dollie DeVille PinupGirl
Dollie DeVille PinupGirl

March 12, 2016

You got that right! Your style is your choice! Stay beauty!
XoXo

stephanie
stephanie

March 12, 2016

Written at the end of the 1500s is as true today as it was then….remember and follow these words…
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Don’ let the bullies win or get you down. Rise above them and you will be stronger in the end!
You are loved and supported….

Sassy Scarlet
Sassy Scarlet

March 11, 2016

Lilia, I was bullied my entire life. I have always been plus sized, had glasses and marched to the beat of my own drum. I’ve been verbally tormented and even physically hurt with teachers often being as cruel. The world is tough on anyone who has differences and especially gals who do their own thing. This is a reflection of others NOT any reflection upon you. You are a unique universe of personality and beauty, NOONE else on Earth can offer what you can!! Remember this anytime you are bullied, You are ONE OF A KIND, pass the love on to others and ROCK WHAT YOU GOT!!!

Iulia
Iulia

March 11, 2016

After glandular fever you are this strong!!! You will obviously go further than narrow minded bullies. What an amazing path you are blazing. My 2 school rules were “Common sense” and “common courtesy”. They have always got me through. And you have an amazing mum as well. Stay true to yourself.

Jane
Jane

March 11, 2016

I wear a Erstwilder brooch nearly everyday an it’s a rare day it’s not complimented on. Even the barista at McDonalds commented on my blue bird today. Embrace your love of vintage and, more importantly, your love for yourself and life and rock those brooches. High School is, thankfully, a small part of your life. Go and live a life full of colour, joy and love Lilia.

Lauren Parsons
Lauren Parsons

March 11, 2016

Your bravery is admirable, never give up! I grew up with the constant fear of being bullied at school. I had a great love for vintage style, but was too afraid to wear it until I had left school. And I only went full vintage style when I moved to Glasgow. I was scared to be open about a lot of things back then, and hated school because of it. I wish I had been as strong as you at 16, and expressed myself. Stay resilient. Be happy with the knowledge that they will go on to lead average, mundane lives, whilst you live in beautiful colour, rich texture and swim in compliments from those around you! All the best for the future! Xx

Bec Sutherland
Bec Sutherland

March 11, 2016

Hi Lilia. I think all of us are unique but not everyone is brave enough to publicly acknowledge it (poor things!). From one vintage gal to another, you look lovely. To thine own self be true – nasty behaviour is usually caused by an insecurity and best ignored. Best wishes. Bec

Sharon
Sharon

March 11, 2016

Dear Lilia, It is very sad that young people haven’t learned that it’s not okay to bully someone. I was bullied physically and emotionally at high school for being different, and in some ways it took its toll, but in other ways it has improved my life (strange I know). I became a school teacher who is very empathic towards all children, but especially those who are different, and I take a strong stand against bullying. I am kind to everyone because I know that a harsh word could be the last straw for someone who’s suffering. I came out of that school happy that I never gave in to peer pressure. I held on bravely and often faced my walk through that time alone. I know that I can survive almost any hard time because I am strong. Treat their jealousy, lack of maturity and inability to be individuals with kindness. You can’t control their behaviour, but you can control your response. Confidently face them. Don’t think you have to justify anything. Smile and wish them a happy day. They won’t know what to do with that! Lastly, know that we’re all here in internet land to support you. You don’t need ‘those’ kinds of friends. Maybe join a club for pin-up girls or rockabilly fans and bond with other like-minded people.

Catherine Turner
Catherine Turner

March 11, 2016

Hi Lillia, what a brave young lady. Continue to wear your own style and be true to yourself. I am 68 and only wish I had had your confidence when I was 16. Bullies are the ones lacking here not you. I love my Erstwilder brooches also and wear them every where. Chin up and march confidently onto your future. Catherine?

chrissy
chrissy

March 11, 2016

I was mercilessly bullied, along with my best friend for the whole five years we were at high school. The reason? We listened to rock music and dressed a little different. We were even told by our year head it was our own fault for trying to be different. I guess what I’m trying to say is I know what it’s like and it will pass, even though it doesn’t feel like it now. You will look back and realise it had made you stronger. Don’t ever give up being who you are to please others.

Brooke
Brooke

March 11, 2016

Lilia .. The thing here is you are 16 and you have already found yourself. You are confident in yourself and your style. Own it girl! Because I’ll tell you something … It’s taken me 33 years to find myself and have the confidence to own it. And there is a fair chance that the ones bullying you won’t find themselves any time soon. So chin up Miss.. You have already accomplished what others can spend a life time trying to catch a glimpse of! In another few years you can look back with pride.. All they get to do is look back and think wow I was such an arse as a kid.

Sharon Smith
Sharon Smith

March 11, 2016

Lovely Miss 16, I am afraid as the other posters have noted that worshipping Marilyn’s style rather than a Kardashian is setting yourself up for comments. At my age, almost 43, I am more able to shrug off comments like “who wears brooches these days” etc and know I am literally the only one wearing vintage style dresses in a sea of gym gear at the school gate. You need to find your tribe – follow Dangerfield and Review, Kitten D’Amour and pin up bloggers like MissVictoryViolet and then you will realise it isn’t a marginalized style but just not in a fashion magazine. I think the work involved in matching lippy, brooches, petticoats etc does polarize women but at the end of the day you will be memorable ???

Soh Ping
Soh Ping

March 11, 2016

Good on you Lilia. You are a beautiful, unique individual with a strong sense of self identity and style. Good on you for not wanting to be another ‘clone’. You go, girl!

Debra Byrne
Debra Byrne

March 11, 2016

Hi Lilia, stay true to yourself. I think you are amazing and courageous. I love wearing pin up gear when I can and I’m 48. I have had heaps of comments on my outfit today and every one that I have stopped to jp hat with have heard your story. You have more support than you know.

We had a professional development day at work today (I am in the military) and I spoke about the Erstwilder anti bullying campaign. One of the girls gave me the details of Dr Michael Carr-Gregg. He is in Melbourne and actually has a lot of fabulous support sites for young people. You might like to check out his website (just google).

Anyway, I hope that my support can help you to stay stong and stay being you. Take care. Deb

Jessica Kate
Jessica Kate

March 11, 2016

So many people point out my brooches as a point of difference. Often it’s a compliment but I get a lot of questions on my style and why I wear them. Be you, do what you do. Wear your brooches with pride and never be afraid to express yourself even in a small way like a brooch on your jumper. My experience with bullies is that they are often jealous, it’s not a lie that your mum tells you!! They are intimidated by your self expression, your lack of fear in displaying who you are. So much love to you Lilia.

Gloria
Gloria

March 11, 2016

I am truly baffeled by why she is being bullied a brooch? She is a beautiful girl and I think the other girls are jealous and that’s how they show it. Keep yur head up Lilia, your going to go far

Erin
Erin

March 11, 2016

I didn’t fit into the world until I discovered my own vintage style, and can I tell you that I don’t go a single day where someone in the street/shops/etc doesn’t compliment my Erstwilder brooches, outfits, or style! You keep rocking exactly who you are, Lilia! The great thing is that while school can be a bit of a microcosm of conformity, the world is starting to see and celebrate uniqueness! You’re part of a great community of quirky, eccentric, cool, smart, fierce women (and perhaps even some brooch-loving men!) for whom Erstwilder is just a little piece of how they express themselves. I’m a Psychologist by trade, and I spend a lot of time working with teenage girls who are given a hard time for being different, but I encourage them to own all of themselves! We’re all meant to be different (our DNA alone tells us that!), and conformity is a short-term phase that many teens will go through… but don’t give in! Know that you’re amazing, courageous, bright, and fabulous! And also: dinosaurs are freaking awesome! Those other kids haven’t a clue! <3 <3 <3

Megan
Megan

March 11, 2016

I’m so sorry you’re having a tough time and that not everyone can see just how special you are. As with all my favourite people, they never fitted in either; you’re born to stand out. Keep shining. Sending lots of love x

Cass
Cass

March 11, 2016

I can’t believe this is what bullying has come to. A badge that looks like a granny should be wearing it? Well then bullies of the world, I dress like a granny daily then! So does my sister. And a few other people I know. Big deal!!
When i was a senior at high school (16yrs old) I also wore pins/bagdes every day, my school tie was adorned with them. Sure I got called weirdo, freak, etc, but ya know what – big whoop. It was there problem not mine. They clearly had nothing else to pull me up on so they chose that (and that I had blue shoe laces in my black school shoes).
Kudos to you, Lilia, for being your own special and unique person.

Bojoura
Bojoura

March 11, 2016

Wow Lilia – you are amazing! I wish I had been as brave as you are now when I was 16. Continue to stand up for yourself and your style. Along your life’s journey you will find those like-minded people with the same fantastic sense of style as you. And you will truly be able to treasure their genuine friendships. Stay strong xxooxx

Miss Finlay
Miss Finlay

March 11, 2016

Congratulations on sticking to your choice and being original Lilia. I wear vintage or 1950’s inspired clothes everyday, even on photo day at school. I am a science teacher and my students love my brooches so much they argue over which one they like the most! Be strong, be proud of yourself, and just think….maybe you are actually helping someone else with self -confidence along the way.

Ollie
Ollie

March 11, 2016

Looking good Lillia. Just be yourself and keep doing what you are doing

Tanya
Tanya

March 11, 2016

Be true to who you are, and never conform to what others think you should be. Always remember ‘A lion doesn’t concern itself with the opinion of sheep.’

Clover Laurier
Clover Laurier

March 11, 2016

O my gosh – kids are so cruel! I honestly saw this photo and thought, what a gorgeous model! Lilia be proud of your individuality. What I see is style, grace and beauty….

Karyn Pietens
Karyn Pietens

March 11, 2016

Hi Lilia, Well done you. Keep holding your head up. Everyone has the right to be what they want – but not to tell others what they should be. Vintage rocks!

Jordan
Jordan

March 11, 2016

Lilia is so beautiful! Love this girl and everything she stands for! #braveat16 #mystyleismychoice

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