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Emily-Anne Rigal Flawd

August 23, 201514 min
When Emily-Anne Rigal was in elementary school, she was bullied for being overweight so severely that she had to transfer schools. But with this change came another unanticipated transformation: she went from being the bullied to the bully. The messages she had received (being fat = no good) compelled her to treat others poorly in an unconscious effort to make others feel bad about themselves too. Thankfully, by surrounding herself with positive peers that accepted her for who she was, Emily-Anne began to accept herself and those around her—and she did something extraordinary. Inspired by her experiences, she founded the non-profit WeStopHate.org to help others share their experiences with bullying by posting videos to YouTube and help foster good “teen esteem.” In the process, her organization garnered nearly 1 million views and the support of Meryl Streep, Lady Gaga, Whitney Port, and Josie Loren, among others. As teens across the country head back to school, it is the perfect ti

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