Confident. Brave. Fierce. Honest. These are just some of the words that more than a dozen gifted stylists use to describe themselves — and anyone else who has been victimized by bullying — in a compelling video filmed at the ID Salon in Woodbury, NY. Owned by Lori Panarello, Global Style Council member and National Guest Artist for KMS California, ID is a full-service salon that’s dedicated to helping its clients express themselves and celebrate their unique identity through fashion in hair.
Hosted by Simon Miller, another of the KMS California Global Style Council members, the short film features incredibly moving stories from the salon’s stylists about their own painful experiences with bullying and how they learned to rise above the hate, overcome the hurt and love themselves for who they are. “I don’t ever want to be anything but who I am,” says Lori. “I actually love me and I’m so happy that I don’t fit in with the norm.”
Lori started the project after she heard the news of a 13-year-old Staten Island boy who had committed suicide as a result of incessant bullying. Together with the LGBT community, Lori started fundraising at her salon to help the local coalition for anti-bullying. When Lori asked her staff if any of them had ever been bullied before, each and every person raised a hand. That’s when Lori realized that the stories of these talented and successful stylists needed to be brought to life and shared, so that those who are currently suffering know that they’re not alone and that it does get better.
“I dealt with bullying by finding my own self-worth and realizing that once you do, nobody can take it away from you again,” says one of the dozens of empowered, emotionally charged interviewees in the video.
Created in partnership with The Crooked Fringe Movement, an independent broadcasting and media production company, the uplifting video implores us all to #CutOutTheBullying and say enough is enough. “The worst thing about being bullied is that you start to question things you know for sure about yourself,” says Simon. “No one should be bullied. At some point we’ve just got to stop it.”
See Beauty Against Bullying’s message of tolerance and love in the video below: