lynelle cantwell strikes back
Last week Lynelle Cantwell stood up to the cyberbullies who named her in an ‘ugliest girls’ poll, the Grade 12 student in Torbay Newfoundland is still receiving a flood of positive messages and finding herself besieged by a string of interview requests.
Cantwell wrote a Facebook post Tuesday calling out the whoever voted for her in an ugliest girls post on social media site ask.fm.
In a Facebook post that has gotten more than 6,200 shares since it was posted on Dec. 1, the 17-year-old wrote, “To the person that made the ‘ugliest girls in grade 12 at HTH’ ask.FM straw poll, I’m sorry that your life is so miserable that you have to try to bring others down. To the 12 people that voted for me to bring me to 4th place, I’m sorry for you too. I’m sorry that you don’t get to know me as a person. I know that I’m not the prettiest thing to look at. I know I have a double chin and I fit in XL clothes. I know I don’t have the perfect smile or the perfect face. But I’m sorry for you. Not myself. I’m sorry that you get amusement out of making people feel like s***. I’m sorry that you’ll never get the chance to know the kind of person I am. I may not look okay on the outside, but I’m funny, nice, kind, down-to-earth, not judgmental, accepting, helpful, and I’m super easy to talk to. That’s the same for every other girl on that list that you all put down. Just because we don’t look perfect on the outside does not mean we are ugly. If that’s your idea of ugly then I feel sorry for you. Like seriously? Get a life.”
The response to her comments has been almost universally positive, and Cantwell said people even recognized her when she was out to dinner over the weekend.
Lynelle received several messages of support on her Facebook page.
“I’m so proud that you spoke up to let people know how cruel people can be. Don’t let anyone bring your self esteem down, you’re beautiful just like every other girl and we all have flaws,” wrote one woman.
Another said: “Lynelle you’re one of the most amazing sweet kindest person I know. They’re low lives that only care about what’s on the outside, you are absolutely beautiful in my eyes.”
As reported by the CBC, Cantwell and some friends were treated to a night on the town by the City League Wrestling’s Mr. Fantastic and Dynamite Dylan.
The two local wrestlers took the teens to get their hair done, out for a shopping trip, and out to dinner at Jungle Jim’s.
“There was actually people that came up and were like, ‘You’re that girl, you’re that girl,’ and they wanted to give me hugs,” she told CBC’s St. John’s Morning Show.
In an interview with the St. John’s Morning Show Monday (CBC Radio), Cantwell was surprised on the phone by Count Me In founder Shane Feldman, who offered her an all-inclusive trip to Toronto to take part in the group’s 2016 leadership summit.
Count Me In is a youth-led organization that operates around the globe to help promote the values of volunteerism and connect young people with leaders in their community.
Feldman praised Cantwell for responding to the poll by rising above the negativity.
“The easy thing to do is to retaliate or stay quiet on the sidelines,” said Feldman.
“It’s common for people to rant about all sorts of things, but Lynelle the fact that you jumped on to Facebook and posted a rant of kindness and compassion was truly inspiring and it moved our entire team.”
Cantwell later took to Twitter to thank all of her supporters.
This is crazy! I'm so honoured to fly to Toronto thank you so much everyone for making this happen
— Lynelle (@LynelleCantwell) December 7, 2015
lynelle cantwell strikes back: Ongoing support
Cantwell said her Facebook inbox has been filled with messages of support sent from people all over the globe.
Her story has spread from the CBC to outlets like The Globe and Mail, BuzzFeed, The Toronto Star, The Daily Mail (UK), Seventeen Magazine, the Today Show and People Magazine.
Cantwell said the original Facebook post has even spread worldwide, appearing in publications in Russia and Italy.
It’s a level of attention that Cantwell never anticipated, but she said she’s taking it all in stride by trying to figure out the next step to continue sharing her positive anti bullying message.
“I’m getting messages and people are talking to me about what I did and what I’m going to do next and how I’m going to keep this going,” she said.
Cantwell will be able to keep the conversation going when she travels to Toronto to attend the Count Me In Leadership Summit on Victoria Day weekend in May.