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A Moment of Negativity to A Moment of Empowerment

- Emily Wang

According to an article by Teen Vogue, in 2018, Franklin High School sophomore Lauren “Lulu” Williams experienced a bullying incident. Well, it was nothing out of the ordinary, since she had experienced plenty of hate since her freshman year, however, this time it was going to end on a different note.

Williams’ wig was ripped off as a result of a $5 bet. She ran into the bathroom stall and a girl immediately followed her inside to start recording her, while she was crying and trying to get her wig back on. Her wig was a necessity to feel normal, even though she suffered from eczema, psoriasis, and a scalp condition which affects hair growth.

Subsequently, Williams had to be taken to the hospital to be treated for abrasions to the scalp. Because she used glue to secure her wig, having it pulled off forcefully caused patches and bald spots. Williams refused to let this horrific incident bring her down. On a note of defiance against her bullies, she shaved off all of her hair to create her own definition of what it means to be beautiful.

Since the painful incident, her story has gone viral. After hearing about the incident, Tyra Banks took to Twitter to offer Williams words of support and encouragement. They even did an Instagram Live together. Williams has since attended the first annual BET Social Media Awards in Atlanta and has even hosted an anti-bullying rally. In the future, according to an interview she had on Words to Ponder RadioShow, she plans on hosting other rallies and diversifying her #shamefree movement to reach a larger audience. Williams has adopted the motto “shame free” nto promote self-acceptance.

Williams' story is just one example out of the hundreds of scenarios where bullying occurs on a daily basis. Many people are still experiencing this every single day, and this is unacceptable. Although it is a difficult feat to prevent bullying, we can educate others about it. People can learn how to turn a negative experience into an opportunity to raise awareness. To let people know you’re not alone. To anyone who’s been through bullying before, think about turning it into an empowering possibility.

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