The life of a gorgeous model may seem glamorous, but Brittany Mason didn’t get into the business for the love of fashion or a desire for fame. She just wanted to escape a life of abuse and bullying.
Being bullied began for me when I entered ninth grade at Anderson High School in Indiana. I was so excited to be a freshman — I had a lot of friends and I was involved in a lot of things, like journalism, social studies, and art club. I was even in an advanced painting class. I ran track, was a cheerleader, and was a part of a bunch of other activities, too. But a few short weeks after school had started, it all went downhill.
One day in September, this group of upperclassmen girls approached me. There were five of them: the ringleader (a blonde gorgeous girl who would eventually be prom queen), two rough-looking girls who turned out to be the physical abusers later on, another girl who was mentally unstable and later became obsessed with me, and the last girl who just went and did everything with them. They didn’t do anything vicious that time — other than intimidate me by walking up to me and taunting me — but that didn’t last long.
The bullying started out minimal but grew out of control. The five girls started throwing things at me in the halls and shoving me, even though I still was clueless as to whom they were. I would constantly say to them, “Why are you doing this? What’s your problem?” My home life wasn’t the strongest, so I didn’t know how to stick up for myself.
Soon it was homecoming. At our school, we had a competition the day of the big football game, where we had class wars, which meant whatever class made the most noise, yelling and chanting, won the spirit stick for the school that day. It was the junior class’s time to shine — the mean girls were all juniors — so in front of 1,500 kids in the gymnasium, one of the girls suddenly pulls out a giant picture of me with phallic symbols, bitch, the c-word, and all this stuff written all over it, and then started pointing at me while yelling, “You’re ugly! You’re ugly! You’re ugly!” As soon as she started chanting that, everyone else in her class joined in. Then candy and anything else they had in their hands was thrown at me; I was mortified and still so confused as to why these girls were targeting me. I had two friends next to me, Linzi, and Kylie, who kept asking, “What is going on?!” I remember thinking I have no clue! What did I do to deserve this? Suddenly, the principal stopped it all and dismissed everyone, but none of the girls got in trouble.
The homecoming parade followed the war of the classes, and since I was in the social studies club, we built a float and were all going to ride it. During the parade, though, as it was heading down the main road, I hear, “Hey you, bitch!” “Hey you, ugly bitch!” I turn around to see five girls running at me with super-soaker water guns. They blocked the float and soaked me down IN FRONT OF EVERYONE. Parents, teachers, members of the town, even my mom saw it, and no one stopped them. Everyone was in shock, I think. I got down from the float immediately, soaking wet, and my mom said, “What is going on?” and gave me a hug. At that point I lost it. I started crying and looked at the principal and said, “What is this?” His only reply was, “Oh, I’m sure they didn’t mean any harm by it.” The girls didn’t even get in trouble! One of girl’s parent’s, I later found out, was very influential in the community.
From that point on, things only got worse. I was almost attacked at the homecoming football game by the two rough girls, who successfully ran me out of the stadium. There was a lot more shoving in the hallways, things were constantly being thrown at me, rumors were spread that I was a whore — I had a boyfriend, and I wasn’t sexually active then — and that I was a man, which is why I had no boobs.
Then the major stuff started happening. I started getting death threats over AOL Instant Messenger saying, “Nobody likes you, you should just kill yourself.” The girl who became obsessed with me came to my house, stood outside of my window, and called my house a ton of times and kept hanging up. My parents' and my car tires were slashed, the paint was scratched, and bologna was put all over our vehicles, since the meat reacts with the paint and eats away at it, which left large circles all over the paint job. Our house was egged and toilet-papered several times. Then, one time I woke up to hundreds of Barbie doll heads that had been ripped off, slashed up, and thrown all over my yard with red paint poured all over to make it look like blood. Weird signs were also scattered everywhere. The police finally came that time and taped off our house — it looked like a crime scene.
When the police questioned me as to why this might be happening, I still had no idea. They ended up not even being able to do anything since they needed evidence, and because it happened outside of school, the dean couldn't help either.
The next year in school, the obsessed girl even went to the extent of getting into all of my elective classes. The police couldn’t give me a restraining order because there wasn’t a physical threat, so I ended up switching my schedule. They did, however, end up searching her house later and found a backpack of things along with a plan to do something to me on Halloween. They wouldn’t tell me what they found, but they said I shouldn’t go anywhere alone. I was afraid to even go to school, so I started skipping class, and at that point my good grades turned into D’s and F’s.
I was pretty depressed by that point. School was my only outlet and my only ticket out of my town, and now I didn’t even have that. And neither my mom nor the police could do anything about what I was dealing with. The principal ended up holding a meeting with the girls, their parents, my parents, and me, but the five of them denied everything and their parents believed them. The meeting ended when the principal said, “Maybe Brittany just wants attention and is making this all up,” even though he had seen them soak me with water guns.
During that meeting, I knew my situation was hopeless. Linzi and Kylie were the only friends who stuck by me, even as a sophomore who had major depression. So, I tried to commit suicide. It wasn’t just these girls who drove me to do it — as a child I was molested, my mom was a single mother and didn't have the best taste in men, and I felt like the world was against me, which is why I wanted to end my life. I attempted to do so by drinking half a bottle of peroxide and taking a bunch of pills — any that I could get my hands on. I wanted to die in my sleep. I don’t know how long I was out for, but I woke up really early the next the morning and couldn’t move out of my bed. I felt like I had to vomit. I rolled myself onto the floor and crawled to the bathroom. I was sweating bullets and lying on the tile, because it was cold. I just remember screaming and praying out loud, “God, if you let me live, I’ll spend my life helping people like me.” Immediately I started throwing up blood and bleeding through my nose. At that moment, my life had changed.
The next day, I dropped out of high school and looked into homeschooling. I also began looking into modeling because I knew it would be a ticket out of my hometown.
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Posted By: lncredible |
4/01/14 10:35 AM
I was tall and lanky and wasn't totally confident in my looks, but I thought I had what it takes to be a model from looking through my mom's magazines. So, I asked photographers locally if they’d take my picture and proceeded to do test shoots, which meant I modeled for free in exchange for my photos in order to build a portfolio. Once I built up my book, I looked into contracts with boutique modeling agencies and signed with my first agency in NYC when I was 16. I also entered myself into pageants, because I needed a platform for my voice to be heard about bullying. I entered Miss Teen Indiana and ended up winning! Then, when I was 17, I won the national title of Teen Model of the USA and represented the U.S. at the Teen Model of the World competition in Germany where I won first runner-up. I now had a team of people behind me that could make my new dream of helping kids become aware about bullying come true.
Posted By: lncredible |
4/01/14 10:35 AM
At this point my modeling career had taken off. I had signed with Direct Modeling Agency and began speaking at countless schools and colleges all over Indiana on behalf of my new campaign I Am Possible. By the age of 21, I had visited schools all over Indiana and spoken to roughly 100,000 students from kindergarten to college. I even finally figured out why those girls tormented me in high school. As I was passing out flyers for I Am Possible one day, a woman came up to me — she was the ringleader of the group. She asked me to dinner and began to explain that I was in an advanced art class with her boyfriend my freshman year, and she thought he had a crush on me. Her tactic was to ruin my life to deal with her jealousy. She then continued to apologize and cry in front of me for ruining high school for me. I was in shock that she actually wanted to sit down and talk with me, but it showed me a lot about her character and that people can change. I told her then and there that I forgave her, because the fact that I got through what she did to me was now allowing me to help others.
In 2012, I even had the opportunity to share my story and compete on The Face, representing team Coco [Rocha]. I was eventually voted off, but it still served as a platform for I Am Possible. By then, the new principal of my high school learned about what I was doing. And ten years to the day (on homecoming!), I returned to Anderson High. I shared with the students my story and held a concert to raise money for the support system needed within their school. My message to them was, "Hey, if I have come from what I’ve come from and have been successful in changing my life, then you can too, so don’t give up!" My goal was and is to build hotlines in school systems and a safe place for kids to go, so they don’t have to go through what I went through.
http://www.cosmopolitan.com/celebr ity/news/brittany-mason-model-i-was-badly-bullied- as-a-teen
Posted By: Live2LIVE |
4/01/14 11:21 AM
Girls can be so mean! All of them could see how beautiful she was so their insecurity is what motivated them to bully her. Its a shame nobody stood up for her. She has the last laugh now!