Hollie Robinson was bullied so much she was sent a petition with 200 names on telling her to kill herself. Now she is a Miss England contestant and wants to help other girls overcome bullying.
A girl bullied at school for being “ugly” went on to become a beauty queen and is now organising a pageant to help other victims.
Hollie Robinson, 22, had to change schools after suffering two years of abuse.
Hollie, from Blackpool, Lancs, said: “I can’t describe the hell I went through. I had a big group of friends and they just turned on me.”
At 17, she started entering beauty contests, becoming Miss Blackpool in 2011. She said: “It gave me confidence.” Hollie’s Miss Anti-Bullying pageant will raise money for the Beat Bullying charity.
She says she was kicked, punched and verbally abused every day at high school for nearly two years from the age of eleven. She spent lunchtimes hiding in the school toilets, was physically sick each morning before leaving home and suffered panic attacks on the school run.
Hollie recalled: "The other kids would call me ugly and say I was a dog.
"I would be pushed around in the corridors and attacked in the school grounds.
"I started coming home covered in bruises, which I'd hide from my parents, and I'd spend each lunchtime locked in the school toilets.
"At first I felt like my home was my safe haven but then I started getting emails and messages on MSN saying they were going to get me. I didn't feel safe anywhere."
Hollie, who works as a estate agent lettings negotiator, finally told her parents the truth after two years and was immediately taken out of school for three months.
She added: "I was 13 when I told my mum what was going on.
"Before that, I was too embarrassed to tell my parents the full story and my teachers didn't do anything.
"They said it was just a phase and they'd soon start on someone else.
"But when my mum found out she told me I wasn't going back and so I left for three months."
It was while she was off school that Hollie received the hate-filled email telling her to kill herself.
She said: "When I read the email I just broke down. It said 'who thinks Hollie Robinson should kill herself?'
"I'm just so thankful that my mum was in the house at the time because if she hadn't been, I really think I might have done something stupid.
"I'd been thinking about suicide for a long time and I dread to think what could have happened if I'd been home alone."
Hollie never went back and she started a new school in Year 9, where she made lots of new friends. She said:
"It was a completely fresh start at my new school and I had a great group of friends.
"It was completely different to what I had experienced before.
"I tried to put the years of bullying behind me but I always lacked so much confidence.
"When you're told you're ugly and worthless all the time, you start to believe it. "I felt like I wasn't worth the air I breathed."
She said: "When she said I should enter my first reaction was that I could never do anything like that. "Because I was so badly bullied, I struggled to talk to people but she told me it would be a great way to boost my confidence.
"I decided to go for it and I've never looked back."
She was crowned queen and went on to win Miss West Lancashire in 2011 and Miss Blackpool in 2011. Since then she has reached the final of the Miss England contest on several occasions, and later this year will take part in the finals of Miss International and Intercontinental 2014.
She said: "Bullying is something I feel very strongly about and I feel like I've conquered the bullies. "Taking part in beauty contests has proved to me I can do it, has given me that confidence and has made me feel comfortable with being me.
"I would like to go into schools at some point and talk to girls about my experience of bullying and show them you can be a good, positive role model."
She says her Miss Anti-Bullying pageant will raise money for the Beat Bullying charity, through a Just Giving page.
"Girls will be able to enter if they have been bullied, are strongly against bullying, or know a friend or family friend who has been bullied.
"They can upload a photo and information about themselves.
"The judges will ask them some questions and the judging will be based on what they say and their personality, more than their photo.
"The aim is to raise money for the charity and to raise awareness at the same time."
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