Finding the Courage to Be Yourself

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If I could share 500 words to inspire, this is the important wisdom I'd want to pass along to others...

  • I may only be 8 years old, but I have learned a great deal. I’ve learned that bullying is for losers and losers are just not cool!

    Writing two books has shown me that I may be young but, I can achieve whatever it is that I put my mind to. If I strive hard and really focus on what it is that I want, I can do it all. I want other kids my age to know that they can do the same things I’ve done if they put their minds to it.

    If I had just 500 words to share with others, I would tell them that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors and differences. Just because someone may look different than what you may consider ‘normal’ doesn’t mean that something is wrong with them. God makes us all unique and we are all born with a gift to share with the world.

    I’ve learned that what makes one special is not something another human can define. I think it is very important for parents to teach their children at an early age how to accept people and to not judge others because of their own perceptions of how a person should look.

    I’ve also learned that you can inspire people with your story if you have the courage to share it. It helps people and encourages them when they hear how you’ve overcome something. So, don’t be afraid to speak up.

    When I decided to write my first book, I was six years old. I was shy, afraid and very timid to tell my story. But, as I started to get emails and letters from people from all over the world of them telling me how I inspired them to stand up for themselves or to stop bullying, I gained the confidence I needed to continue on. It was exciting to learn that I’d helped people in that way. Now my book is in libraries and schools across the country. It is even in the lesson plan at schools in Korea. I never thought my story would be able to affect and help so many people.

    Now I know that what people considered different in me was my gift. I used that gift along with my voice to stand up for others that may have been facing the same issues with bullying as I did and now I see that is has helped many. I hope to inspire many more and to help others use their voice as well!

    LaNiyah Bailey

    8 year old author and youth advocate LaNiyah Bailey was introduced to the world on NPR Radio after she and her parents appeared on Michel Martin’s show “Tell Me More.” Broadcast in over 500 cities, it led a world-wide discussion in support of President Barack Obama’s anti-bullying initiative and the epidemic of Bulling in America. Shortly thereafter, her phone began ringing off the hook. Major media outlets such as CNN, FOX, NBC, BET, WGN, AOL, ABC, Huffington’s Post and many others throughout the world, including London and Korea. They wanted to know more about this young girl’s “inspiring courage” after she penned the highly-acclaimed children’s book Not Fat Because I Wanna Be with her mother LaToya “Toyiah Marquis” White and illustrator Laura Pérez Ricaud. The book detailed the story of fictional character Jessica. Jessica was bullied because of her weight which was caused by an underlying medical condition, which caused her to gain weight even though she was very healthy and active. At such a young age, Jessica had to endure some painful and unhappy times. Finally Jessica decided to stand up for herself. The story was based on LaNiyah’s very own true-to-life experiences of being bullied and teased because of her weight. Since the book's release, LaNiyah has been featured in magazines, interviewed on 100’s of radio shows, blogs and TV shows. The book has garnered “5-star reviews” and is currently in lesson plans in schools throughout the United States, London and Korea. Ms. Bailey received what is a “dream come true” to her--a letter from the first lady of the United States, Mrs. Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama expressed her support for LaNiyah’s efforts and appreciates that LaNiyah and her family is standing with her in her childhood obesity initiative and awareness.

    For more information, please visit NotFatBecauseIWannaBe.com.

    View all posts by LaNiyah Bailey.

    1. Annamarie Muirhead
      Annamarie Muirhead says:

      absolutely marvellous, go girl, you have great life and be happy too, won’t you
      Love and Blessings
      Annamarie

      Reply
    2. Paul
      Paul says:

      You’re an amazing and very sensible young lady LaNiyah! I expect we’ll be hearing a lot more from you in the future!

      Reply

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