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Refuse to be anything you don’t want to be, period.

And that’s it. Sounds simple, right? It is, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. I can tell you that this philosophy has helped me through a ton of crazy stuff recently.

Are you facing haters at school or online? Refuse to be bullied.

Do people say mean things about you behind your back? Refuse to be victimized.

Are you shy or self-conscious? Refuse to be insecure.

Do you feel as if no one is listening? Refuse to be silenced.

Are things not going your way, in general? Refuse to be unhappy.

Wherever you are in your life right now, there are going to be ups and downs. Sometimes, the downs can totally outnumber the ups.

But by refusing to be who you don’t want to be, you are:

  1. Accepting yourself for who you are and who you aren’t.
  2. Accepting things for what they are and what they aren’t.
  3. Sending a loud and clear message to everyone that you accept them, too–just as they are.

I’ve had a pretty cool life so far. I have a great family, amazing friends and wonderful pets. That doesn’t mean I haven’t faced challenges along the way. If you know me and my story, you know that I’ve been the target of some very harsh bullying online, more than once. For the most part, I’ve been pretty good about not letting things get to me.

Because you know what? People who hate online don’t know me. If they’re okay with viciously hating on a total stranger, then they’re probably really hurting inside.

One thing is for sure, I’m not going to defend myself or deny things that aren’t true anyway. I sure am not going to worry about what those people have to say. I will not allow them to ruin one single day of my life!

I know sometimes the insults and name calling can be really hurtful. Every once in a while something someone says will hit me and kind of bother me. At times like these, I go back to what keeps me centered: my family, my friends, my pets, my art, my charity work. It doesn’t matter, just as long as I’m in a place where it’s okay to be me. I feel the love that exists in these places and I remember who I am, what I’m doing, and who I am becoming. I am proud of me and I refuse to let strangers make me feel otherwise.

So be you. No matter where you are in life, what you’re encountering, or what anyone else tells you. Refuse to be who you don’t want to be, and you’ll be ready to take on whatever the world throws your way.

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14-year-old singer, songwriter and philanthropist, Benni Cinkle, has accomplished a great deal at a very young age. She continues to use her success to benefit the lives of others, especially children and teens. To support those facing cyber-bullying, Benni created a free eBook, "That Girl in Pink's Internet Survival Guide: For Kids Who Live their Lives Online (and the Moms and Dads Who Love them)."

She is the Founder and Vice President of That Girl in Pink Foundation, a non-profit organization (501c3) dedicated to raising awareness, involvement, and donations for causes that affect kids.

Most recently, Benni recorded a song she wrote, "Can You See Me Now," and created a music video to go along with it. She was inspired to write the song after coming across a website where young people were anonymously discussing their hardships in life. She will donate a portion of the profits from the sale of her song to organizations and charities that benefit troubled children and teens.

Through her messages and music, Benni brings a sense of hope and empowerment for children and teens around the world. She receives countless messages a day from people around the world, asking her for advice and thanking her for making them feel better about themselves.

To learn more about Benni Cinkle, visit 

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