Teenager fights back against body-shaming bullies with viral Instagram post
A brave teenager has turned around some body-shaming graffiti by bullies and raised awareness worldwide of the issue.
Carleigh O'Connell (14) turned bullying graffiti around with a simple Instagram post - and has gone viral as a result.
The graffiti, allegedly created by individuals who had been giving Carleigh a "hard time', labelled a large cement rock as "Carleigh's ass". Instead of being embarrassed at the prominent graffiti at her local beach, Carleigh stood up to the bullies by posing in her bikini on the rock. In the photo, her she turns her back to the camera to show off her rear end and keeps a big smile on her face.
Her mother, Daryl, also shared the image on her Facebook page. saying " (Carleigh) decided that she was going to be stronger than hurtful words on the concrete and that she was going to be proud of her figure".
According to Daryl, Carleigh was "initially upset" about the graffiti but "determined to make something good out of it".
Facebook commenters have described the response as 'inspirational'.
Speaking to TODAY, the New Jersey teen offered support for other going through the same situation. "The biggest message I want to get across is just to be strong, and that anyone who is experiencing bullying and anything like that, that they're not alone and there's people there for them -- and I'm one of them."