THE bruises and blood in my photo might be make-up, but it represents real blood and bruises I had as a result of a very real beating or three I received not long before I joined Westlife.
I am involved with the ISPCC Anti-Bullying Campaign because I personally experienced bullying a lot in life. To this day I still have memories of that experience within me that shape who I am.
Because I am in a position to create awareness and to inspire conversation I took the opportunity to do something positive to help other people in this solitary place which can only be described as hell.
For example, at one point in school, for months on end, I crept from class to class via alternative routes in order to escape being punched and kicked.
They found me one day and attacked me from behind.
Other times it was being afraid of being spat on, slapped in the face or being called a fat bastard or fat queer.
Because I lacked the confidence to stand up for myself. Because I was a bit shy. Perhaps it was because I displayed a tiny bit of effeminate behaviour or because I wasn't loud or cocky or quick to think of a witty reply.
I think this made it low risk for people to verbally and physically attack me.
I am involved because at points in my life bullying has had a devastating effect on me and due to suffering in silence, I had some very low
and very lonely periods.
Children, whether very young, or in their teenage years, should not have to put up with this. The victims of bullying mostly live in silence, which is caused by the fear that if they speak out, the beatings or abuse will get worse.
I know this, I lived this. That's why I'm passionate about this new campaign.
People seem to turn a blind eye to bullying unless they themselves or someone close to them experiences it.
The celebrities involved in this campaign have millions of fans around the world. These photos will hopefully ignite compassion in all our fans, and inspire them to get involved and help ISPCC and other similar charities around the world.