In a day and age where bullying seems to be heightened, due to the power of the internet and social networking, one teenage girl stood up to her bully without stooping to the same low. And her message of peace ended the abuse.
Fifteen-year-old Maisie Kate Miller, from outside of Boston, had been victim to a classmate’s taunts about her clothing, her boyfriend and her body. But one particular insult finally got to her.
While walking through the stairwell at school one day, Maisie’s bully made fun of her hairstyle, saying “Who wears pigtails still? What is this, kindergarten?” Maisie, who was having a difficult week, ended up in tears by the time she got to her class.
Instead of coming back with something equally mean, Maisie decided she would stand her ground, assert her comfort with herself, and wear her hair like that all week. Maybe, she thought, she could even get a few friends to do the same.
After school, she shared her idea on Facebook, writing the following status update (I shortened it and cleaned it up):
There was an incident today, and I was really upset about it. A girl who has been bothering me all year, saying rude, hurtful things to me, said something that just topped me over…today she was behind me going up the stairs, and commented on my hair that was up in pigtails (for a sport)…I am asking you all to understand that this hurt me beyond reason…partially because this has been a tough week for me, but mostly because it was wrong…if you could help my cause and many other girls who have had hurtful things said to them, wear pigtails tomorrow. If you can’t or won’t, please tell others about my experience, and ask them to please wear pigtails. Thank you so much for reading, and sharing.
Later, when she returned home from a babysitting job, she was stunned to find more than 500 notifications on her Facebook, from friends and others she had never met. All were on board with her plan. Maisie quickly reminded everyone not to bully the girl back, insisting this would be a passive protest. Then she named her plan “Pigtails for Peace.”
The next day, hundreds of students (girls and boys), and at least one teacher showed up to school in pigtails. The bully was absent, but has backed off ever since.
Maisie sent an incredible message of peace with her protest, reminding us all that bullying and meanness should not be repaid by more of the same.