23-year-old Shelley-Marie Summer was an object mockery in high school as her classmates would bully her due to her severe eczema, which had demeaned her confidence on social platform, even as her skin clears up in subsequent years.
She grew out of her complexity after her boyfriend Dean, made her realize how beautiful she was and encouraged her to contest for the 2014 Miss Black Country beauty pageant, which she won.
According to Shellie-Marie, her victimization experience started back in her elementary school but grew worse when she got into high school, ‘In primary school it wasn’t as bad as you’re only children, but at high school the bullying got much worse. People would try and get away from me like I was contagious.
“We had to wear long-sleeved shirts so during the summer, I was always going to see the school nurse to put my eczema cream on and cool down.”
She added that her small stature and laced skin made her an easy target for bullies.
She has had the last laugh after winning the beauty pageant at the regional competition as well as competing in Miss England.
“It was completely mad. I was sitting on a throne with this big crown on and my family was staring at me in amazement. I was extremely happy to have won it,” she said.
“It feels amazing to show the bullies what I could achieve, despite all their cruelty”.
Shelley-Marie’s victory has not only improved her self esteem, but it has also given her a new sense of direction in life as she aims to become a motivational speaker.
‘In the future I’d like to go into schools and talk about bullying and self-esteem. I want to urge victims to speak up and not suffer in silence like I did,’ she stated.