Lights, Camera, Sa’Mya
“Why are you so skinny?” “Is that ALL you’re gonna eat?” “Why are you that color?” Sa’Mya Renee, 14, has heard it all from kids at her school.
“When I was in 6th grade there was a boy that constantly picked on me,” Renee shares. “He would try to bring people down, to make people feel insecure about themselves.” She continued, “I remember one day he called me the “B “ word and I was so mad. I was crying and felt very insecure. It had an effect on my self-esteem because people at school and some family would always ask why I was so skinny. I tried to eat more and started to question why God didn’t make me chubbier. I had to realize that I’m not like everyone else. I don’t have to be what girls call “thick” for boys to like me. I came to the conclusionthat if boys like you for your shape and size then he really doesn’t like you.”
But when you see Sa’Mya on a runway, those self-esteems are stomped out with a strut and an attitude that exudes confidence. Although, the Tampa, Fla. native has been modeling since she was three-years-old, today she dedicates her fashion career to self-empowerment for herself and other girls who are like her.
“When I started going back into modeling, I was like there are all these beautiful women and girls and all these different shades sizes, even facial expressions; everybody’s different. I thought to myself, I’m different too.”
Walking the runway allows her to represent for girls who cannot speak up for themselves.
“Anybody can tell you how ugly you are, but as soon as you get that one compliment, everything starts to change about you. You start getting more comfortable with yourself and your image.”
Her advice for those who are going through bullying, “You don’t have to rely on what other people say about you. You know you have your beautiful features. You have to find a positive outlet and something you love about yourself.” And to the bullies, Sa’Mya suggests complimenting their peers instead of bringing them down.