Tyla Bertolli: "Bullying is for Losers"
Twenty-year-old singing sensation Tyla Bertolli is showing no signs of slowing down. This aspiring singer and songwriter is more confident and passionate than ever before.
Tyla spends her days writing music and working with radio station Nova FM. If this wasn’t already hectic enough, Tyla has added even more commitments to her already busy schedule. The former X Factor finalist is making it her mission to put a stop to the cruel and vilifying act of bullying – an ongoing problem that exists within our schools.
Joining forces with Headspace (new window), "Australia’s busty redhead" believes stopping bullying is the next step in our evolutionary process. As an ongoing problem throughout Australia, Tyla agrees that it’s important to make sure that bullying victims know they aren’t alone. "It’s never a hopeless situation. Everything changes after high school. You are so important, so never give up," Tyla says.
What prompted your interest in campaigning to stop to bullying? Was it your own experience?
It all really started while I was on the X Factor. Christina (Parie) and I were very close, and she was being bullied at school by girls who used to be her friends. And then of course there was a large amount of online criticism that comes with going on a show like X Factor.
I was fully prepared for that from people that didn't know me, but when people I used to go to school with started an online hate campaign for no other reason than to get attention, it hurt a lot more than I expected.
However, I was happy to cop it on the chin. At that point in time I sent out an ambiguous tweet that said "#bullyingisforlosers" and from there I received literally hundreds of emails about people's bullying stories. I realised that this was a serious problem that was literally killing kids. So I just decided I wanted to help change that.
Why is putting a stop to bullying important to you?
I think it’s the next step in our evolutionary process. I think we as a human race are advanced enough that we can learn to be kind to one another, treat everyone with respect no matter their age, gender, sexual orientation, heritage or beliefs.
I think it starts with kids. If we can put a stop to kids bullying each other, then when those kids grow up and no longer feel the need to bring other people down, our society will flourish. On a personal level, I don't want any kid to feel worthless. My 13-year-old brother is in Year 7 and I don’t want anyone thinking he doesn't deserve to be as wonderful as he is.
What is Bullying Is For Losers?
That really started, like I said, as a tweet that turned into a campaign. It was really just to give power back to those who had had it taken away. I wanted people to know that you’re not the loser - the act of bullying is the loserish act. I just wanted kids to know that they had someone on their side and that not everything or everyone in cyberspace was going to say hurtful things because of the animosity of social media.
You have also been working with Headspace recently. What projects are you working on with them?
I love Headspace! Being their ambassador brings me so much joy. For those who don’t know, Headspace are a youth organisation that have 42 centres around Australia that kids can go to to get professional help on any matter. There is also eHeadspace (new window), which is an online counselling service.
We just brought a documentary over from the states called Bully. It’s a film by Lee Hirsch - an incredible movie. It's extremely confronting, but it's important for all parents, teachers and students to see. It shows the effects of bullying - not just on the victims, but also on the families and communities.
At the premiere at the Forum Theatre I was fortunate enough to do a panel with the director where we got the opportunity to talk to kids who had seen the movie and to encourage them to understand that bullying is not acceptable and how to get help if they were being bullied. It was a very rewarding experience.
If you could give one message to victims of bullying what would it be?
You’re not alone and there is always help out there. You just need to ask. If you can’t trust your parents or teachers, call Headspace, tell your doctor... talk to anyone that can listen and help. It’s never a hopeless situation. Everything changes after high school. You are so important, so don't ever give up!
Headspace is the national youth mental health Foundation. They help young people who are going through a tough time. If you need help or need to speak to someone urgently you can contact confidential help services such as The Kids Help Line on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14.
If you or someone you know need someone to talk to, for any reason, about anything, you can visit eHeadspace (new window), call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, 24 hours a day.
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Articles Written by Jayden
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