Meet the Beauties

KylaKYLA WELLER
Founder and President of Beauty and the Bully

Kyla grew up in Chino Hills, California as an athlete and played competitive soccer for 15 years, later earning her college athletic scholarship. While growing out of her young tomboy characteristics, she began modeling as a teenager and later signed with a well known agency in Los Angeles. She also competed in pageants on the state level within different systems. She has recently began her career as a dog behaviorist with Happy Dog Training while completing her Bachelor’s in Law and Society through Penn State University.

While both the modeling and pageant worlds are obvious voluntary subjection to judgment, it still takes a toll on one’s well being. However, Kyla was more surprised by the judgments she received outside of the industry. She learned at a young age that people are quick to judge a book by its’ cover. She was always well aware of the people that made her feel too tall, too skinny, too pretty or not pretty enough. For as long as she can remember, and even still to this day, she is openly told by many how surprised they are to discover how kind Kyla is after meeting her. She never had a problem hiding how judgments affected her because it was easy with her outgoing personality, but insecurity was seeded within.

Kyla has always had a passion for animals and dogs in particular. It was not until 2013 that she discovered her true passion though. This was the year she adopted her first “Pit Bull” (American Staffordshire Terrier), Jax. As many rescue dogs, he came with some baggage that displayed itself as fear and anxiety, but was still the sweetest, most loving puppy she ever had or met. The bond between them is truly unexplainable and she is pretty sure it can never be replicated.

Even while Jax was still a puppy, Kyla soon learned the hurdles that come with owning a “bully breed” dog. People would cross the street when they saw them coming; her apartment building tried to make her get rid of him; and vets would hesitantly peek through the window and cautiously squeeze their way in. In some ways, this ignorant behavior was humorous to Kyla because Jax was the most mild tempered dog ever. Although timid, he got along with all dogs and never showed any aggression or poor behavior toward people. If anything, he was way more scared of these people than they were of him! It has not been all bad experiences though. There have also been many who stop Kyla and Jax on the streets to ask about him and offer compliments on his appearance and behavior.

That is when Kyla realized something needed to be done in order to educate more people so they are not afraid. The true nature of these “bully breeds” needs to be seen first-hand, not from a scripted news station. She found that she and Jax had so much in common by being judged from first appearances or the stereotypes of others that might look like the both of them. Beauty and the Bully was then created to erase the lines of discrimination for women and bully breeds alike. Kyla has now discovered that Jax is what she needed to find balance within herself in order to properly raise him. There truly is no feeling more empowering for a woman than to find that peace within in order to easily control a very powerful breed. She now knows it is true that when you rescue a Pit Bull, they are actually the ones that rescue you! Now it is her mission to share the good news with the rest of the world.

 

IMG_0320KATIE CLEARY
Cover Model

Katie Cleary is a Model / Actress and Philanthropist / Filmmaker who got her start in the entertainment business on the hit TV show “America`s Next Top Model” Season #1.  After graduating college with a Bachelors Degree in Business & Marketing; Katie landed the role on NBC’s hit game show “Deal or no Deal” where she starred for over four years.  She is an accomplished on-camera host with shows on the TV Guide Channel, E! News Now, and the travel show “Get Out,” on HDTV.  Katie has also co-starred on the hit shows “CSI NY,” “Las Vegas,” “Entourage, “Rules of Engagement,” “Chuck,” “Working Class” and most recently with roles on “How To Get Away With Murder” and “Two And A Half Men.”

Katie’s main passion is advocating animal welfare issues while rescuing and rehabilitating animals and lovingly finding them forever homes. Katie founded the animal welfare organization “Peace 4 Animals” (www.peace4animals.net) in 2012 and is a leader in the animal welfare community in Los Angeles and internationally. She has raised tens of thousands of dollars for many animal organizations around the world in support of the most crucial animal issues.

Katie’s vision is to see a world that lives in peace with all animals and works to protect them against harmful human interference. Peace 4 Animals helps to rescue, rehabilitate and find homes for domestic animals and also provides public education on the importance of rescuing animals from local shelters rather than buying them from breeders or pet stores. Peace 4 Animals also provides public education fostering co-existence with wild and endangered species as well as ways to protect these animals in their natural habitats. A priority is to increase awareness; putting an end to abuse and neglect while teaching  people to respect all of our planet’s most important species. Katie and Peace 4 Animals strives to lead by example so that others can learn what they can do to make a difference right in their own backyard.

Katie has recently finished producing her first Documentary “Give Me Shelter” (http://youtu.be/z41UiRpd2YE). The film is about people who dedicate their lives to rescuing domestic, wild and exotic animals and those who raise awareness for the most important animal welfare issues worldwide.  “Give Me Shelter” was released on February 24th, 2015 and premiered on Netflix on May 1st.

Katie has produced several Star-Studded Charity events; her first hosted by Betty White called “Diamonds Not Fur” to pass the Fur Free Bill in West Hollywood. Her second was called “Stars 4 Stripes” with Alison Eastwood, to save the last 1500 wild tigers on our planet from poachers and the illegal black market trade of their parts. Katie is also an advocate to help preserve our planet for future generations and is currently working on the Environmental Educational Act together with Judie Mancuso of Social Compassion In Legislation (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/227/837/923) Her goal is to teach children through environmental conservation, the importance of protecting our wildlife, endangered species and our natural world. She along with SCIL plan to pass a bill on a state level in Califonia making it maditory for all schools, grades K-Highschool to learn about these important issues.

Katie launched her Peace 4 Animals jewelry, t-shirt and vegan purse line in which a portion of the proceeds will help her P4A Endangered Species Program in 2012.  She is also the Host & Producer of the TV Show “World Animal News” powered by Katapy on the popular animal news site WorldAnimalNews.com. WAN highlights the latest breaking animal issues happening around the globe with guests ranging from the top animal welfare organizations, animal experts and celebrities who are passionate about raising awareness for important animal issues.

Katie’s goal is to impact people all around the world with her philanthropic work creating positive change to protect the planet and its precious species, so we can all live in peace together. She hopes to one day open the “Peace 4 Animals” Reserve to Rescue & Rehabilitate Endangered Species in South Africa.

 

bonnie jillBONNIE-JILL LAFLIN

Bonnie-Jill Laflin has a number of firsts in her career. Laflin is the first and only female scout in the NBA, for the Los Angeles Lakers. She is the first to cheer on a professional level for three teams, in two sports, starting with the NBA and the Golden State Warriors, and moving to the NFL with both the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. And is the first female to be awarded six championship rings in two professional sports, earning a Super Bowl ring during her time cheering for the 49ers and five NBA championship rings as an executive for the Lakers. This Maxim Hot 100 beauty is currently a reporter for Fox Sports. Beyond her professional ventures, Bonnie-Jill is committed to and passionate about animal welfare and supporting our troops.

 

IMG_1396AMANDA DELGADO

Amanda was born and raised in Southern California where she is now a part-time model and retired pageant queen. She competed in pageants for fifteen years. She has had many opportunities traveling internationally but has competed locally as well. She held the prestigious title of Miss US international in 2012. Amanda was also the first USA representative to win Reina Mundial del Banano in 2008 and Miss Model of the World in 2010. She has now hung up her crown in order to marry the love of her life and has near future plans to be a wife and mother.

This Beauty stands at 5’9″ and has a naturally thin frame, which is apparently an invitation to people for judgment. Despite people’s false opinions, Amanda lives a healthy lifestyle in order stay fit and strong, even though her body does not require diet and exercise. Her long-time career as a model has brought a lot of criticism in her life, from her weight to the way she looks overall. The worse comment she receives is that she is not the image of a real woman. At first, some of these type of cruel comments about her image bothered her, but then she learned to love herself and realized that the opinions of others are not important.

Amanda has always loved animals and has compassion for any living creature on earth, so she has never felt negatively towards the bully breeds. However, she did find herself thinking about her safety a little more than when she was around a different breed of dog because of the media’s portrayal and stories she would hear. After following Kyla and Beauty and the Bully she realized what a beautiful relationship people develop with such a misunderstood breed of man’s, or woman’s, best friend. Amanda has recently made a promise to herself to be non-judgmental and to be accepting of all. She believes that everyone is different and goes through their own various struggles and triumphs. She can relate to bully breed dogs by being an outcast sometimes because of her appearance; but she stays strong like these bully breeds do and is a great advocate to the positive aspects of both bully breed dogs and women empowerment.

 

kristen-renton-ima-sons-of-anarchy-1976948640KRISTEN RENTON

Kristen has been following her passion as an actress from the early age of 17 when she was cast in The Sausage Factory, a wonderfully quirky series for MTV. Kristen most recently had a recurring role as “Ima” on the critically acclaimed FX series, Sons Of Anarchy; a hard-edged drama that revolves around the fictitious motorcycle gang, SAMCRO. Kristen’s character is a no-nonsense porn star who seems to always leave a trail of chaos in her wake.

Her extensive TV background includes playing the Southern Belle “Morgan Hollingsworth” on NBC’s popular daytime drama series, Days of Our Lives, as well as many memorable guest appearances on hit TV shows including, CSI:MIAMI, The OC, and CSI:NY. Kristen has recently worked on several projects including The Glades on A&E, a hilarious pilot for CBS called Friend Me, as well as a terrifying short Girl at the Door directed by Academy Award Nominee Colin Campbell. She recently won “Best Actress” at the Claremont Film Festival for her short “Love In Our Time” which she co-produced. Kristen was able to show her comedic side while recurring as Charlie Sheen’s love interest in Anger Management, and is looking forward to the release of her most recent film, Battle Scars, which portrays the often dark reality service men and woman face adjusting to home life after returning from war; which won top prize at the G.I. Film Festival earlier this year in Washington, D.C.

Kristen has also appeared on Kendra On Top, a reality show on WE TV following the fast-paced and often hilarious life of her real-life girlfriend Kendra Wilkinson. She has also been featured in the docu-series “Celebrity Ghost Stories” where she recounted a terrifying evening on the ship The Queen Mary in which she witnessed one of the many documented “ghosts” on the ship. Kristen was also featured in the follow up series “The Haunting Of….” where she and renowned psychic Kim Russo returned to The Queen Mary to revisit her haunting experience and seek out long awaited answers.

After being asked to participate in the documentary “Give Me Shelter” which was written by her friend Katie Cleary, these two animal advocates began “World Animal News”, which airs weekly on TRadioV, and discusses a variety of animal issues and causes. With powerful weekly in-studio guests, and very strong opinions, “World Animal News” has become wildly popular in the animal rescue and advocacy community.

Philanthropy is Kristen’s passion and her focus when she isn’t acting. She a huge animal activist, supporting Best Friends Animal Society, Boxer Rescue LA, ASPCA, Dogs for the Deaf, HSUS, Save the Manatee Club and SPCA, just to name a few. Kristen was recently named as an ambassador for Lupus LA, as well as working with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She also volunteers at Children’s Hospital LA, and is working closely with The Dream Builders Foundation as well as Delivering Dreams on many upcoming charitable events. She enjoys horseback riding and photography when she has a rare moment off! Kristen lives with her mastiff/boxer mix named Roxy and her beloved cat Charlie. She is attending The Pennsylvania State University, her parents’ alma mater, to obtain a degree in Psychology.

 

IMG_1397OLIVIA JORDAN

Olivia was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she is our current reigning Miss Oklahoma USA. She works as a full-time model and actress, splitting her time between Tulsa, Miami, Los Angeles and on planes hopping from one job to the next. This year she was able to act as the liaison for the Oklahoma Memory Gala serving as their Master of Ceremonies in their Oklahoma City and Tulsa fundraiser. They raised a record breaking 2 million dollars for the Alzheimer’s Association! Olivia was also recognized for her volunteer efforts with Children of the Night, a cause dedicated to getting children out of prostitution in America. She has spent the past several years advocating for their cause. In the future, Olivia would love to continue to work as an actress on a comedy sitcom. She also plans to inspire people in the world of fitness. She worked as a personal trainer and fitness instructor while earning her degree from Boston University in Health Science. She wants to apply what she learned through that education and job experience to help people better their lives with health and fitness.

Olivia has also experienced a great deal of judgment herself. In high school and college she was told that she seemed stuck-up at first impression. She was unaware that her appearance as a 5’11” blonde in stilettos could be intimidating to some people. The reality was that she is naturally very introverted and shy. Learning confidence and having the ability to approach people and make others feel comfortable is something she is constantly working on improving. “I think that its a natural instinct for humans to judge at first impression; its an evolutionary survival trait; but it’s the biggest mistake we make if we hold onto false judgments. Everyone deserves to be known and to be loved for who they are,” says Olivia.

The media has such a negative portrayal of bully breeds that Olivia used to hold judgement thinking that the stories were a comprehensive analysis of these breeds. “I have been proved wrong,” she admits. In the past few years, she has fostered dogs through various animal rescues and finally adopted an angel mutt of her own. She no longer has biases based on breed. She now knows that each dog has unique personality traits and most adapt to the energy of their environment. She advocates that it is up to the humans to make sure that their environment is a loving home and not an abusive, neglectful or otherwise dangerous situation.

Olivia would like to share a belief we all have in common here: Adopt, don’t shop! Fostering is a great way to find the best dog mate for each person. She thinks everyone would be a pup parent if they found the right match for their lifestyle. The joy Olivia’s pup brings to her life is truly indescribable. She describes her dog-son, Franklin, as the light of her life and she often posts their pics on her Instagram- @TheOliviaJordan. Franklin tries to keep up with his account when it doesn’t get in the way of nap time, belly scratching, and fetch so you can follow all his adventures as well- @4poundFranklin.

 

SirenaSIRENA CHAVEZ

Sirena grew up in Chino, California where she just recently bought a home with her fiance. This Beauty and the Bully model is an academic scholar! She graduated high school in the top 1% of her county and received a full scholarship to Cal State University, San Bernardino. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, making her the first in her family to attain a B.A. She currently works for the City of Chino Hills as a Tiny Tots Specialist while attending Azusa Pacific University for the MFT clinical graduate program. Upon graduation, Sirena plans to be a Marriage and Family Therapist.

Sirena’s first memory of being judged was in first grade as she began wearing glasses. She was called “four eyes” and was continuously teased throughout her school years for her propensity to cry, and the way she looked. She is a Mexican-Filipino-American woman who learned that denying the Mexican aspect of herself is safer, because people and society accept you easier. From a very young age, she was constantly aware of when she was the only tan person in the room and was very confused by it as a child. She has endured statements and acts of racism on many levels, having been called a “Mexi-can’t” because she does not speak Spanish, for example.

Painful experiences as such has made her reflect on her own perceptions of people and to be aware that what she says and does can affect people of diverse cultures, religions or non-religion, sexual orientation, etc. In addition, the loss of her grandfather was a very difficult hurdle for her that propelled major soul searching. She has since been inspired to pursue her dreams and have a new mindset of herself and who she is. She has come a long way in embracing all facets of who she is and is ready to help others do the same.

Sirena empathizes with bully breed dogs to a high degree because she feels she can relate to them on many levels. She has been discriminated against numerous times based on the color of her skin and how she looked. Her shy nature also causes people to falsely assume she is stuck up. She will admit that at times she can be defensive but it is because of past painful experiences. Same goes for bully breeds because they are first judged on appearance and not by behavior. Like Sirena, people cannot see their true nature and identity without even being given a chance. She wants to share the message that people need to look within and learn to accept and love themselves because that is the only way they will be able to empathize with others. She believes that the way we can combat ignorance and racism of people is by learning more about that person, their culture, and experiences. The same can be applied to dogs and she encourages others to get to know them for who they are, not what they are; and to seek to understand instead of judge because “People fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t conquer.”― Andrew Smith

 

CorinaCORINA DEAVILA

Corina grew up in Temecula, California as an athlete. This Beauty and the Bully model played competitive soccer for twelve years and ran track through high school. She has received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Cal State University, San Marcos and has a passion for working with children. She currently works in two different school districts as a child care provider and preschool teacher. In the future, Corina plans to complete her Master’s degree in Social Work and help children in a one on one setting, preferably in a children’s hospital.

Tall and thin, standing at a model-esque 5 foot 10, Corina was thoroughly picked on throughout her school years. She was known as “the tall and lengthy girl,” making her feel awkward around her peers and ashamed of her height. Due to these insecurities, she never had the courage to step out of her comfort zone to try new things until now.

Corina is a great ambassador for Beauty and the Bully because not only has she experienced judgment against her, but she previously had preconceived notions about bully breed dogs herself. She grew up with Labrador Retrievers and was taught from a young age to stay away from certain types of dogs. However, after meeting our original Bully, Jax, she instantly fell in love and was enlightened about the breed. She has since learned that all dogs, including bully breeds are a reflection of their owner and not a breed of dog. Now she feels extremely safe when having a Pit Bull around instead of fearful and cannot wait to get a puppy of her own!

Corina believes that nearly every female will receive judgment of some sort during their lifetime, as bully breeds do. Appearance is always a huge concern during a young girls life and we are always seeking approval from peers or elders. Corina points out that this is something girls and bully breed dogs have in common because it is the dog’s first priority to please their human. She has learned that unfortunately, both women and bully breeds attract judgment even when they are doing well, just because of the way they look. Corina is embracing her new outlook on life and bully breeds and is excited to represent the brand and finally try something new!

 

Mary-KateMARY-KATE FITZPATRICK

Mary-Kate is a Colombian, Irish, Scottish, Portuguese model from Hollywood Hills,California. She has held several prestigious pageant titles including Miss Teenage California 2010, Miss Hispanidad International 2011, and Miss California Collegiate America 2011. She received her Bachelor’s in Film from Mount Saint Mary’s University and is currently working as their Department Specialist for the Film and Television Program at Hollywood Center Studios. She is a woman who wears many hats as she is also a television producer, photographer, graphic design artist, and is represented by The Wayne Agency for modeling and acting in Los Angeles. You can also catch her on her own talk show “Very Mary-Kate!” In her future, she plans to explore screen writing in the hopes of creating a sitcom or television series while continuing to act and produce television.

When Mary-Kate was younger, she was always the “DUFF” (designated ugly fat friend). That was her nickname because she was almost 200 pounds. Everything changed when she took control of a healthy lifestyle and lost 80 pounds, but not necessarily for the better. Upon losing the weight, she was still bullied immensely in college for the opposite end of the spectrum: competing in pageantry, being extroverted, and wanting to be successful. People wrote profanity in the dust of the windows on her car, snickered when she would walk by, and ultimately left her feeling very resentful towards society. Articles about Mary-Kate surfaced on-line rudely advising her to “eat a hamburger,” stating that she was a lost cause to an eating disorder. She then realized she needed to channel the negative energy she was relentlessly receiving into something positive. She continued to work hard, ignoring the people who judged me based off of her appearance, and resulted in being a very successful person. In addition to her titles and modeling achievements, she graduated college with honors and with a full time job lined up just for her.

Mary-Kate was raised with bully breed dogs, bulldogs in particular, and people would always judge them harshly. In college, her boyfriend had a Pit Bull named “Mason,” which was where she initially fell in love with the breed. This dog was a sweetheart and loved to love and be loved. She rescued her own Pit Bull, “Waffles” three days before he was going to be put down. She says that he was was the most loving creature but, unfortunately, due to apartment complex wrongful breed restrictions, she found Waffles another very loving home.

Through Mary-Kate’s experiences she has learned the hard way that people have the natural instinct to judge based off of appearance, no question. When she was overweight she was presumed to over eat and be lazy. After being thin, she was presumed to be anorexic. Similarly, Pit Bulls are presumed to be fighters. Mary-Kate believes that if people let go of stigmas and stereotypes, they would realize the following: an overweight person may have a slow metabolism, yet work out 3-5 days a week; a thin person may have it in their genetics to metabolize fat quicker than others; and if you see a Pit Bull type dog, he might just be the most gentle, loving creature in the world. Mary-Kate states, “Bad dogs aren’t born, they’re made. Just like people. We aren’t born with the ability to judge. We learn to do it, and it is a sick cycle that is truly detrimental to society.”

 

ChelseyCHELSEY WALLACE

Chelsey is originally from Naugatuck, Connecticut but has lived in South Pasadena, California for the past four years. She has modeled for several designers, and competed in pageants and fitness competitions. She has earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Southern Connecticut University and is currently working as a registered nurse. Chelsey is the recipient of a Yale New Haven Hospital Minority Nursing Scholarship award for 2007-2011 and also a two-time Achievement Award Winner at her current company. She plans to continue her career as a nurse, specializing in the peri-operative and pain management setting of the hospital.

Chelsey is African-American, Native American, and Caucasian. As a multiracial female, she has felt a great deal of judgment and discrimination. People are often confused by what she is and make derogatory remarks about certain traits she has or does not have. She has learned that people are very eager to identify one another with labels and put her in a certain category because of her tan skin color, whether they favor it or not. Her mother has experienced much discrimination by being in a biracial relationship with an African-American and having a mixed daughter. The lack of support in this matter has lead to the negative public opinions about Chelsey being mixed. Fortunately, her family makes up for this lack of support and fully embraces cultural differences and feels strongly about judging based on character and not on image.

Chelsey grew up with several types of animals – dogs, cats, birds, lizards, and probably any other animal you can think of. From a very young age, she was properly taught that all animals are a reflection of their owner. She has always carried this instilled idea and it still holds true for her today, both before and after bringing a bully breed puppy into her life (she is the proud mama of one of our official Bullies, Noodlez). She has now experienced first-hand the judgment bully breed owners receive.

Chelsey feels that bully breed dogs are given a horrific false label due to the poor images of dog fighting practices and attacks occurring from inadequate ownership. The absence of care and love seen for these types of dogs is astronomical and the media takes full advantage of the result of that in their representation of the breed. There is too much focus on “bad dogs” as opposed to the “bad owners.” She also feels that the public continues to shame discrimination against people and certain ethnicity, so it should not be done with dog breeds either. Since she knows from experience what being discriminated against feels like, she is more than willing to unite with other bully breed supporters in order to illustrate what kind, loving, and intelligent dogs they are.

 

IMG_1071CHRISTINA SCHNEIDER

Christina is originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida but currently lives in Los Angeles. She is a former model and has held several pageant titles as well including Miss Miami USA 2013. She is currently the proud co-owner of a high-end wedding and event planning company in Los Angeles called Cake and Punch. She plans to continue to grow the company in the near future and is currently working on Miss USA Nia Sanchez’s wedding! Also in the near future, she is dying to adopt a blue nose Pit Bull puppy!

Christina has not only dealt with superficial judgment in the model and pageant worlds, but also in the regular workforce. Being new in the event industry has presented its hurdles for her as years of experience is often required to be successful. She and her business partner are probably the youngest team to have started a company that specializes in high-profile clients, destination weddings and events. As a result, they are judged immediately by potential clients because of how young they look. People assume that because of her age, she is not adequate to take on such large productions but she is eager to prove those who stereotype wrong with her actions.

Christina finds a similarity in bully breed dogs after climbing obstacles of her own in the event industry. These dogs are presumed to not be capable of certain things because of what they are and often are not even given a chance to disprove the stereotypes. Christina has always has a soft spot in her heart for Pit Bulls having grown up with them. Experiencing their sweet, loving and loyal character traits first-hand confirms that her opinion of the breed could never change. When she sees a bully all she sees is happiness in a dog that will love you for their entire life. Christina believes that people will always have preconceived notions, but we can lead by example and educate others to not judge a book by its cover, and she is excited to do so with Beauty and the Bully!

 

janessaJANESSA ALBERRE

Janessa is a California girl who currently resides in Downtown Los Angeles. This athletic Beauty was a competitive cheerleader for eleven years and played softball for eight years. She has also had six years of training in Muy Thai, Boxing and Jujitsu. Janessa has been modeling part time since she was 18 years-old and has competed in various beauty pageants, placing top 5 in regional pageants and top 20 at state level for Miss California USA. She has worked with various charities and campaigns including “The Alisa Ann Ruch Foundation” with the Los Angeles Fire Department for burn survivors, and “Kindness Begins With Me” for an anti-bullying campaign. She graduated with an Associates Degree in Communications and is currently obtaining a Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Management. This Beauty has brains too; she is currently on the President’s Honor Roll list maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Next year she will be attending Law School and double majoring to obtain her MBA as well! In the future, she plans to work in the Business Law field. She would also love to be more involved in the fitness industry as this is also one of her passions. Starting her own Anti-Bullying campaign is also on the future horizon for Janessa.

Janessa began her training in Muy Thai, Boxing and Jujitsu at age 16 because she was bullied so severely in middle and high school. She was incessantly harassed to the point where she was forced into a physical altercation with her bullies. She was emotionally and physically beaten for “being too pretty” or “being too popular” or “being too nice.” So she decided to take self defense classes to gain self-assurance and reduce her fear of others. Although she is now a trained fighter and has found confidence, she is still constantly being judged by people before they get to know her. People often say to her “I thought you were intimidating and stuck up because you’re pretty but now that I know you, you’re actually really nice.” Having been bullied throughout grade school is what drives her passion for anti-bullying today because she never wants anyone to feel worthless because of their appearance as she had been made to feel.

Janessa has always been an animal lover! Her favorite dogs have always been “bully breed” dogs for the fact that they are always so loving and playful. She never had a bad image of them even though the media can be very convincing at times. She has made effort to show that they are loving, sweet dogs to those who feel scared or intimidated because of how the media portrays them. Janessa feels that she can most definitely relate to being discriminated against based solely on appearance as these dogs are since she has struggled with it for her entire life. She believes it is important to educate people on not passing judgment based on one’s appearance alone, but to give them a chance to show you who they really are. “We need to all stand up for each other and be the voice for those who don’t have the courage to use theirs or simply cannot. It all begins with us!”